The problem is that Eren is ridiculously handsome these days.
Sure, Levi had always acknowledged that the kid was kinda cute, especially after he’d started growing his hair out and learned to control his temper better. That had been it, though, and since back then Levi had still been his Captain, he’d never really even allowed himself to dwell on such things. But now when he’s retired - and growing soft with age, as Eren himself had claimed once with a twinkle in his eyes - he’s become painfully aware of just how attractive he finds Eren.
He’s sitting amongst tall grass and wildflowers, more focused on admiring the line of Eren’s broad shoulders than paying attention to what he’s doing with his squad. Since he can’t deny a single thing from Eren, he’d naturally agreed to come along and watch them train. It would be really helpful, Eren had said, worrying on his bottom lip with his teeth in a way that had been horribly distracting to Levi, because even though he’d now officially been promoted to Squad Leader, he could use some feedback on his training methods.
They’ve been at it for what must be hours now, and Levi’s quite impressed. Maybe he really is old and soft, because he’d have allowed at least one break somewhere in between. Eren’s more strict than he would’ve imagined, even tense at times, and Levi’s not at all envious of his squad members.
It’s quite nice, in a way, sitting in the sun and merely allowing time to pass. That’s a luxury in and of itself, he thinks, being able to stop and smell the flowers, both figuratively and literally. He’s plucked a freshly blooming daffodil from the ground and is twirling it in his fingers when Eren seems to have decided it’s finally time for a break.
Without hesitation, Eren comes to him, leaving his squad to cool off amongst themselves. He plops down on the ground next to Levi, a little out of breath but still no less gorgeous. There’s a small frown resting over his features and Levi wants to kiss it away, to press his lips against the crease in his brow and the downturned corners of his mouth.
“Hi,” Eren says and manages a wry grin. “How am I doing so far?”
Levi tears his gaze away from the shining green of Eren’s eyes and instead turns to watch his squad members, most of whom are also on the ground, trying to catch their breath. “Well,” he starts off and intends to go on, but apparently that’s already enough for Eren.
“Really? I don’t know,” he sighs, taking a hand through his unruly hair. He’s discarded his jacket long ago and rolled up his sleeves, and Levi finds himself hopelessly transfixed by the firm muscles in his arms. Not to mention his hands, dear God, those broad palms and long skilled fingers that Levi’s imagined touching him all over so many times that he’s lost count by now.
To top it off, Eren towers over him by now, having grown several inches over the years. That’s completely unacceptable to Levi. This is Eren, his Eren who’d he’d vowed to protect, the perpetually angry and squeaky-voiced kid who’d looked at him like he’d hung the damn moon. His Eren is not allowed to be this attractive, because Levi honestly cannot handle it.
Eren is in the middle of rambling about something when Levi realizes he hasn’t been listening at all. He’s fidgeting in place, that much Levi registers, hands clenched into fists and his stare darting back and forth from Levi’s face to his own feet as he talks. There’s something trapped in the green of Eren’s eyes that reminds him of a panicked animal, and Levi wants nothing more than to soothe him and tame him.
“Hey,” he interrupts, making Eren stop abruptly. “It’s okay. Breathe. Relax.”
It’s a horribly clumsy attempt at comforting him, but Eren’s shoulders do drop a little. “Yeah. Okay,” he repeats with a long exhale. “Sorry. It’s, uh, you being here just makes me a little nervous.” It’s all said in one hasty breath, almost fearfully.
Levi blinks. “It’s okay,” he repeats, and having ran out of things to say, reaches out and hands his daffodil to Eren. “Here. Take this.”
It’s silent for a while, but Eren does extend his hand and pluck the flower from his hand, his face questioning but also a little hopeful. “What?” he asks, as if he hadn’t quite heard right.
“It reminded me of you,” Levi says and opens his mouth to explain further, but when nothing comes to mind, he closes it again. “Make sure you don’t crush it, though. Maybe train your squad a little less intensely.” He’s not sure if Eren can manage that for even a fraction of a second, being less intense than he usually is, but for the sake of his overworked squad members, Levi sure hopes so.
“Thank you.” Eren’s lips are curving into a tiny smile, and it’s the most beautiful thing Levi’s ever seen. “I’ll try to take good care of it.”
