Archive for the ‘onEntertainment’ Category

Study Tips from an Expert

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

As I mentioned in my last post, a lot of the study methods most college students rely on have no scientific basis. In fact, there are even a few quick changes you can make to your study habits that will help you absorb information much more quickly and store it in the long term, so you can ace your cumulative finals with ease and retain that knowledge for when you enter the job market.

Peter C. Brown’s 2014 book Make It Stick exposes these hidden truths about studying, explaining which methods are the keys to success and which are simply the same trite  unsubstantiated claims recycled over and over again.

Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Mr. Brown a few questions about his book and its implications for learners and educators and lovers of knowledge alike. Check out my interview with him here:

http://schoolsweek.co.uk/

http://schoolsweek.co.uk/

Q: I love that your book touches on students’ tendencies to be discouraged by failure and thereby categorize themselves as specific “types” of learners despite the absence of scientific evidence to substantiate these labels. What do you think people find so difficult about initial failure? If you had to give a word of encouraging advice to those people, what would you say?

A: “I grew up with 4 older brothers who knew how to do everything that I didn’t. It’s just central to one’s self image to avoid looking stupid at all costs. Nobody explained to me back then that trial and error are essential. What we need are classrooms where trial and error are celebrated. My advice is to find a like-minded friend for mutual support, assume the persona of one who is fearless, and forge ahead. Setbacks are evidence that you are hard at work while the timid people sit back chewing their nails and privately envy your confidence.”

Q: Make It Stick’s references to the learning techniques and high-pressure situations surrounding the experiences of pilot Matt Brown and neurosurgeon Mike Ebersold illustrate the importance of making information personal in order to recall it effectively. Do you have any tips for the average person trying to make schoolwork more personal or more relevant to his or her own life?

A: “You have to pause and ask how is this like something I already know? Can I think of a parallel in my own life? Why not say to the teacher, “I think I would understand and remember this better if I could think how it is useful to me, or how it connects to what I already know. Can you help?” This would make for a good class discussion.”

Q: Are you surprised that so many institutions (like George Mason University and Dartmouth College) offer study advice that is just blatantly incorrect? What do you think is the reason for this?

A: “I have not checked their websites since writing Make it Stick; perhaps they have revised their advice. Educators do not have a tradition of basing instruction on empirical evidence, largely because there has not been a body of such evidence until recently. But science has made huge strides, and we know from feedback to our book and others’ that many schools, notably through their centers for teaching and learning excellence, are aligning their advice and resources with the empirical evidence.”

Q: Make It Stick cites an example of a Washington University professor’s success with an unconventional frequent quizzing system in the place of larger exams, and also offers a section devoted to tips for teachers. What are your aspirations for the book? Ideally, how widespread would the impacts of these suggestions be for our education system?

A: “I would hope teachers everywhere come to see themselves as bearing a dual responsibility, teaching content as well as process: helping students construct their own understanding of the classroom content through study strategies like elaboration and spaced and mixed retrieval practice that are not intuitive, so that students experience success with these strategies and they become second nature throughout school and beyond.”


By Madeleine Fleming

Madeleine Fleming is a Campus Clipper publishing intern and a rising sophomore at NYU.  A lover of reading, writing, and learning in every way possible, Madeleine is excited to be writing about college study habits for the Campus Clipper. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Buy Yourself Flowers (Why You Should Plan Dates With Yourself)

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

You are your own main squeeze. Your relationship with yourself is the primary relationship you will have over the course of your life. People love to stress, “You must have a solid relationship with yourself to be capable of developing meaningful relationships with other other people.”And of course, they are right; you cannot pour from an empty cup. But that goes for everything else too, not just connections with other people. Your relationship with yourself informs how you tackle opportunities, handle challenges, approach work and play, and interpret the world you inhabit, because all of these things are tied to your sense of worth and self esteem. If that cup is empty, what will you be able to pour into your pursuits and interests? Your relationship with yourself is also the only one you are unequivocally guaranteed for your whole life, so you must enjoy spending time with yourself. If you can do that, you know someone will always be there to support and guide you when times are tough, and that someone is you. It means having someone to hang out with, whose company you enjoy. It means, in this big world where it’s easy to feel disconnected and alone—especially in New York—never being truly alone.

