Archive for October, 2011

How To Get Through Projects (and other stuff) Relatively Stress-Free

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Right now, most of you are probably going through midterms.  This is the first indication in the semester that things have gotten serious.  Whether it’s an exam, a project, or a giant paper, your midterm will most likely make up a huge chunk of your grade.

Now, you probably have that project or paper on your mind right now.  Believe me, it can seem like there’s some huge monster behind you, looking down and getting ready to eat you.  But it doesn’t have to be like that.  All you gotta do is these few things:

1. Start Early

I know, I kind of sound like a broken record at this point, but it really is a good idea.  I’m not saying you should try to finish your

project the first week it’s given.  That would be impossible (or at least

inadvisable).  Just start a few things, like what you’re project or paper is going to be about, or how it’s all gonna be organized.  By starting early, you sort of motivate yourself to get things done sooner.  I guess you can say you’re putting your foot through the door.

Figuratively, or course! Please don't actually try to kick through a door!

2. Don’t cut corners

If time is of the essence, you might be tempted to make a few mistakes and not fix them.  You might think, “Eh, I can let that slide.  The teacher won’t notice!”  You wanna know what happens when you do cut corners?  THIS!

"Maybe the boss won't notice."

It’s NEVER a good idea to let mistakes just sit there.  This is gonna be a huge part of your grade, so you don’t want to risk failing the whole thing just because of one stupid mistake.  Plus, remember this; when applying for jobs or grad schools, your professors might serve as good reference.  Do you really think he or she will give you a good recommendation if you are seen doing the bare minimum?

3. Don’t stress it

This may sound like a contradiction to the earlier “don’t cut corners” lecture, but this last bit is really important.  Some of you will just put your project off until the last minute and not even think about it until you think you really need to, but there’s also some of you who will stress about it day in and day out.  Let me just tell you, relax.

Being like this is never helpful

There’s an old story about Napoleon.  He was running late for an opera, and he told his wife, “Dress me slowly, for I am in a hurry”.  Do you know why he said that?  Because he knew that when you rush things in a panic, you will eventually make mistakes.  The moral is to take time to do things right, but it can also apply to stress in midterm projects.

You will feel overwhelmed, there’s no way around it.  You’re going to have a lot of work to do in what looks like very little time.  At this point  you’ll want to panic; you’ll scream and cry and want to kill someone.  But before you do any of that, take a step back, breathe in, breathe out, and relax.

Don’t misunderstand; I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work.  I’m just saying that you need to take time to relax.  Stress is never helpful, and if you’re stressed doing this project, you’re not going to have a good outcome.  What’s worse, stress can have several adverse effects on your health.  You don’t want to suffer a heart attack over one big project, do you?  I thought not.

Approach one problem at a time.  Don’t overwhelm yourself with everything at once.  Make sure you don’t rush into things, otherwise your grade (and your health) will suffer.  But most importantly; relax once in a while.  Lie down for a bit.  Drink a nice cup of coffee.  Listen to some smooth jazz.  If you can think of anything else that helps you relax, do it!

You probably won't win a Nobel Prize, but at least you'll get a good grade!

Let me make this clear; I am NOT a teacher.  I am not a guidance counselor, or an academic adviser, or any school official.  I am a student just like you.  I’ve been through all the stuff you’re going through, and I now know what to do when faced with a project like a midterm.  Will these three steps get you an A?  Maybe, maybe not.  I can’t be 100% certain.  However, I can be sure that if you follow these three steps, you’ll do a lot better than if you never read this post!

And hey, once you finish your project, maybe you can go and enjoy a Goodburger!

Sergio Lopez, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Graduate Student ’12

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Woes of Transit

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

I’m sure that all of you are familiar with the New York City Transit, aka, the subway, the bus, etc.  Even if you only lived in the city for a few weeks, you know what it is.  It’s one of the most extensive public transportation networks in the world, connecting from the Bronx to Brooklyn, from Queens to Greenwich Village.  It’s one of the most reliable ways to get where you want to go without having to actually drive.

