we all phone

On The Adventure Zone Graphic Novel, Blue Taako, and Representation

 Yesterday, we revealed some pages for our graphic novel adaptation of the first Adventure Zone arc, and received some criticism of the direction we went with for Taako’s coloring. This artwork reveal came some months after the first reveal of some of our characters, for which we also received criticism of our three leads, all of whom were white in these initial designs. Us and the graphic novel team realized that, yes, that is extremely bad, went back to the drawing board, and had several long discussions about how to best rectify this situation, resulting in the artwork revealed yesterday.

More or less all of the criticism we’ve received centers on Taako, whose skin is a pale blue color in these designs. What we’ve heard most is disappointment that Taako is not realized in these pages as a person of color — or, to be more specific, a Latinx or explicitly Mexican character. There was concern we had failed to follow through on an opportunity to get better representation for Latinx listeners, instead opting to take a safe route, and make Taako a fantasy color without any kind of real-world connection. Much of the criticism also focuses on how that color (or, to be more specific, green skin) has anti-semitic connotations.

This conversation was happening in certain corners of our fandom long before the graphic novel art reveal took place yesterday. We’ve heard criticism from some folks over our policy of not having canonical visual representations of any of our characters — a policy that has resulted in a genuinely humbling ocean of fan art, but also some instances of in-fighting between members of the community who take umbrage with one another’s disparate interpretations of these characters. Another criticism of that policy is that it inherently does not foster good representation, and in fact represents a noncommittal way of handling racial representation on this show.

Here’s the truth of the matter: I think all of this comes from this underlying friction between where The Adventure Zone and us, its creators, were when we started doing the podcast, and where we, the show, and you, the community, are at now. 

Keep reading

Study Tips Straight from My Professor

Hi guys! So a lot of our classes are starting today, even with the eclipse so I thought I’d share some tips my teacher sent out to help everyone get a better grade in the sciences classes, which may or may not be slightly trickier than others. It’s important to realize that no one can get through all of these, so pick what is most important to you.

1) Put in the time. Using the “three-to-one” rule, three hours of studying outside of class time per one credit hour. If your class is 3 credits, you should be studying independently an additional 9 hours. For 4 credits, 12 hours. Teachers expect you to treat studying as your job (even if you do have an actual job) meaning you should virtually be studying anytime outside of meals, class, sleep, work, etc.
> To clarify, this is per week. Not at all per day. You will never be able to shove an appropriate amount of studying per class into one day. Do not try, it is not healthy.
2) NO cramming. It is MUCH more productive to study a little each day rather than 9 hours the day before a test. You will remember virtually nothing if you do and will not be as happy with the grade you recieve. Taking it in little bits stores it in long term memory and you will actually learn it rather than just regurgitating it onto a test.
3) Time management is crucial. Especially if you are someone who works or has kids or other priorities that also need attention. Make a schedule and. Stick. To. It.
4) Be prepared and organized. Do not be the person who lost their pencil and doesn’t have an extra, forgot a notebook or textbook, keys, etc. Give yourself enough time so you’re not rushing and make sure you have what you need! Your college professors are not here to attend to your personal needs when some of them have 800+ students a semester.
5) Use a calender. Write down your assignments, projects, class times, anything you need to remember. Use it religiously because it will be so much easier than trying to keep it all inside your head and that way you will not forget anything.
6) Use the book AND the notes. Most professors write things in a different way than the book and reading something in multiple different ways will better help you remember the concept rather than the sentence word for word.
7) Read ahead. Doing so helps you prepare for and not be lost in lecture and it will benefit you as well as the teacher.
8) Attend all/as many classes as you can and be an active listener. Sit up straight, face forward, don’t pay attention to what others around you are doing (I sit up front whenever possible). Keep an extra piece of paper near you in case you have questions so you can either ask or go back later and look it up yourself.
9) Take detailed notes. With permission, record the lecture so you can hear it again later, abbreviate whatever you are scribbling down, and then as soon as you can after class, rewrite it in a neater, nicer way and don’t be afraid to word things differently. A review shortly after class is proven to help it convert to long term memory.
10) Keep your phone off in class. I know we all love our phones and class is boring, but it’s also crucial information. We’ve all been through that period of regret where we wished we had paid attention. Don’t let that happen anymore. Use it only for emergencies and recording lectures.
11) Even if you don’t rewrite your notes after class, review them. Make sure to pay attention to anything the teacher may have repeated or any learning objectives they would like for you to know.
12) Study early and often! This goes along with no cramming but the sooner and more repetitively you relay information to your brain, the easier it will be to remember it. If you don’t look at the information for 2 weeks and then suddenly need to remember it all, not only will you be too stressed to retain it, you’ll also be wasting valuable time. Make your own study guides and test questions.
13) Make flashcards. Flashcards are only useful when you a) shuffle them occasionally and b) take the ones you’ve memorized out of the pile but still review them every now and then to make sure you still remember. Put any back in the pile that you missed.
14) Use mnemonic devices for lists of related terms.
15) Type or rewrite your notes. I’d recommend writing them again, because physical writing by hand is another way to help remember it.
16) Consolidate your material. This means: tables, lists, figures, concept maps. Reasonable chucks.
17) Teach it to someone else. The best way to tell if you have mastered something is that you are able to explain it to someone else correctly in a way that makes sense.
18) Pick a good place for effective studying. We all love our study groups, but let’s be honest. At most the first 20 minutes is talking, then 10 minutes of studying before half the group is surfing Tumblr and the other half is complaining they’re hungry. I prefer to study by myself for this reason. Find a quiet place with minimal distractions and get prepared to work your fucking ass off.
19) Get decent rest before the exam and be sure to get there early or on time, unpredictable situations included. Exams are important and your teacher will not care if there was a traffic jam. If you miss the exam, you miss the exam.
20) Learn from your mistakes. Review your incorrect exam answers and figure out why it was wrong and why the correct answer was correct. Talk to your teacher, TA, resource lab, anyone who may help you if you’re stuck.
21) Review the midterm and start preparing for finals. Most of the midterm material should be on the final, so it’s one of your best study guides.
22) Keep your textbooks and notes. I know we’re all broke as fuck and would like to sell them back, but you never know when that information will be useful in another class down the road.
23) Do NOT discuss grades, quizzes, tests, or exams with your class mates. Of course they’ll complain that they didn’t study, that chapter 6 was this, or chapter 8 said that and it was confusing. This type of conversation will only make you nervous so steer clear of all of it.