A few years ago I started buying myself flowers when I was feeling really down or something really big and exciting happened. I realized I didn’t need a guy to buy me flowers. I could go out to dinner alone. I could take walks by the river at sunset and sit in cafés and wander in bookstores. I could think of dates I’d want to go on and then just go do those things myself. And you know what happened? I got things done. I met some remarkable people. I grew exponentially. I flourished.

Self care, in the way we often talk about it, is a luxury. Spare cash for Lush bath bombs and spare time for people working 3 jobs—these are luxuries that many people don’t have. But dates don’t have to be constant, and planning them doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. The goal is simply to create an experience now and then that makes you feel refreshed, loved, and worthy. So hang out with yourself; get to know yourself really, really freaking well. Show yourself some TLC. After all, you’re the person you’re stuck with till the end!

If you’re having trouble coming up with solo date ideas, here are some suggestions:

Make Yourself a Picnic to Enjoy by the Hudson River

Sunshine.  Soft grass. View of the water. Skyline. Benches. Need I say more?

https://www.timeout.com

https://www.timeout.com

Take a Candlelit Bubble Bath

This is easier if you’re in an apartment, since dorms don’t allow incendiary objects. The Kmart at Astor Place has a selection of cheap candles. You can also find some pretty reasonable ones at Michaels, or if you’re feeling a tad more extravagant, check out the yummy smells at one the many Ricky’s NYC stores. If you’re in a dorm, the right playlist will soothe your ears and help create the mood.

Smell the Flowers… Or Perfume
Speaking of smells, here’s one of my favorite pick-me-ups for when I’m down. Grab some fresh coffee beans (not required, but they add a nice touch), and head to Sephora. Indulge in smelling all the glorious scents, and take a whiff of the coffee beans between smells to clear your olfactory palate.

Visit the Botanical Garden at Prospect Heights

Admission is typically $15, but if you bring your ID it’s only $8 for students. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden website has a number of resources and information on events and activities, including a list of what is currently in bloom: https://www.bbg.org/bloom

https://www.nycgo.com/

https://www.nycgo.com/

Check Out a Museum

When you’re by yourself, you can stay for as long as you want or leave as soon as your feet get tired. No need to try and impress anyone with interpretations of artwork. Oh, and for students, they’re nearly all free. Hello Whitney, MoMA, and Met, to name a few.

http://whitney.org/

http://whitney.org/

Take in a Literary Reading

There are countless places in NYC to hear writers share their work. Check out KGB Bar in the East Village for a reading! Monday is poetry night, and if fiction is more your speed, stop in on a Sunday. See you there!

https://www.timeout.com

https://www.timeout.co

By Sofia Lerner

Sofia Lerner is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English as a senior at NYU. Passionate about literature, dance, and wellness, Sofia aspires to help the arts thrive and help others pursue healthy lifestyles. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


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Time for Revision

Saturday, December 31st, 2016
Image Credit: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/category/editing-your-novel/page/2/

Image Credit: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/category/editing-your-novel/page/2/

Yay! You’re finished! Congratulations. Pour yourself a nice flute of champagne and relax. You’ve earned it. You just wrote a novel.

If you just wanted to write a novel to write a novel and maybe brag about it to some people, then by all means, get on with it. If you want to share it with some of your closest literary friends or maybe send an excerpt to the New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly—still take your time enjoying the champagne. Put the whole thing out of your mind for at least a few days. When you’re still in the mindset of cranking out the words, it’s easy to get attached to passages or characters that actually drag down your writing. After a nice rest, prepare yourself for the revision cave.

