how i organize
  •  one-subject notebooks. 
    • These saved my life. I know everyone’s always saying to keep your stuff in one place and keep track of it all at once, and the way to do that is (apparently) thick, 5-subject looseleaf notebooks and 3″ binders. These have never worked for me, and here’s why: the larger the notebook, the more it catches and rips and doesn’t close right. 
    • Plus, the larger the notebook, the longer you use it, and the longer it has to survive that wear and tear! (Bonus: without having to worry about the notebook being destroyed, I also don’t have to buy the more expensive and durable brands; now I only pay for quality of paper and pretty colours!)  
    • So, I use one-subject notebooks for each class and go through multiple (I’ve never noticed a significant cost difference). A single one-subject notebook lasts me 4-6 units, or about one quarter/half a semester. When I complete a notebook, I simply begin the next, and carry only the newest one with me places. The previous notebooks are kept in my study space so I can always reference them as though it’s one large book, and I rarely need the previous chapters for in-class work. 
    • I start with one notebook per class plus one notebook purely for scribbles or rip-out looseleaf paper, and keep a supply of empty notebooks at my permanent study space.
  • central grade collection. 
    • I do this because it’s easy to reference back to. Soooo many terrible teachers who simply don’t trust their students. Feels nice to whip out a test to prove you were right (and aced it!). Calculating the grade myself makes me more aware of what’s going on with my academics. My biggest downfall this year was not paying attention to my grades!
    • I used to use an accordion folder for this, but this year I’m going to try combining that with a digital file.
    • Whenever I receive a grade back, the paper copy goes in a physical folder and the percentage/grade itself goes onto a file on my computer.
    • The physical folder is organized by classes. As I receive grades back, the newest goes in the front, so each class is naturally ordered chronologically. I tried organizing it further by putting flags to tell apart tests, quizzes, essays, etc. It worked well but eventually I just didn’t bother.
    • The computer file is actually multiple files (again, one for each class). An excel spreadsheet or a simple word doc works well. I specify the material as much as possible (for example, “Unit 1: Trig. Quiz 1: Identities. Date: 7-4-2015″ using both words and numbers) so I can easily search for it later. Next to it goes the numerical and letter grade. I’m thinking of incorporating a note-taking system as well, listing what went wrong and such.
    • This sounds like a lot of work, but it takes very little time and is well worth it. Logging the grades take about 5 minutes, tops. I often find myself putting off work by organizing grades. Obviously it’s hard to log things instantly, so I keep a stack of “to be graded” on my desk until I get around to it.
    • Oh, and keep the physical folder safe in your room/dorm. Carrying it around for spiteful moments is not worth the risk of losing all your grades!
  • separate days.
    • I don’t know about you, but my school has something similar to a block schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Fridays all have the same classes. Tuesdays and Thursdays have the same classes as well. My method works for real block scheduling, too, for even/odd or on/off days. I once had a chronic problem of bringing in the wrong day’s homework. Not anymore!!
    • Basically, just keep the two workpiles separate.
    • I have two cabinets on my desk: one for MWF classes, one for TTh classes. On my desk at all times are my “daily” tools: laptop, charger, planner, pencil pouch, water bottle, etc.
    • In the morning, I always put my dailies in first so I don’t forget, then I check the calendar. Tuesday? Shove in the TTh stack. It’s as simple as that.
    • When actually doing my homework, obviously, prioritize. There isn’t a hardfast “do your homework the day you get it” rule, especially since studying is a process! But when nothing’s especially urgent and I don’t have a favourite assignment, I literally flip a coin.
  • computer files have to be neat.
    • I have so many subfolders I don’t know what to do with them.
    • Separate everything, again, and again, and again. And label it all to hell and back. You can never have a file title that’s too long.
  • You know how you can make multiple accounts on your computer? Admin vs user? Yeah, do that.
    • Make your admin account your free-time, slacker account.
    • Make your user account your work account.
    • Make all the settings admin-only accessible. Don’t get distracted by downloading random crap while doing your homework. Put restrictions on internet usage, gameplay, etc. To get distracted, you have to make the effort to enter an admin password every time you get off task.
    • Bonus: during presentations, you never have to worry about accidentally opening something embarrassing. Everything embarrassing should be in your personal account!
  • Lastly: don’t stress! 
    • When I stress, everything gets disorganized. My mind gets cluttered and so does the rest of my life. I used to stress so hard about grades.
    • If you don’t think you can make the deadline, don’t. One grade is not worth a night of sleep and mental health.
    • If the grade is super important (not all grades are like this: prioritize!) work on it as hard as you can. Don’t stress; put all that stressful energy into the work. Focus your ass off. If you can’t do that, it’s time to stop.
    • Talk to the teacher the next day. Take responsibility for your mistake. Apologize, and do not give excuses. Show to your teacher that you care more about the learning than the grade; it will pay off in the long run.
    • The day after missing a huge assignment is rough. Don’t let it get to you! Dwelling on this assignment only sets you up for failure on any other assignments you have that day. Focus on those and not on what you did wrong. Have yourself a good break, snack, jog, and get back in there. The world isn’t over!
Pssst, do you guys want to save money when buying art supplies?

Arts stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and JoAnn’s generally have coupons on their websites or general sales. Before you go to buy crafts and such look at their website and see what’s on sale! Also it gives you coupons you can have on your phone also :)

***Edit!!!*** I forgot to mention that if you take Michaels coupons to Joann’s or vise virsa they still you the discount because it’s their competitor store so they do it anyways :’)
9

This is as complicated as it gets with my notes. No frills, and I minimize work that isn’t necessary or doesn’t help.

