Sunday, October 30, 2011

Get energized! It's been a long day of classes and work, but you still have to finish that assignment for tomorrow...what can you do do regain some energy?  There are actually many quick and easy fixes...thank goodness, right?  First, I'm going to introduce you to the Women's Health's instant energy tips.  And by the way, they don't include Red Bull or 5 Hour Energy.  They do include the 5 senses, which you're never without!

1.) Sound: Listen to music; talk to a friend in person or on the phone

2.) Touch: touch something smooth like a ring or flat stone ("researchers found that people view socializing as tougher after touching a rough object").  Keep this tip in mind for when you'd rather go to sleep than hang out with your friends!

3.) Sight: Colors and light will help keep you alert as well as improve your mood
4.) Smell: Orange, peppermint, or cinnamon scents may help you stay alert when you start to get tired

5.) Taste: Chew gum or eat something with a citrus flavor (or an actual orange or grapefruit)

Monday, October 24, 2011


If you live on campus there are numerous study locations.  For instance, the library is the first location that comes to mind when I think of studying.  It has been the "go to" study place for years and years.  It makes sense, of course. It's quiet, there are resources, such as text books and computers, and there are plenty of tables to spread out your papers and books.  Yet, some people feel that libraries can be too quiet.  They work better in a quiet, but slightly more active area. Sometimes that extra buzz in the background of others working gives us a reminder that we should be working as well (instead of on Facebook or dozing off).  This type of atmosphere is a little harder to come across, however.  A coffee shop sometimes serves as a good option, depending on who happens to be there at the time. I'm sure everyone knows about Starbucks on 35th! Another option is coming over to the ARC or if it's warm outside, you may want to try to find a nice grassy area.  What about those who like a noisier spot?  I would suggest the dorms (if you live on campus) or the MTCC.  If you live off-campus, you may need to do some exploring.  A restaurant (sandwich shop or fro-yo place) may have more conversation than a coffee shop, but if wifi is necessary, make sure you check if the place has it first! 

It all comes down to what works best for you.  If you realize you don't get much accomplished in a coffee shop setting, then save coffee for a study break rather than a study place.  I admit that I like the idea grabbing my latte and typing up a paper at Starbucks (or whatever coffee shop I happen to be near), but in reality I end up getting distracted by the people around me.  The next thing I know, an hour has passed by and I hardly have anything typed. Likewise, people may have told you they are much more productive in the library; however, you have tried it a few times and seem to be bothered by the silence.  Then, don't go to the library.  Just because it is the typical study location does not mean it's the right spot for you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just as people have different learning style, people's ability to concentrate in various settings differs as well.  For instance, some people focus better in quiet areas with no one else around, while others work well in crowded, noisy places.  So, where is your ideal place to study?  There are many options available for each individual's preference. I posted the question on the ARC's Facebook page and on the IIT undergraduate Facebook Group page.  Even among the few people that responded, study preferences varied.  One student said she likes studying outside, while another prefers a "secret" room in the library.  One other student said that he can study anywhere besides his room.  My roommate only studies in her room!  Personally, I have trouble working in one place for a long period of time.  More to come on this topic!

Monday, October 3, 2011

I am going to sidetrack from my usually tip giving blog entries and discuss something equally important.  What makes a good tutor?  Sure it helps if your tutor is an expert (or advanced) in the subject area in which you are needing assistance.  That's the whole point of coming to the ARC for tutoring!  Yet, even if one is an expert in a specific area, it does not mean he or she is a good tutor.  I have witnessed a great deal of tutoring while being a monitor at the ARC and there are some tutor qualities and strategies that really stand out.  One helpful strategy is for the tutors to ask students questions as they lead them through the problem they are working on.  This way, tutors become aware of what the students already know and can provide them with individualized help.  Furthermore, being asked questions makes students think!  The other day I heard a math tutor tell a student, "I can't just give you the answer.  What would be the point of that?"  Clearly, this tutor has the right idea of what tutoring is all about!