 The Writing

Now’s the time to look carefully at your writing, its mechanics and logical constructions. Style has nothing to do with it; it’s strictly a close, word-by-word reading. Check your diction. Do you really need to use “twirl” twice in one short paragraph when you envision two different motions (other words: “swirl,” “spin,” “turn,” “stir”)? Do you really need to use different speech tags (said, shouted, murmured, whispered, accused, countered, replied, yelled, etc) when the characters are having a superficially low-key conversation and everything is actually just “said”? Jeffrey Eugenides raises a similar complaint about Oscar Wilde’s diction in The Picture of Dorian Gray; Wilde doesn’t abuse his thesaurus, he merely dramatizes everything. No one ever just sits, everyone “flings himself down” on something. If Dorian is uncomfortable, he always does things nervously, and when he’s nervous, he always twitches. Pick the right word for the right image.

 The Arc

Go through and, at the end of each chapter or section or what have you, record the characters’ progressions in that section, how it fits into their overall transformations, and major plot developments. If a character regresses at some point, does it make sense? People regress all the time. There’s usually an impetus. You can’t crowd everything under the umbrella of “it’s the character” just because that’s how they were at the start. Even if you’d prefer to keep a character static, make sure the justification comes through. Laying out developments in this outline can also help you pinpoint trouble spots in pacing.

 Excise, Excise, Excise

Just because it’s a novel and you can make it as long as you want doesn’t mean you need to devote lines to everyone’s hair color and outfit or the entire layout of a room. Of course, there will be parts that need more clarification, but for the most part, you can afford to cut out entire paragraphs without confusing anyone. Whatever you leave in has to have a purpose. You don’t necessarily have to follow Chekov’s Rule, but if you’re going to spend the time to note what your characters order from Starbucks, then their orders have to mean something. Hot chocolate? Iced coffee during a Russian winter? Drip coffee instead of a latte? Americano instead of drip coffee? In real life, that doesn’t indicate anything significant, but in a novel, it matters (unless your point is that it doesn’t actually matter, in which case you have more thematic issues to sort anyway). Oh, and that huge existential monologue/soliloquy with some beautifully flowery phrases you wrote in a feverish haze of inspiration can stand to lose half its length. Hemingway says of his writing process, “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.” We’re not all minimalists like Hemingway, though. Hold onto some of your pretty, introspective bits. The good bits.

 Sidebar:

If you need a break or want to procrastinate even more, spend some time on www.reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com, a snarky passage-by-passage critique of Twilight. It’s an equal opportunity hater with regards to all the things people find wrong with Twilight, so be forewarned…but definitely pay attention to perhaps the most indisputable problem with the series: it’s just not well written. There are periods of rampant thesaurus abuse; there are periods of predictable diction; there are moments when the limited first person is suddenly omniscient; there are illogical sequences of action, in which someone walks away and suddenly reappears to respond to something; there are sloppy (rather than stylistic) comma misuse. (What’s the difference between a sloppy and a stylistic one? In Twilight: “He lay, smiling hugely, across my bed, his hands behind his head, his feet dangling off the end, the picture of ease.” In Joan Didion’s “Goodbye to All That”: “It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends.” Didion said in an interview, “every word and every comma and every absence of a word or comma can change the meaning, make the rhythm, make the difference.” Sometimes you have to earn the right to flaunt grammar. Life’s not all fair.) Forget Bella and Edward’s questionable status as “heroine” and “the best dark brooding boyfriend ever.” When your words and their order distract a reader from the throwaway details they describe, something is wrong.

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

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Writing a Good Ending

Saturday, December 24th, 2016
Image Credit: http://jasonfischer.com.au/i-finished-my-damn-novel/

Image Credit: http://jasonfischer.com.au/i-finished-my-damn-novel/

So you’re finally at the end. All ready to wrap up these 50,000 words. Feels great, right? You just need to write the ending…which can be tricky. My ghostwriting friend once said, “I actually hate the ending to most books. A lot of them have great last lines, but I’m always underwhelmed.”

When it comes to endings, novels and short stories again can have completely different natures. It’s all right to write your ending first—some of the better stories I’ve written started with the last line. It’s just another matter of getting the characters from the climactic fallout to the last line. It’s also important to know exactly where to start or stop the resolutions. A short story can be an interlude; it can lead right up to a huge battle or a nervous confession, and then end. The momentary crisis has been resolved. Leave the character to confront bigger issues by himself. There will always be people who wish that a story would extend longer than it did—that’s fine. But in a novel, which is all about life changes, there needs to be some indication that life has changed. Resolution is key.