Everything is indexed, and the only pictures I draw are the ones that help me memorize. The rest I simply photocopy, cut, and paste. There are dozens of anatomy flashcard photocopies in my binder notebook, because drawing a skin cross section complete with, say, Pacinian corpuscles, just WON’T HELP ON COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMS! *sorry*

Also, I try to limit the use of colors. Black, red, and blue is basically the only colors I use, aside from a few instances where distinctions must be made. Three colors is just right to catch your attention AND not be distracting at the same time. Too many colors in your notes could give rise to the illusion that you’ve studied hard enough. Also, (obviously), the notes would take a lot more time to make.

Use flow charts and comparison tables whenever possible. Don’t copy straight from the book. Try to write in your own words and arrange your newly-acquired knowledge in the form of outlines, charts, and graphics.

Pretty notes might give you a good mood, but always remember that the most important thing of all is to actually read your own notes.

Happy studying!

Quick Tips for the Aspiring Voice Actor

  1. Audition for as many things as possible; by the same token, practice over and over and over again. You don’t need to be super extroverted to be a VA (in fact, it’s a pretty singular kind of gig), but it’s good to show your stuff to people who won’t mechanically say ‘good job’ (i.e. parents).
  2. Understand you will get 100 no’s to every 1 yes. This is the entertainment industry. It’s tough. But for every person that gives up, you open a space for someone who had the ambition to keep going. In fact, you likely won’t even be told of rejections. Pro-level and some below only contact actors they cast. Getting used to rejection will keep you mentally healthy.
  3. Have fun! Don’t hold back in your auditions. It’s better to overact than underact in the VA world. Plus, if you’re not having fun, then what the hell are you doing here?
  4. Save up money for good equipment. Cheap starter stuff includes the Blue Snowball and the Blue Yeti. Pop filter on top of that and voila, you got yourself a pretty good set-up. Add some sound foam and you’re already ahead of a large chunk of people in the field.
  5. Audition, practice, audition!

THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY - RYAN HOLIDAY

If you’re having troubles with overcoming things (anything from writers block, and study difficulties to fear of taking exams and stress) you should definitely read this book. 

I had a lot of trouble in my first year at university and this book helped me through most of the things. It makes you see your obstacles in a way that they can benefit you in place of holding you back and I feel that that is something very important to do!

I would recommend reading this with a little notebook to write down the things that are the most important to you, so you can always carry them with you and remember that you can do whatever you want in life if only you believe in yourself :)

Helpful tips for your pets for the 4th of July

10. KEEP YOUR PET INDOORS AT ALL TIMES!

It may seem obvious, but even if your pet is used to being outside, the resulting panic caused by fireworks or other loud noises may make them break their restraint or jump a fence in a terrified attempt to find safety.

9. DON’T PUT INSECT REPELLANT ON YOUR PET THAT ISN’T SPECIFICALLY FOR PET USE

The same tip applies to applying “people” sunscreen on your pet. What isn’t toxic to humans can be toxic to animals. The ASPCA lists the poisonous effects of sunscreen on your pet as, “…drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.” DEET, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.

8. ALCOHOLIC DRINKS POISON PETS

If your pet drinks alcohol, they can become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Yes, even beer is toxic; fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats.

7. GOING TO A FIREWORKS DISPLAY? LEAVE YOUR PET AT HOME

The safest place for your pet is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place. The combination of too many people and loud fireworks will make your beloved pet freak out and desperately seek shelter. Locking them in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer brain damage andheat stroke.

6. HAVE YOUR PET PROPERLY IDENTIFIED

If your pet manages to break loose and become lost, without proper identification it will be that much harder to get them back. Consider fitting your pet with microchip identification, ID tags with their name and your phone number, or both. It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your pets in case you have to put up signs.


5. KEEP YOUR PET AWAY FROM GLOW JEWELRY

It might look cute, but your pet could chew up and swallow the plastic adornments. The ASPCA states that while not highly toxic, “excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.”

4. NEVER USE FIREWORKS AROUND PETS

While lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious pets and potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws, even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Some fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals.

3. DON’T GIVE YOUR PET “TABLE FOOD”

If you are having a backyard barbeque, you may be tempted to slip some snacks to your pet. But like beer and chocolate, there are other festive foods that could harm your pet. Onions, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough are all possible hazards for dogs and cats.

2. LIGHTER FLUID AND MATCHES ARE HARMFUL TO PETS.

The ASPCA lists chlorates as a harmful chemical substance found in some matches that, if ingested, can cause your pet difficulty in breathing, damage blood cells or even cause kidney disease. If exposed to lighter fluid, your pet may sustain skin irritation on contact, respiratory problems if inhaled, and gastric problems if ingested.

1. CITRONELLA INSECT CONTROL PRODUCTS HARM PETS, TOO.

Oils, candles, insect coils and other citronella-based repellants are irritating toxins to pets, according to the ASPCA. The result of inhalation can cause severe respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, and ingestion can harm your pet’s nervous system.

***

The safest and best bet for celebrating this Fourth of July with your pets is to exclude them from holiday festivities, at least this time around. Instead, find a safe, secure spot in the home for your pets while you go out and enjoy the loud bangs, bright lights and spectator fun. Your pets will appreciate the quiet a lot more than you’ll enjoy the noise.