Your Professor’s Road Map To Success: The Syllabus

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Your TA or Professor will likely hand you a pretty long document on the first day of class, or maybe she’ll email it to you ahead of time. This document is your semester success checklist, and its called “The Syllabus.” Many students skip “syllabus week” (the first week of classes) or figure that they don’t really need to pay attention to the review of the syllabus. But, your teacher is handing you their road map to success this semester. The information you should pay close attention to?

              The Professor’s Contact Information.

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Office hours, a phone number, an email address- the professor is BEGGING you to ask them for help!

Guidelines For The Course.

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What the teacher is expecting from you is written out in (hopefully) plain and simple English. This usually also covers what to do if you get sick and miss and exam or how to handle missing class for a holiday, so keep this safe for future reference.

Exam Dates. 

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Helpful information, to be put on a calendar ASAP! This will ensure you don’t forget until the professor reminds you the class before.

Weekly Readings and Assignments.

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On some syllabi, this section is good to help you keep on track with what you need to be on top of. Think of it as the professor’s planner for you.

It’s really important to read the syllabus at the beginning of the school year so that you know how to conduct yourself for each course during the semester. It’s also important for you to KEEP the syllabus for each course, in readable condition (i.e. not at the bottom of your backpack) throughout the semester. Good luck with starting spring semester!

5 Quick & Tasty Meatless Meals

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Whether you’re a vegetarian, participating in Meatless Mondays, or are just short on time and want a delicious meal you can make at home, these ideas are perfect for you!

1. Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Grilled Cheese

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For this one, all you have to do is slice up some fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, grab 2 slices of your favorite bread, and get a hold of some pesto or pesto-mayo. Then you put the sandwich together to your liking and throw it a pan with some melted butter or margarine and make it like you would a normal grilled cheese and you’re good to go!

2. Greek Yogurt Bowl

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With this meal you have a lot of room for variety and creativity. Whether for breakfast or lunch, this is a healthy and filling meatless option. Pick up your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt (such as French Vanilla or Original Plain) and measure ourabout a cup into a bowl. Then top with your favorite fresh fruit, granola, and a superfood of your choice (chia seeds, goji berries, and bee pollen are all great options!) The best part about this, apart from it being delicious, is that you can customize it to fit whatever you’re in the mood for!

3. Egg, Avocado, and Chia Seed Toast

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This one is really simple. Scramble up some eggs. Pop a slice of bread into the toaster. Smash up some avocado on top of your toast and sprinkle some chia seeds on top. Then add your eggs on top and you have a delicious, protein-packed meatless meal!

4. Rigatoni Pesto Primavera

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All you need for this is a package of rigatoni (or penne if you prefer), a jar of pesto, some frozen broccoli, an onion, and a bell pepper. Once you gather all your ingredients, cook your pasta to your liking. While your pasta is cooking, sauté your vegetables in a pan with some extra virgin olive oil. When your pasta is done and strained, toss it with the pesto and your sautéed vegetables. You can add some grated cheese if you’d like or leave it as is for a vegan/dairy-free option!

5. Nutella Strawberry Chocolate French Toast

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Most people might consider this a breakfast or brunch dish, but if like me, you’re a fan of breakfast food for any meal, then you can treat yourself to this one at any time of the day! You can use any bread you like (Texas Toast is my favorite for this, but you can use whole grain for a healthier version.) All you need to do to make your egg-wash is whisk up an egg and then stir in some chocolate milk; this is where the “Chocolate” in Chocolate French Toast comes in! Once you do that, cover your bread with your chocolate egg-wash and cook it up in your pan with some non-stick spray. Once you’ve cooked your French Toast to your liking, spread some Nutella on top and then add some strawberry slices for the most delicious French Toast you’ve ever had!

Tips For Planning An Affordable Spring Break

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If you’re planning a spring break trip with your friends, now is the time to crack down on your planning.  Finding an affordable trip is easier than you might think.  Here are a few tips to help you get started!

1. Do your research.

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Look into every deal you can find for the places you’re thinking about going.  Check Groupon, Airbnb, Expedia, Priceline, etc.  Make sure you find the best deal for the kind of trip you want.  Really explore your options so you can find the trip that’s right for you.

2. Set a budget and stick to it.

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Make sure you know how much you have to spend and plan accordingly.  Include any potential spending money you’ll need while you’re there.  If you’re not going to an all-inclusive resort, factor in your food and beverage expenses.  If you’re doing any non-free activities, make sure you’re prepared for the costs.