At the same time, “resolution” and “open-ended” aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Open endings are great, and often more realistic. It’s rare to find people who’ve completely closed off parts of their lives. (For example, people always complain that the “real” world is just like high school, and it’s true: people tend to get stuck on high school resentments, and, no matter what, they’ll always keep tabs on a few classmates and laugh when someone ends up getting fat.) Bret Easton Ellis never indicates whether any of the events in American Psycho or Rules of Attraction actually happened; the truth is left ambiguous, the mad characters’ fates hanging uncertainly after the fallout. Of course, that’s the entire point that Ellis is trying to make in his novels, so it works.

Whether you choose to end ambiguously or more resolutely, consider your novel’s themes again. How does your ending cap off the larger questions in your conflicts? Is total, unabated personal freedom worth the societal breakdowns that might happen? Is it right in theory, only just for certain people (and more on the nose, maybe it’s not right for the character you killed off fifty pages earlier)? Does the vapid, soul-sucking glamour of the famous and rich inevitably destroy morality and meaning in life?

On the opposite side of the spectrum, there’s also the danger of overwriting your ending. To draw on a movie, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King essentially has three endings: Frodo waking up in Rivendell and reuniting with the Fellowship, Aragorn’s coronation and wedding in Gondor, and the elves’ (and Frodo’s and Gimli’s) final departure from Middle Earth. This isn’t to say that these resolutions aren’t necessary. It’s just that the end of Frodo’s mission, Aragorn’s reinstatement as an honorable king of Men, and the conclusion to the elves’ saga in Middle Earth are all treated separately (and all three end on those long fade-to-white shots that clearly should fade into credits). Consolidate your resolutions, but do it thoroughly.

Sidebar: The greatest advice I’ve ever gotten is from Susanna Moore, who once said of my short story ending, “It’s a little too squishy. Too much.” She uses “squishy” in her criticism, which can stand for triteness, overly sentimental passages, sentences that sound nice but don’t indicate anything…and endings are especially vulnerable to squishiness. Novel endings are not huge dramatic banners. Don’t overshadow your climax.

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

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Spice Up Your Plot

Sunday, December 18th, 2016
Image Credit: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/outdoor/guides/2010/05/guide-to-insurance-for-adventure-travel

Image Credit: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/outdoor/guides/2010/05/guide-to-insurance-for-adventure-travel

Sometimes life goes according to plan and everything is awesome and your vague (or incredibly detailed) plot outline pulls together perfectly after months or years of staring at a screen muttering, “I know where they need to go, I just need to get them there.”

Sometimes you finally hit the climax of your novel and it feels very anticlimactic. You’ve written the final reveal — a shootout, a betrayal, a Dave Caruso-esque realization — but it doesn’t feel big. The stakes just aren’t high enough.

Well, before you jump that shark, let the novel sit. You’ve been thinking about it for a while, off-and-on since you started writing. Of course, you know what’s going to happen — you’ve probably also considered several other ways it could go, which can lessen the importance of whatever line you picked. Walk away for a little while. Don’t think about it at all for a bit — a day, a week, until finals are over… Then reread it from the start. This is a novel, not a TV show or movie. The place for small, understated stories is much larger in print than it is on a screen. Don’t amp it up just because a main character always gets shot in the third season of any crime show ever and what could top potentially fatal gunshot wounds? (The answer is a lot. Funerals and weddings, for example.)

At the same time, if you do feel that your stakes need a boost, here are a few things you can add:

  • Kill Off a Character – it doesn’t have to be a drawn-out emotionally fraught death. It can even happen off-page. The aftermath is what’s important. Just keep in mind that deaths have a ripple effect, and every remaining character is going to be affected beyond the climax. Pick a character whose personality logically fits dying in whatever manner you choose. Go back and scatter foreshadowing through the rising action.
  • Throw in a Pregnancy – nothing upends a tense wedding scene/tentative reunion like a nice illicit pregnancy. Pregnant news affects people differently, and, of course, there’s an entire undercurrent of whatever character histories are at play, which can add a layer to the events, such as resentment, concern, anger, angst, etc.
  • Make It A Family Betrayal – if your protagonist is on the verge of solving a mystery (spy, murder, theft, drug cartels, etc), and someone tips off the opposition, add a little family drama. It can be completely blindsiding (and devastating) or somewhat expected (bad family relationships are mines for exposing character flaws). This also makes everything more personal, which is great for adding personal desire vs common desire conflicts.
  • Put a Bomb Under the Table – Alfred Hitchcock used this example to champion suspense over surprise. Say two people are having breakfast, and suddenly, a bomb explodes under the table. The reader is surprised for about fifteen seconds. Now say that a saboteur has planted the bomb under the table, and these two people unwittingly sit down to breakfast. The bomb will go off — oh, it will — but now the reader knows it’s there, and the breakfasters do not. There’s an extra investment of when will it go off and will important things get resolved before it goes off. Clue your readers in before you do the same for your characters. Introduce the danger and risks covertly. The issue with this suspense trick is that it only raises stakes for the reader. The unsuspecting people involved don’t know any better (this is why many pre-World War II stories are both amusing and dully formulaic).

Sidebar:

Of course, these apply to broad, more commercial plots. Your particular novel might not be able to incorporate any of these. In that case, there’s always the option to end the world and then take some characters through the ensuing zombie apocalypse. If you’re feeling particularly uninspired, read some more books and take a crisis from one of them. Or several. Good writers borrow, great writers steal, and so on.

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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It’s Time To Start Writing

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
Image Credit: http://www.professorbeej.com/2010/07/writing-my-novel-keep-on-writing.html

Image Credit: http://www.professorbeej.com/2010/07/writing-my-novel-keep-on-writing.html

So you’ve amassed enough raw ideas and information to start actually writing your novel (or maybe not. You might work better just free-writing and then fact-check-editing all at once. I don’t know your life). The task of sitting down to commit your ideas to paper can be a tough one, I know. It’s like writing a final term paper; you chose your final topic based on your greatest interest (maybe strategically planning to hold off on this topic until the final paper) and it’s actually a fun time doing the prep work—but you still have to write the paper.

At this stage, you should experiment with your writing environment and figure out what works best for what mood. A café might be great for regrouping your thoughts. A silent library might be best for sitting down and grinding out a chapter or two in a few hours. Or perhaps you’ll find that like Virginia Woolf, you work best in your own room. Make a working playlist. Try writing out your initial draft by hand. Maybe borrow a typewriter. Your novel doesn’t have a concrete deadline. Spend a few days just optimizing your productivity.

Places for Writers in New York

Café’s: ‘Snice (45 8th Street), Hungarian Pastry Shop (1030 Amsterdam Avenue), B Cup Café (212 Avenue B), The Tea Lounge (837 Union Street, Brooklyn), Outpost Lounge (where I write, 1014 Fulton Street, Brooklyn)

Workspaces: The Writer’s Studio at the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction (17 E 47th Street, by application and with membership fee), Paragraph (35 W 14th Street, by application and with membership fee), Brooklyn Creative Lounge (540 President Street, Brooklyn, by application ad with membership fee), New York Public Libraries…your…campus libraries?

If you are not terribly distractible when working with other people, it could help to join a writers’ salon so that you can discuss your writing or perhaps motivate yourself to write with other people.

Sidebar: Writing habits or haunts of various authors

Joyce Carol Oates writes in longhand for six to eight hours every day.

Truman Capote wrote while lying down, drinking and smoking cigarettes.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote his novels all on index cards.

Tom Wolfe writes ten pages every day, regardless of how long it takes for him to finish.

Edgar Allan Poe as well as Jonathan Franzen spent some time at The Writer’s Studio at the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction

Joan Didion consistently rewrites her novels from the beginning (or almost beginning) every day.