But there’s a dark side to this convenience.  It’s called………..PLANNED WORK!!!!

Like it or not, maintaining an extensive train service underneath a giant city is really difficult.  Several of the subway lines, even ones that were added only a few weeks ago, require maintenance to ensure the trains don’t derail and crash.  This is a good thing, as it means that our taxes are going towards a well-maintained transport.  Still, it can ruin your commute if you suddenly realize your regular route has to change.

The planned Fulton Street Subway Station (AKA, the reason you can't go between Brooklyn and Manhattan on the weekends!)

Personally, I often have to go from my residence in Brooklyn to various areas in Manhattan.  This means I need to take the 2 and 3 trains from Clark St to wherever.  Occasionally I have to stop at Fulton St and transfer to another line.

Well, as luck would have it, they are currently building a huge transit hub at Fulton St!  The main goal of this is to connect more of New York, but until this is done, (which it won’t be for about a year), weekend trips between Brooklyn and Manhattan are a whole lot harder.

They usually limit most of their work to the weekends, since most people don’t work then.  For the last few weekends, 2, 3, A, and C service between the boroughs has been canceled.  This means I have to walk to Borough Hall (about 5 blocks from where I live) to leave Brooklyn!

Fortunately, the Metro Transit Authority is not so cruel as to not give us notice.  They usually post signs outside the stations notifying commuters of planned work.  They also usually post it on their website, so it’s a good idea to look there beforehand. In any case, you should find a subway map and look at all possible routes to make sure you know where you can go for alternative routes, and where you can transfer between stations.

Now, even with no planned work, there’s still the chance that you’ll be delayed.  A lot of trains share tracks, and often they have to slow down or even stop just so they have enough space between them and the other trains.  So my advice is to leave as early as possible, just so you have enough time in case of delays.

You could always take the bus. Still, going through Manhattan might be a little tough right now because of a few events.

Yeah, you should probably stick to the subway.

There’s no getting around it; you WILL encounter some planned work.  Sometimes it means you’ll be late for work, or school, or some other important event.  This is why it’s so important to plan ahead if you’re going through the city.  After all, the transit system can only do so much!

Sergio Lopez, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Graduate Student ’12

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Midterms: I’ll Sleep When I Die

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

In high school I was a pretty huge fan of the ABC Family situational comedy “Greek,” which discussed the trials and tribulations of college “Greek Life.” I couldn’t wait to go to a state college (didn’t happen), join a sorority (didn’t happen), and pull all-nighters cramming for exams. I yearned to be just like the show’s female lead, Casey Cartwright, studying my evenings away in pink track suits, my hair looking elegantly disheveled.Inaccurate depiction of college life.

 

When I arrived at college, (ironically, mine does not participate in the Greek system whatsoever), these hopes and dreams were scattered to the Bronxian wind. And as the honeymoon phase of my freshman year began to dwindle, I was introduced to the most evil of all evils, straight from the fiery chasm of Mount Doom: the Midterm. It wasn’t what I expected. It wasn’t all coffee breaks and pants that say “Juicy” on the butt. It was hell.

Midterms are not fun or cute. They are a sadistic tradition required by most universities to remind students that real torture exists. They are the reason my roommates and I find ourselves awake at 4am surrounded by papers and empty coffee cups, quivering with nerves and caffeine. I’ll never forget my freshman year when Organic Chemistry had me lying face down on the floor, at my wits end and in a frenzied panic.

In recent years I’ve gotten better at midterms. Maybe they’ve become less scary with age, but I’ve definitely developed a system that I find to be fool-proof:

1. Organize: I’m not a very neat and tidy-type of a gal, but come testing season I go into overhaul. The day before my real studying starts I clean EVERYTHING. The kitchen, the bathroom, laundry; all of it. It makes for a cleaner space and clearer mind. Plus, I can’t procrastinate with cleaning or laundry– it’s all done. Get all of your papers and notes and post-its together and sort them by date. Even if you’re not planning on studying until tomorrow, it makes a big difference to have your notes and books sorted and ready to go when the true work begins.