“I know you will,” he says, more to himself than to Eren since the kid is already up and ready to continue, newfound enthusiasm in his voice.
One of the members of his squad outright whimpers when told to get up and resume training, another one actually has the gall to talk back at Eren, but none of them even mention the delicate daffodil now tucked behind his ear.
I was going through some old papers from freshman year and I was thinking about what I was doing wrong when I didn’t achieve the grades I wanted, even though I got As in my classes. What things could I have done better to get a 100 instead of a 96? I don’t ask myself this so much as to be a perfectionist (even though I am one). I ask myself these questions because: 1) I must not have had a completely solid understanding of the material if I couldn’t get a 100 on it. 2) Maybe my less-than-stellar test-taking skills got in the way. 3) I’m a tutor, so I want to be sure I understand everything thoroughly enough to help others with the material.
I may add to this later, so you can always check out the original post here. As always, feel free to comment or message me if you want to add something to this list!
Don’t simply read over your notes to study. It doesn’t work. You might pick up pieces here and there or even memorize certain things verbatim, but reading something 20 times is very inefficient. Your brain learns by making connections, so if you’re only straight reading the material you’re not making extra connections. You’re much better off going through your notes to make your own questions and quizzing yourself on them, marking down connections as you read (either in the margin or by literally connecting them in the text with a pen), or creating a study sheet (whether in text format or a mind map).
Don’t simply highlight, either. While there is a proper way to highlight, most people I see using a highlighter are doing it wrong. If you’re the person who highlights 90% of the paragraph, I’m talking about you. Okay, so highlighting is physically more active than glancing over your notes 20 times, but it’s about equally as effective if you’re highlighting everything. I recommend instead highlighting (or marking with eraseable pencil) things you want to go back to later. But, again, highlighting and reading alone is not useful. Go back to your highlighted parts to reread something that was hard to understand the first time, a topic you want to revisit to make a review sheet, etc. Whatever you use it for, make sure the purpose is to quickly find information later, not simply so you can read those things again. Try making a study sheet, in your own words, based off of your highlighting.
Don’t forget to write things down. And I don’t mean just in your planner when you have homework or papers due. This isn’t so much about getting absolutely everything down in terms of notes, either, I have a separate post regarding that. But in class you should always write down questions you have and the answer. If you don’t get a chance to ask during class, ask ASAP whether it’s directly to your teacher or asking a classmate. If it’s that important, do some research on it, too. Also, make sure you write down information on due dates or paper topics. You probably already do that, but I would recommend having a piece of paper with you every day where you can write anything important down like dates and to-dos to organize all in one shot. If you simply write down “paper due” in a block in your planner before rushing to the next you may not see that reminder until close to the due date. I like to take all of the information on the piece of paper (which also has my day planned out and a to-do list) right when I get up in the morning so I’m prepared for the day and don’t forget anything.
What I Did Wrong:
Don’t take it easy at the start of the semester. To be perfectly honest, I’ve pretty much always done that, but my freshman year of college it wasn’t a huge deal since I pretty much already took those classes. Sophomore year, however, everything was new, so memorization and understanding didn’t come quite as easily. The harder your classes are, the more essential this is, especially if you actually want to sleep during finals week. The best thing you can do is start doing work before the semester even starts if you have a syllabus handy, or even just looking through your books to see what’s ahead. While everyone else is doing fun things the night of that first day, make sure you get some work done first before you have your fun. This sets the tone for the rest of the semester and gets you into the habit of working. Don’t let yourself get behind! It’s easier to stay ahead than it is to struggle catching up.
Don’t leave your notes to rot after class. Meaning, do something with them right after class! … or at least ASAP. Mark them up, edit them, rework them, copy or type them (if your handwriting sucks like me), or, best of all, write a short summary. Take the several pages of notes you have and condense them into one or two paragraphs. Don’t worry about the details, just make sure you’re hitting on the key points. As a bonus, you can type up some questions based off of your notes to save for later studying (details are allowed here). Everything will be fresh, making this a much easier process than if you did it right before the test. At the end of the week, make a summary of your summaries and quiz yourself on the questions you made. You’ll probably want to use those questions again, so try to reword them or even combine them into bigger questions that cover many topics. That way you’re being active with the material and will actually understand what you’re answering as opposed to parroting.