Bob Dylan and Jack Kerouac both wrote in the Village bar, Kettle of Fish

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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How Not to Do Anything: An Expert Guide – How Not to Be Well-Read, and Remain Uninformed

Saturday, October 29th, 2016
Image Credit: http://www.grmatthews.com/single-post/2015/07/23/Bored-of-information

Image Credit: http://www.grmatthews.com/single-post/2015/07/23/Bored-of-information

Some of the most successful idlers are prone to expending vast amounts of time reading books or (let’s be realistic) the Internet, due to a desire to be the kind of person who reads widely and knows what’s going on in the world. Reading is as good a waste of time as anything else that no one is forced to do, and if that’s what you like to do when you’re doing nothing, more power to you. But to a true layabout, reading, or at least reading books or the news or just about anything that’s particularly serious, is a bit too much of a hassle.

For most of recorded history, reading was the best entertainment that could be found anywhere, at any time, and it was beloved of some of history and literature’s greatest loafers, like Aristotle and Hamlet. However, in today’s crowded entertainment marketplace, reading can’t compete. Even reading something as innocuous as the tabloids is infinitely more taxing than watching reality television, or having a tiny woman in a box on your computer screen tell you what it says in the tabloids. The internet is an immaculate solution to the problem of serious reading: not only can you pick from an incomprehensibly large selection of vacuous material, but you can even post your own most banal and meaningless thoughts. Which means that anyone with an internet connection can find a supply of asinine amusement that is literally limitless.

To those who aspire to the pinnacles of sluggardom, I recommend the following habits:

  • Abstain from all newspapers (and their websites), non-glossy magazines, and books not written by famous people. Basically, avoid anything that’s actually in print and isn’t colorful.
  • Get all of your news from celebrities’ twitter accounts.
  • Always go with the movie version.
  • Instead of reading canonical authors and books, read their wikipedia pages. (This trick works with less well-regarded books, too!)
  • If you disagree with your reading material, find something else to read.

By Aaron Brown


Aaron Brown was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book “How Not To Do Anything: An Expert Guide.” If you like Aaron’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from his e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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How to be a Comedian: Week 6: Meet the Right People – And Check Out the Right College Student Discounts Below!

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Before I start, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the Campus Clipper. The Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the Upper East Side to Greenwich Village. The company helps support students in so many ways, from their coupon booklet to their Official Student Guide. Now, on to the blog!

Without a community of supporters, you won’t make it anywhere besides a counselor’s office and your parent’s basement.

Befriend fellow comedians at open mic nights and comedy classes. The few people who I’ve befriended at open mics have become supportive friends and offer me their much appreciated constructive criticisms. One of my open mic buddies even offered me a spot on one of the upcoming comedy shows he was producing.

A bond with fellow comedians creates an opportunity for you to keep each other accountable – to go to open mics – the expectation that you’ll both be there. Having someone to keep you accountable in going to shows will force you to not let any excuses hold you back, because you know there’s someone at the show expecting you to perform. You’re all in the same boat, so banding together to encourage one another and laugh at each other’s jokes will help push you towards your goals, and build confidence in your talents.

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Don’t be afraid to approach big name comics after their set and shake their hand. Sometimes a big name comedian will watch someone perform, like their style, and ask them to open up for them at a few shows.

Go shake some hands so more and more people know who you are, and have a face with a name.

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Meet club owners, talent managers, and comedy producers. Introduce yourself to these people and ask if they would have any time to talk with you about the industry, or ask if they need any help at their events. Offering free service is a great way to get people to love you, and you never know where that connection may lead you! The great connection that I’ve made was through my internship with a comedy producer at one of the clubs. He pays me in stage time and allows me to sit in on seminars and meet other comedians. It’s a very valuable connection because he has a strong network in the industry and is willing to help me grow as a comedian in return for helping him with social media and planning events.

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A few words from the Campus Clipper –

The Campus Clipper not only help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create these amazing E-Books, but we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Craving student savings while you catch up on your reading? Click on the link to download the Official Campus Clipper Coupon Booklet! And check out our newest YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during this year’s Welcome Week!

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How to be a Comedian: Week 5: Teach Me How to be Funny – And Learn About College Student Discounts Below!

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Before I start, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the Campus Clipper. The Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the Upper East Side to Greenwich Village. The company helps support students in so many ways, from their coupon booklet to their Official Student Guide. Now, on to the blog!