Edit: I have made an adjustment to #2 to clarify that the 3 hours of studying/1 credit hour for that class should be per week, not per day. 💕

4

Some cosplay valentines for all my sweetheart followers! 

 Happy Valentine’s Day!! 💖😘

(also happy birthday to my boy andy robinson aka garak aka the love of my life. they are both my valentines today)

We all are living in a dream but life ain’t what it seems
Oh everything’s a mess

Dream // Imagine Dragons

today was a Rough day at work but it was considerably brightened by this commission of Throw Away the Key by a long-time friend @littlestpersimmon ! I’ve always adored their art (specifically in their comic @eeriecrests ) and this piece is no exception! Thank you sooooooooooooo much Bel! <3 <3 <3

For @minteacup​ who drew me this cutest Ichinyatsu ever! 

You said Kara is your favorite matsu, so have a sunglasses boy asking you out on a very Karamatsu date! He’d probably come up with the cheesiest pickup lines in between every 10 seconds of conversations. He just wants to make you feel special, tbh. 

actual useful study tips

i’m going to keep this short-ish and shitty and un-proofread because i only have like 6 followers but it’s finals week and i keep seeing these awful study tips everywhere that are like “drink water” and “don’t get distracted on the internet” and other unrealistic stuff like that, so here is a REALISTIC students guide to pulling ur semester together, written by a truly apathetic student still clinging onto the deans list (me). enjoy and share as u wish

Originally posted by get-meowtta-here

1. make study plans with a distant acquaintance who you think is cooler than you. do you want their first impression of you to be 20 minutes late, saying “oops i just realized i haven’t taken notes all semester?” no u want to impress them! knowing a complete strangers opinion of you is on the line, you can use this to find the strength to make a great looking study guide, or actually add to the google doc instead of just reading what everyone else wrote. bonus points if you make plans to meet at 10am. 

2. fuck the “stay focused” app. if you are anything like me you know it takes about 15 minutes max to download a new browser and you’re back to doing the same exact thing you were before, but on firefox instead of google chrome. plus, we all have cell phones, so blocking tumblr on my computer just means i have to look at smaller pictures. WHAT U HAVE TO DO is find a person you trust, preferably your parents or someone in another state/country who you can’t hound in-person and who WILL. NOT. CRACK. u give them your login information for your social media apps (i do this every finals week with Facebook and tumblr for at least a day or 2 or before my hardest exam) and you have them change your password. it’s life changing. 