Don’t make study sheets by copying off of something else.Yes, I made this mistake. I wasn’t copying initially, but rather, using a review book as a reference to make study sheets. However, the more I was pressed for time the less I started putting things into my own words. Now, this wasn’t a big deal in terms of legality, since I kept them to myself, but it didn’t turn out to be all that helpful in the end. If you want to make study sheets, you could either take concepts you’ve been learning and put them together in different ways or make a summary in your own words. I recommend both, but whatever you do, make sure you’re actually creating something new or else you’re not going to remember it. For example, in organic chemistry I took the reactions and grouped them in different ways (by subtstrate, reactants, products, etc.) as a reference while studying. The act of sorting and looking through the reactions in order to make the sheets helped me remember them, then I had the sheets to look at while doing practice to help me memorize them further.
Don’t save the bulk of lab work for after the lab and don’t wait to write your report. By this I’m referring to the post-lab report. Spend the extra time while prepping your pre-lab materials to start your report! You’re expected to know the theory behind your labs before you perform them, so writing the introduction to your report should not be a problem. If it is, then you’ll be glad you took the time to understand the lab before you tried actually doing it. By doing this you may also find that you have questions that can be answered by the professor before you get confused in the middle of a procedure. Also make sure you have data tables prepared (not just in your notebook, but in the report file to fill in after) and anything else you’ll need to take down data. Once the lab is finished do the report immediately. Everything you did will be fresh and you’ll be glad you finished it well ahead of the deadline. At this point you can show your lab to your professor and get any corrections fixed so you’re ashooin’ for an A!
Don’t try to write a paper in one shot. I understand if you feel like your papers flow better if you do it all in one shot, but at least make sure you plan it out thoroughly ahead of time before you actually write it all out. But even then, you will likely benefit from splitting your paper into chunks to tackle one day at a time. If you have a research paper that’s double-digit pages then you’ll be forced to do that anyway, but be sure you’re splitting up the work for small papers, as well. It may not seem like a big deal to do a short paper in one day, but if you end up having other assignments or tests due around the same time it might up your stress if you’re crunched for time trying to finish that “insignificant” paper while juggling a few other assignments as well as some test prep.
Advice Suggested By Others:
Don’t listen to distracting music while studying. To some degree, the types of music that are considered “distracting” vary when it comes to the subject you’re studying and personal preference. However, the general rule of thumb is that you avoid any sort of music with lyrics if you’re studying a subject that involves language. Art, math, and certain sciences are an exception if you’re working with pictures or numbers, since language usually doesn’t interfere with those things in the brain. But if you’re reading anything, even if it’s worded directions to a math or science problem, lyrics will probably be distracting. Some people suggest that listening to new music with lyrics is okay because you won’t be tempted to sing along with something you don’t know while others get distracted by hearing any type of language. Again, it’s truly up to you, but genres such as classical, jazz, and nature sounds are usually recommended. Heck, if you’re a musician and get distracted by any type of music, silence or brown noise may be the better option for you. (Suggested by aslongasitsfiction)
Don’t study in bed. Scientific studies have shown that doing anything in your bed that isn’t sleep or sex-related affects your ability to fall asleep in your bed. When your brain primarily associates your bed with sleep, it’s much easier to fall asleep. But having trouble sleeping in your bed isn’t the only part of the problem. While studying in your bed is really comfy, you’re also more likely to fall asleep if the association with sleep is strong enough. It’s generally recommended that you don’t even study in the same room as your bed, but as college students this may not be possible if you want to use your desk. So if you don’t want to make the trek out to a more secluded study space, at least try to make sure your desk doesn’t have your bed in view. Because let’s be honest, if you’re exhausted, simply seeing your bed might be enough to make you nod off. (Suggested by rare-footage and ane-mia)
Don’t go on tumblr. Okay, this may seem obvious, but sometimes a reminder is all you need to get off your computer! I suppose it’s better that you’re looking up information to help you study, but I think we both know what the better choice would be. (Suggested by oneofakindgizibe)