If you’re funny, you’re funny; but trust me, it’s extremely helpful to have veteran comedians guide you and teach you how to harness your funny bone.

7th Annual "Stand Up For Heroes" Event - Inside

So, sign up for a few comedy classes. Don’t be afraid to break out of your comfort zone or comedic interests. Take some stand up classes, like at the Manhattan Comedy School; but also take some improv classes at a renowned place like the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. It will only benefit you to learn different forms of comedy, and it also might help you find out what you enjoy more and for what your talents are best suited.

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The only way you can become a master of comedy is to practice your material and watch others perform. If you really love stand up, then go to stand up shows every week to familiarize yourself with other comedians’ styles and how they interact with the crowd – you might learn something from them. If you’re interested in improv and sketch comedy, go to an improv show every week (go a few times a week if your budget and time permits).

Making comedy shows a weekly part of your schedule will help you stay focused on pushing yourself to the next level in your own career and will make you a lot more comfortable with the business. Watch shows, watch shows, and watch more shows.

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I find that the funniest comedians are those who I trust. What I mean is that I trust their ability to make me laugh – they’re reputable. They have confidence, which makes me have confidence in them. I’m not constantly anticipating them to mess up or break into a nervous fit. You have to gain people’s trust for them to believe that you’re funny, so it’s important to show confidence when you’re on stage to let everyone know that you’re in control. When I don’t feel confident on stage, sometimes I have to convince myself that I am confident, or at the very least act like I’m confident.

Things to put on your comedic to-do list:

- Practice in front of the mirror

- Practice jokes in front of your friends

- Record yourself and analyze the video

- Write, rewrite, edit, practice, rewrite, practice, rewrite, practice

- Open mic

A few words from the Campus Clipper –

The Campus Clipper not only helps our interns learn new skills, make money, and create these amazing E-Book, but we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Craving student savings while you catch up on your reading? Click on the link to download the Official Campus Clipper Coupon Booklet to enjoy some great student discounts! And check out our newest YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during this year’s Welcome Week!

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How to be a Comedian: Week 4: Finding Your Funny Bone – And Find some College Student Discounts Below!

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Before I start, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the Campus Clipper. The Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the Upper East Side to Greenwich Village. The company helps support students in so many ways, from their coupon booklet to their Official Student Guide. Now, on to the blog!

Go to the store and buy a few pocket-sized notebooks and a pencil. Carry these tools with you everywhere you go, even if you’re just taking out the trash. As a comedian, you have to constantly write out your thoughts and scribble down jokes as they occur, or else you’re going to forget them and you’ll be left trying to remember “that funny thing that happened yesterday.” Write down everything funny from your everyday life as soon as it happens, because when you react to something instantly your senses are heightened and you have the in-the-moment perspective that will fade with time.

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Personal experiences are where you get your material because it’s unique to you and no one else could possibly capture the way that you see things occur. Your friend sees someone spill coffee on their shirt, but you see a hilarious situation of a man who now has to deal with hiding an embarrassing coffee stain and he’s probably on his way to an important meeting. You have the ability to conceptualize a funny story or extract a joke out of a seemingly ordinary situation. Write down all of your funny insights because later you might be able to develop them into a stream of jokes or an elaborate anecdote.

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Find your sense of humor – goofy? Dry? Sarcastic? Physical? Cynical? Theatrical?

Watch shows, movies, and performances that use the humor that compels you the most and soak up the style.

Whatever type of comedy you most enjoy combined with the style of your sense of humor is how you need to shape your material. Sink into your comedic persona and take on the characteristics of humor by practicing in front of the mirror and writing down jokes in a way that reflect your personality.

Don’t try to copy or steal another comedian’s persona, because it won’t seem natural or funny, and will only make your jokes seem out of place. Do what comes naturally to you, and stay true to the funny bones in your body.

A few words from the Campus Clipper –

The Campus Clipper not only helps our interns learn new skills, make money, and create these amazing E-Books, but we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Craving student savings while you catch up on your reading? Click on the link to download the Official Campus Clipper Coupon Booklet to check out some awesome student discounts! And check out our newest YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during this year’s Welcome Week!

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