 2. Avoid the Library: I find that, particularly in the midst of exam season, the library becomes much too tense and crowded for effective study. A lot of people thrive in this kind of environment, and good for them! But for my purposes I find it much easier to settle down in some type of cafe or coffee house. Instead of the halogen lights and silence of the library, most cafes offer soft lighting and quiet, easy listening tunes. Plus, if you’re studying with a group your quiet discussions will more likely be well-received outside the library.

 

3. Don’t Procrastinate: I find it extremely difficult to focus when my roommates don’t have work to do, often to the point that I might blow off studying to re-watch an episode of The Vampire Diaries. This is possibly the WORST hurdle in the marathon of test-prep. My usual tactic is to simply remove myself from the equation. When I have an exam to prepare for, I visualize the studying as a mountain standing in front of anything else I want to do– unless I climb over it, there’s nowhere else to go. I head straight to my study space and dive into my work. As with many things in life, studying gets a whole lot easier once you start. Take it from the laziest lay-around gal of them all: commit to your work and get it done.

4. Sleep!: If you’ve followed my first three steps there should be no reason not to get plenty of sleep. I personally believe that at some hour of the evening, maybe around 2am, the brain sort of stops holding information. If you feel like you’ve studied hard all day, hit the sack early and rest your mind and body– then wake up early and look at your notes with fresh eyes. This is definitely the hardest piece of advice to follow– all-nighters are so typical of college it just feels right, right? Just remember, getting a good amount of sleep makes all the difference.

And when you’re feeling the need for a coffee break, the Campus Clipper has you covered. Pop into Bourbon Coffee on 14th Street between 5th & 6th Avenues for a boost at 15% off! What would midterms be without caffeine?

 

Olivia, Fordham University 2012

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Coffee with a Conscience and a Side of Pao de Queijo for $1.50

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

New to this edition of the Campus Clipper Coupon Book is O Cafe, the Brazilian coffee house in Greenwich Village. I urge you to stop by next time you find yourself in the neighborhood and in need of a little pick-me-up. Try one of their delicious coffee or chocolate drinks, paired with the traditional Brazilian treat pao de quiejo. These savory rolls, baked with gougere cheese, are a satisfying and distinctly Brazilian snack. A coffee junket to O Cafe struck me as an experience which highlights why Brazil has become a model for nations attempting to become more proactive in implementing sustainable practices regarding agriculture, education and fuel independence. Owner Fernando Aciar assumes this posture every week by hosting what he calls laboratories. The laboratories are a forum for individuals interested in discussing everything from agriculture to ecological issues. However, if you’re merely looking to relax, feel free to eschew the heavy discussions in favor of the simplicity of the decor and inviting aromas of freshly roasted South American coffee beans.

O Cafe is offering a side of pao de quiejo for $1.50 with this coupon. Stop in for a cup of coffee, tea or chocolate and these delicious rolls and you’ll be hooked.

 

Kristen, Salem College ’11

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How to Succeed: A Big Success

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

For me, attending Broadway shows is a rarity, so when my family visits it’s always a treat to see some live theatre. This past Saturday my mother, grandparents and I enjoyed the extremely delightful How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Laroquette. My unconditional love of Daniel Radcliffe certainly renders me biased, but I found the entire experience to be pleasant and carefree.

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The show started with Daniel Radcliffe being hoisted up above the audience on a swing. Words cannot express the lightness this brought to my heart. I must say, dear readers, Radcliffe’s performance as J. Pierrepont Finch was truly excellent. One of my worries would be that the cast would lack enthusiasm for a Saturday matinee showing, but I was not disappointed in the slightest. Every actor impressed me, and while they had a bit of a slow start, by intermission the entire audience was having a foot-stomping good time.

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I was really impressed with the supporting performance by Rose Hemingway as Rosemary Pilkington, love interest to Radcliffe’s Finch. That girl has some serious pipes– her voice was one of the only things my near-deaf grandfather could hear well! Her character was decidedly cute, and Hemingway’s portrayal of a lovesick stenographer was convincing and adorable.