Don’t study in a place you can’t focus just because your friends are there. Us humans are social animals. We like being around other people. But this can cause you problems if you’re trying to study. Unless you’re in a productive study group, make sure you separate study time and social time. You’re probably more likely to gravitate towards fun, social things over studying, so make sure studying is a priority and you get it done before seeing your friends. If you have a roommate or two, then your dorm room is probably not the right place to study. Find a few of your focus hotspots and go there for your study time. (Suggested by fitspoforever)
Don’t forget the little things you know you’ll need.This includes but is not limited to things such as chargers, books, snacks, and water. You don’t want to be in-the-zone and all of the sudden realize you need to run back to your dorm room to get a book. And then 10 minutes later realize you’re hungry and need to run to the cafeteria. If you don’t already have certain things that are always in your bag, simply keep a list of things you generally need to bring with you, leave it as a reminder on your desk, and check it over before you hit the library. (Suggested by fitspoforever)
Don’t take naps while studying without setting an alarm.Or even better, avoid naps all together. If you’re like me, 15-minute naps usually turn into 2-hour events. But regardless, if you need to get some extra sleep, get the extra sleep. It’s better to take a nap when you know you need it as opposed to falling asleep on your desk unexpectedly when you have a paper you need to get done for the next day. 15-20 minutes the recommended time for a short nap, but if you need something more robust, try for 90 minutes or use sleepyti.me to figure out the right time to wake up. (Suggested by fitspoforever)
Don’t wear uncomfortable clothes. I personally find that “dressing for success” works really well for going to lectures and virtually everything else, but terribly if you’re hitting the library for a long study session. You’ll probably wanna look cute if you’re heading somewhere public, but just make sure you’re comfortable. Yoga pants are fine for the occasion! (Suggested by fitspoforever)
So. It seems that the Galra Empire not only did not get crippled by the loss of its leader, it became stronger, more effective, more ruthless under Lotor’s reign.
Sure, Zarkon’s gone. The King is Dead.
But, Lotor is here. Long Live the King!
Which means, that the Paladins only made things worse for the galaxy as a whole, while trying to make them better.
Which, again, means one thing: Shiro’s sacrifice was for nothing.
OK, let’s back up.
There are many interesting things to say about Lotor right now from the sneak peak of him we had yesterday (cowface included). Many hints about what he’s like as a character and most importantly, as a leader.
Mainly his speech:
“My father built our empire on the backs of resemblance. The universe can no longer doubt our strength. Each ally gained only makes us stronger. All those who continue to stand against us… will be crushed.”
The most interesting and the most important thing to take from this speech is that Lotor is the Empire’s Shiro.
Look what he preaches: “our empire”, “resemblance”, “ally”, “stronger”, “strength”… not only what Zarkon himself used to preach is there, “strength”, but something new, something Zarkon never counted on and even spat at:
Lotor literally says that the more allies the Galra have, the stronger they get. He introduces strength in numbers, in unity. FiveMany becoming one in order to crush their opponents. That united, the Garla Empire is strong. That working together is the key to strength and success.
Remind you of anyone?
(there it is)
(There are more examples in S1&2, so go ahead and rewatch. They’re EVERYWHERE.)
And the most baffling of all in this speech, maybe:
It implies that races other than the Galra are important to the Galra Empire as well.
Try and wrap your mind around this: Lotor basically supports acceptance of anyone who wants to join the Galra Empire as an ally who gives the most important virtue said Galra Empire holds dear: Strength.
“United, we are stong against our enemies.”
That’s Lotor’s speech in a nutsell.
Which is what Shiro has been preaching since day one in the Paladin duty. And indeed, was what made the Paladins indeed strong enough to beat Zarkon:
Hey, it’s a reboot of a shounen series. What did you expect?
And now, we see that the enemy brings in this virtue along, unifying whoever is an ally to the Galra and welcoming them.
Check this out:
“My father built our empire on the backs of resemblance.”
Wait, “resemblance”? Between who and what?
Taking into consideration his line about “allies”, it’s easy to see who and what: between the Galra and others.
Lotor has the gall (and the brilliance) to call the conquering dictatorship of the Galra a way to unify the galaxy under one flag, to find resemblance amongst different kinds of myriads of races with miryads of differences and even appreciate said differences, since they aid into becoming a stronger unit.