3. Read the fine print.

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Some hotels and getaway deals have extra and hidden fees.  Read everything before you book your stay/trip to make sure there are no surprises.  Be certain of the costs before you agree to anything.

4. Be open-minded.

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Don’t be too set on a specific place.  Just know the type of vacation you want to have (i.e. warm weather, beach resort, city, ski/snowboard trip, etc.)  Depending on the popularity of the place, the dates you’re going, and the amount of people you’re travelling with, some places/hotels will be more expensive.  Being open to different places can help you find a more affordable trip.

5. Split costs where you can.

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Find rooms that sleep more people.  Split the cost of the rental car or gas if one of you has your own car that you can take.  Go in as a group on snacks and/or groceries.  Anything that can be a shared cost, share it.

Road Trip Recipe

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If you have a long enough break, taking a road trip for a few days or even a week can be a great way to spend your time, see friends and experience new and different places! Here’s a few key ingredients to make a successful road trip:
Road Trip Blog Post
1. A Car- kind of a must have! Recruit a group of 4 – 5 friends and see if someone has a car. Make sure everyone is willing to chip in for gas. If none of your friends have a car, check out Zipcar and have everyone pitch in for that. If all else fails, bus it!
2. Friends- 3-5 is an ideal number for car fitting and driving rotations. Friends make every trip more fun and exciting!
3. 1 Pillow per Person- Necessary for the mid-drive nap and for the mid-drive fight! Also makes any car more comfortable.
4. Small Front Seat “Carry-On”- For phones, chargers, cameras and snacks. Maybe a book. Not larger than a small drawstring bag for most space and comfort of travel.
5. Sweatshirts- For differences in driver/passengers temperature preferences and for the quick run to the bathroom at the rest stop!
6. A Plan- Don’t just start to drive, know approximately where you are going to and about when you’ll get there (days-wise) in case of emergency, and so that you can research cool things to do once you get to where you are going!
Have fun and be safe!

5 Tricks To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions!

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2015 is here and its time to make New Year’s resolutions and check if you’ve stuck to yours. Here are some tips for keeping your resolution for ringing in 2015.

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1. Be Specific- You are more likely to stick to your plan if it is more distinct and less
general. For example, instead of saying that you want to exercise more, say that you
will go for an hour run three times a week.

2. Series of Steps- Establish exactly what you will do to reach that eventual goal. Think
about smaller steps that lead to success.

3. Be Realistic- Set a goal that is attainable for you personally and remember- what
may be plausible for someone else might not be for your lifestyle.

4. Believe in Yourself- Have a positive mind set even though it might get difficult during
the process of reaching your goal. You are more likely to accomplish a goal if you have
confidence in yourself.

5. Don’t Give Up- If you slip up and mess up on your goal, do not completely give up on
it. Keep trying and even if you do not accomplish it by your deadline, it will still be
worth it in the end.

Happy New Year!

Tips to Keep Warm During Winter Walks to Class

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Now that we’re in the middle of winter, walking to class can be pretty dreadful. If you go to school in a colder area, you’ll find that frigid temperatures doesn’t equal cancelled classes. Here are some tips on how to stay warm as you brave the winter weather to get to class.

1. Get a pair of thermal underwear.

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Wear thermal leggings or long johns under your jeans, sweatpants, etc. It will make a world of difference when you’re walking to class in frigid temperatures.

2. Pick up some wool socks.
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Invest in some good quality wool socks. Keeping your feet warm is extremely important during the colder months and a good pair of socks helps to ensure a warmer, more comfortable journey.

3. Wear snow boots.
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If you go to school somewhere where snow is likely in the winter, snow boots are essential. They’ll keep your feet warm and dry as you trek through campus. Snow boots are also great for extremely cold temperatures when it’s not snowing!

4. Don’t forget your hat, scarf, or gloves!
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Winter accessories are important and a good coat can only cover so much. Don’t forget to keeps your hands, neck, and head bundled up as well. It’s cold and flu season and the cold weather will only worsen your symptoms if you’re not careful!

5. Invest in a good coat.
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It might be worth it to spend a bit more money to ensure you’re getting a good quality, warm coat. Getting a good coat also means longevity, so you’ll get many years out of it, which is worth the investment!

The Best Peppermint Sugar Cookie Recipe

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Now that you’re home for winter break, it’s time to start treating yourself to some festive sweets!  These  peppermint sugar blossom cookies are delicious and super-easy to make.