At the other end of the spectrum I found Christopher Hanke’s performance as villain Bud Frump hilarious. He portrays the entitled nephew of the boss, and his rivalry with Finch as they race up the corporate ladder is believable and funny.

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I highly recommend a viewing of this show if an opportunity arises. If anything, it’s worth it to see Harry Potter performing dance numbers and singing in an American accent.

Wondering what to do after the final bows? Maybe hit up some karaoke! The Campus Clipper has a pretty sweet deal going with Karaoke Boho. All you need is this coupon and your student ID to sing your heart out!

Olivia, Fordham University 2012

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THELEwala: A Small Place with Big Flavor

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

There are a lot of things that you can miss if you don’t look hard enough. The right exit on the freeway, the perfect pair of shoes, the exact point where you invest in a company. There are also places that once you find it, no matter how small and easy to miss it is, you’ll never forget about it. THELEwala is such a place, and now that I have been there, I will never forget it!

THELEwala is a new business just south of Washington Square Park that takes on a little-known corner of Indian food: Indian cart food. These are much like the hot dog stands in cities like New York, except that instead of hot dogs, they serve chaatwala and masala chai.

Now, don’t worry, all you health-centric collegians! This place has earned a Grade A in Health Inspection. All of the food is prepared fresh on the spot and never reheated, and all of the chicken served is farm-grown without any hormones and antibiotics.

One of their most celebrated dishes (and by far my favorite!) is the Calcutta Nizami Rolls. This is a tradition from Calcutta, India, and is truly a testament to Indian cart food. It is akin to a wrap, except it utilizes spices traditionally used for Indian cuisine, like coriander and cumin, as well as extra virgin olive oil. Now I have a bit of experience with Indian cuisine, but this is something I have never heard of before, so I had no idea what to expect. Fortunately, Nisar, the manager, recommended to me the Chicken Malai Roll. I chose to take his suggestion, and within a few minutes, I was presented with a modest-yet powerful Nizami Roll.
I took the first bite, and I have to say, I’ve never tasted Indian food so amazing! It was a symphony of flavors, both savory and spicy, powerful, yet not overwhelming.

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

As I mentioned, this place is rather small. There is very little sitting room. Don’t let that discourage you, though. All of their dishes are available for takeout, and there is even a delivery service that reaches from 14th to Canal, and Broadway to Hudson. Their hours are 11 am to 2 am, with hours extending to 5 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Delivery is available until 11 pm each night, and is limited to orders with a $10 minimum. Sitting in, when available, is a very pleasant experience featuring authentic Indian décor, popular Indian music, and a well-mannered staff. You really feel like you have a bit of India in a small corner of Manhattan!

And here’s the part all you students are gonna love: all students may present their IDs to receive a 10% discount! There is a coupon for this, but as most students do not own a printer of their own, students are not required to present one. This is a huge plus if, like me, you often find yourself low on funds and in a hurry.

So, would I recommend this place? Definitely! It’s a good place to sit down, enjoy some unique Indian food, and just enjoy your surroundings. It has its own sort of character that I personally love. I am so glad I didn’t miss this place, because I will definitely be coming back.

Sergio Lopez, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Graduate Student ’12

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So You Think You Can (Learn To) Dance?

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Ok, sorry about the cheesy title but I just couldn’t resist. I wanted to highlight the fabulous deal Piel Canela Dance Studio has for Campus Clipper followers – it’s really too good to pass up if you’re interested in learning any of the Latin dances. They’re offering an Unlimited Dance Card for 30 days for only $30! What makes this deal great is that the regular price is literally 5 times the sale price. That’s right: regular price is $150 for an Unlimited Dance Card. So if you think you can learn to dance then you shouldn’t pass this up!
What makes Piel Canela a great place to learn or polish your moves is the diversity they offer. Not only can you learn beginner or advanced levels of Salsa, Bachata or Cha Cha, (just to name a few of their offerings), but you can also take Spanish language classes, audition for their dance company, attend social dances or even take music lessons. They truly offer a full immersion into the Latin Culture. The inspiring music is sure to have you moving, and you may find it hard to resist signing up for other events Piel Canela participates in: vacation plans to exotic places like the Dominican Republic or Machu Picchu, Salsa Cruises or expos during the half time of Knicks Games. This wonderful deal is too good to pass on if you have ever considered tripping the light fantastic!