Lotor preaches union, cooperation, and working together as a team empire to defeat enemies.
It’s basically, “Either you’re with us, or against us.”
Going away from all the real life history for a while and back to the idea of unity Lotor preaches, yes, you understood correctly:
The Galra Empire just found its Shiro. Its inspirational, motivational, charismatic, good leader… in Lotor.
Keith isn’t Lotor’s mirror. Neither is Lance. It’s Shiro.
And how fitting, according to the Rule of Drama (things will become worse the worst possible time for our heroes), that the Empire’s Shiro appears…
…when the Paladins’ Shiro goes AWOL.
Oh, and another nifty parallel:
Shiro made a name for himself in the Galra Empire by being a “Champion” gladiator in the arena…
…a very familiar-looking arena.
…where Lotor firstly appears to the public and earns its favour by beating his opponent:
So, a fighter as good as the Legendary Champion gladiator, who reveals himself as the son of their fallen Emperor, who preaches that unity is the key to strength?
You can bet your butt the crippled and in dire need of leadership Galra Empire will believe and latch onto him.
In the 80s cartoon, Lotor was a joke of a villain.
He’s absolutely terrifying and realistic. And effective.
So, our own heroes, with their own lynch taken away God knows where and why, they’re absolutely vulnerable towards this kind of opponent.
But hey, we’re only in the 3rd season in September, meaning that at least, even if it means they’ll go in hiding, they WILL face him at some point and they WILL survive (hopefully). It means that someone WILL rise to the occasion and at least TRY to be Shiro’s shadow and unify the Paladins once again.
(there are MUCH more…)
Hey, how about…?
(there are more…)
Good brains for teamwork and strategy, but…
…those self-confidence issues cripple him too much.
Too bad the creators said that she won’t pilot a lion.
So, what happens? Who will face Lotor?
Yes, Keith is the least equipped to face such an opponent and be a leader of… anything.
Yes, Keith will face Lotor.
Exactly because he’s the least suitable for the job.
You see, season 3 is the first part of the middle of the series (6 in total). And what happens in the middle of a story?
The darker sequel.
The Empire Strikes Back (literally, in our case).
Keith wil try to be the Black Paladin, the leader, Lotor’s opponent… and he will fail.
The heroes will be damaged, left weak and defeated. In the Hero’s Journey, this will lead to their Lowest Point, to their Darkest Time.
After all, Lotor needs to prove himself an effective villain. To become so, he needs a win against our heroes and the best way for Lotor to win, is for Keith to be the leader.
The irony is that Lotor (it’s him, jfc) has already shown to Keith that “working together bares better results/success”.
And Keith is gonna fail this one.
Because he’s part Galra, and he’ll feel torn (the opposite of the union Lotor and Shiro preached). I’m fully expecting Lotor to offer Keith an alliance, paralleling the Weblrum adventure.
(And no, sorry, it makes little sense for Lotor’s focus to be Lance. The creators have said that they keep elements of the original intact, so a Keith-Lotor rivalry is to be expected. Only, instead of “Who gets Allura” this will be an ideology and identity battle. Both Keith and Lotor are of mixed race; their connection is already there, Allura or no Allura).
And then, we can wait for seasons 5 and 6 to come, for Keith to FINALLY get proper Character Development (I actually do expect Lance to play a big role in this one; he unified the paladins first, he’ll do it again), stop being coddled by the narrative and rise up to the occasion.
And when he does beat Lotor (or redeems him, who knows), Zarkon and Shiro return for the final battle and the series ends.
In the meantime, Allura sorts out her feelings towards a possible future with possibly innocent Galra existing in the so-called coalition her father had made, Pidge gets her family back, Lance gets confidence, Shiro finds self-value, Keith matures, and Hunk continues to get braver and wiser.
Coran keeps being gorgeous.
Season 2 was… sub-par, to say the least. Let’s hope for a better continuation.
“this is dumb, but i thought maybe you’d say you love me again? that you want to try to make things work?” “and if i had said that, what would you have said?” “i would’ve said that i’d like that.” “but i didn’t say that…”