3. look at gifs of hermione granger and rory gilmore. literally role play as them, dress like them if you have to. they just have it so together!! how!! 

4. before you leave your dorm ASK YOURSELF “do i reaaaallyyy need my computer?” and if you don’t need it to study, don’t bring it with you. don’t bring your phone either unless you need music. i am an international relations/art history major and the answer for me personally is “no” 99.9% of the time because all my exams are based off readings/in class notes. the next step is to go to the library, or wherever you study, and bring nothing but good old fashioned papers with you.

4b. if you have readings to do print them out. i kill about 8 trees per semester by printing off hundreds of pieces of paper and while environmentally i feel sort of guilty about it, it’s the actual only way i can read anything without my eyes glazing over, or ending up on style.com looking at Diors F/W 2002 collection. plus you can ~highlight~ and annotate better.

5. white noise is your best friend. rainymood.com and white noise generator are 1000x better than the most mellow spotify playlist, imo, or at least work really well in the background. (personally i don’t like studying to music with vocals because the words distract me but if white noise isn’t enough u can do sigur ros or instrumental music) however, when it’s the early morning hours and you feel like you’re about to crash show tunes can and will keep you going. i recommend “you can’t stop the beat” from hairspray and anything from mamma mia.  

6. if possible, make friends with someone who has a car. burger king can make or break you at 2am. 

7. TREAT YASELF. i never eat healthy during finals week and i don’t trust people who do. but if you actually get up early to study you deserve the largest dunking donuts or most expensive latte. and if you are up at 3am, yes you not only can but should get 3 different chip bags from the vending machine. (i swear crunching helps me stay awake anyways)

8. nothing is a better break than a walk outside. this is not an opinion this is a fact. even if you just go stand outside and take 10 deep breaths. or lay in grass for 2 minutes. and if it’s a nice sunset go let yourself watch it. 

9. do not “dress for success,” wear the most comfortable clothes that you own (but not pajama pants or ur fucked. ANYWHERE is a bed when u r wearing pajama pants, in personal experience). also, something to get your hair away from your face/eyes (like a bandana or something stretchy though not a hard headband) is a GAME CHANGER

10. you would be surprised how not-rude people are if you mass-email your class with questions or in need of assistance. whether you need to borrow the book or missed a day (or 5) of notes, throwing an email into the wind usually won’t fail you!! *bonus tip: offer to bake cookies or buy food for who ever helps you. it will make u seem cute/friendly/thankful/desperate and they will NEVER actually ask u to follow through. i once got like 5 days of missed notes AND a girl lent me her flash cards by doing this.*

11. do your bibliography as you research!! there is officially no worse feeling than finally finishing a paper at 3:47am and then realizing you have to add in your citations and make your works cited. save yourself.

12. don’t go out less, but go home earlier. instead of skipping a party or movie night or general get together with friends completely, go from 11pm-1am. it gives you the literal entire day to still study, if you get back at 1am you can drink a gallon of water and watch a 22 minute episode of something, be asleep at 1:30am and still wake up at like 9:30 the next day to keep working. those are the best hours of any party anyways and you don’t have to miss out on the memories just for some shitty number grade. 

13. if you decide to take a napping break, do it on a couch or futon with all the lights on, not in your bed. you get ur horizontal time in but it’s much more difficult to actually sleep for an entire night in this position, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally not waking up.

14. if you get really stressed look up facts about how big the universe is and how small and short lived and tiny humans are in comparison. or a ted talk about how grades can’t measure intelligence, or about how all humans are meant to be artists. OR watch an episode of BBC planet earth. this always comforts me for some reason.

i am struggling to come up with more, so there’s my realistic study guide for all my fellow students out there. enjoy finals, and remember!! 2 years after graduation employers consider it “juvenile” to include your GPA on your resume :) 

4

YohaRiko phone backgrounds 。.:*☆

requested by anon (⌒▽⌒)☆

can we all imagine the phone call when bitty tells jack he made captain!!!!! and all the kisses jack gives bitty when they see each other again!!!! jack calls him captain now and bitty blushes and playfully tells him to stop but he LOVES IT