 

 

Kristen, Salem College ’11

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Hostess with the Most-est

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Almost every college freshman experiences homesickness on some level. It’s an aspect of college life that comes with the territory, and I was certainly not immune to it. The homesickness I endured in the beginning my freshman year was almost a debilitating illness that I treated with multiple viewings of “The Notebook” and long phone calls home.

As the years pass and we begin to establish ourselves as adults, the homesickness ebbs and we become more at-home in our new lives than our old ones. I don’t find myself getting homesick anymore, but I always miss my family, and now that I’m older I appreciate them more than ever (it also helps that I am no longer a perpetually-angry teenager with an agenda).

 

Today my mother and grandparents are flying in from Florida for the week and I couldn’t be more excited. Not only are they three of my six favorite people on the planet, but having family in town gives me a reason to do super-touristy activities without feeling lame. Having lived in NYC for almost four years now, I tend to avoid tourist hot-spots like Times Square and Rockefeller Center, but with my family visiting I can enjoy sightseeing New York like it’s my first time here. Everything feels new and exciting again.

I always love to take my family to my favorite restaurants when they come to visit, and I have a few standbys that I know I can rely on. I’m pretty lucky that Fordham’s campus is situated right next to Arthur Avenue– the Bronx’s Little Italy. Literally right outside my door there are dozens of options for authentic, family-style Italian food served in restaurants that have been open for a decades. However, Italian isn’t the only food that Arthur Avenue has to offer; Estrellita Poblana has the best shrimp tacos I’ve ever had in my life, guacamole to die for, and an awesome student discount ($2 Coronas!!). A bit of a connoisseur of Mexican food, I can confidently say that NYC’s best is located in the Bronx. As for favorite breakfast spots, Sarabeth’s is tops with delicious takes on traditional breakfast dishes. Plus, huge portions!! Am I right!?
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We do have to find other activities to help us pass the time between each meal. Whenever my family visits we almost always see a Broadway show. As the world’s biggest Harry Potter groupie, I insisted that we see “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, starring His Harry-ness himself, Daniel Radcliffe. Judging by his vivacious nature and willingness to please, I’m sure Daniel will do an excellent job leading the show’s ensemble.

 

I always try to find interesting museums to take my culture-loving mother to. While the Met and MoMA are always great, it’s fun to stop into smaller places like the Folk Art Museum, or to try and catch an interesting exhibit at the Whitney. Since my grandparents aren’t much into walking at their ages it’s usually best for us to find smaller, quieter museums that are easier to explore at a leisurely pace.

I love my family so much, but when they visit it can be pretty exhausting. That’s why I’m so lucky to have great deals on coffee through Campus Clipper! I can always get a boost at Financier Coffee, and for 10% off with this coupon, it’s a delicious way to make it through the day.

 

 

Olivia, Fordham University 2012

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NYC Student Guide

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

The NYC Student Guide is a college student’s best resource on how to survive in the Big Apple. Whether the student hails from a small town or another burgeoning metropolis, there’s no denying that NYC is unique. This guide covers everything from leaving home for the first time to the importance of budgeting one’s time to cooking and makeup tips. The talented staff at Campus Clipper uses their own experiences as a foundation for offering their perspicacious advice. Be sure to add this title to your summer reading  list before commencing your college career in New York City!

The conversational tone of the guide offers encouragement and insight in how to maneuver through what might seem like a daunting undertaking as establishing a social and academic life in NYC. Be sure to check out the helpful references at the end of each chapter for specific websites, restaurants, bars and bookstores that will be useful for anyone learning to travel through the five boroughs like a native New Yorker. Be sure to check out the book right here!

 

Kristen, Salem College ’11

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