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 package Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses

-2 cups all-purpose flour

-1 cup granulated sugar

-1/4 teaspoon baking soda

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

-1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

-1 large egg

-2 tablespoons milk

-1/2 cup crushed candy cane pieces

(Makes about 48 cookies.)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

 

  1. Mix butter, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl until well blended.

 

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and crushed candy canes in a separate bowl and stir.

 

  1. Gradually add the dry ingredients (from step 3) and milk to the butter mixture (alternating between dry ingredients and milk) and stir together with a wooden spoon until you get an even, doughy consistency.

 

  1. Shape your dough into 1-inch balls and place them onto ungreased cookie sheets.

 

  1. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Now is a good time to unwrap your Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses.

 

  1. Take your cookie sheets out of the oven and press one Kiss into each cookie. Put your cookies back into the oven for 2 minutes.

 

  1. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely.

 

Now you have a fresh batch of cookies to serve at your holiday party or you can put them in small festive bags and give them as gifts!  (Or just enjoy them for yourself!)

 

*If you’re not the best at baking, or you’re short on time, you can also buy prepackaged peppermint sugar cookie dough (Pillsbury makes a great one) at your local supermarket and just add the Candy Cane Kisses!

Handling a Forgotten Assignment

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assignmentIt’s that point in the semester, when there’s too much to do and too little time. Also that time when some assignments just kind of slip through the cracks. Here are some guidelines to handling a forgotten assignment:

 Step 1: Apologize, without excuses. Saying, “I’m really sorry, but I had a ton of other work for this other class,” makes it just sound like this class isn’t that important to you. While you may feel this way, it’s not a great way to get any sympathy from the professor or TA. Instead say, “I’m sorry, this totally slipped my mind, but I take full responsibility for the lateness of this assignment.”

 Step 2: Get the assignment done and in as soon as possible. Show the professor that you really do care about this assignment, even if you know you won’t get full or any points on it. It shows that you care more about the information than the grade and tells the professor that you are really dedicated to understanding the material.

 Step 3: Don’t expect full credit, but do try for extra credit. In handing in your assignment late, you don’t deserve full credit. Likely, the professor explained the policy for late work in the syllabus. Consult it and then discuss with your professor how to make up the lost points through any sort of extra credit.

 Step 4: Remember this feeling. It will keep you writing up to do lists or updating your assignment notebook!

The Off the Beaten Path Holiday Buying List for the College Gentleman

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In honor of the upcoming holiday, I thought I would break my normal stream of consciousness to bring all of the girlfriends, mothers, aunties and sisters out there a little yule tide help in searching for a special something for their favorite male undergrad (or heck… grad student as well!).

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 Dave Brubeck Quartet- Jazz Goes To College

While the current generation may be stuck on Young Thug and Iggy, jazz was the controversial genre of your parent’s day; so much so that in 1954, universities across the country initially refused to let Dave and his quartet perform on their campuses. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and Brubeck embarked on a four month tour, playing at 90 universities and junior colleges across the country. While Wolverines should enjoy this pressing (five of the seven songs are from the University of Michigan show) this album is certainly an intro course for students looking for a little something more than what the radio is offering.

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Tweed Football from The Lodge Goods

Dorm football: a male, freshman sport played by bored first years in the dormitory hallway. Usually proceeded by the phrase “What’s the worst that could happen?”. Often followed by an impromptu trip to the emergency room and write ups of all participants. While wrapping a football in Harris Tweed won’t necessarily make taking a spiral to the face feel any better, at least it looks cool.

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 The Hunt Duffle Back from Hershel Co

Because you promised yourself you’d hit the campus gym on a regular basis in the new year. Because you promised your parents you would visit more next semester. Because mentally, you’re already on spring break. And because carrying your clothes in a backpack or a black trash bag isn’t sexy.

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 Hunter Original iPhone case

Recently, my overpriced Lifeproof Case proved that despite its name, it actually was susceptible to life. So the wife and I took a trip to the Apple Store in search of a new case to protect my fragile iPhone 5S. Our sells associate laid out a few options similar to my previous case, but my eyes couldn’t see past this hunter green case by Hunter Original (yes, the same Hunter Original that makes your rain boots). As I held what would be my new case, my wife remarked “Chose your case wisely. Its not always about fashion” to which I would respond “Dear wife. It is ALWAYS about fashion.”

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Duckboots by LL Bean or Sperry if you want them by the 25th

Marketed as the “original antidote to wet feet”, this boot is a multi-faceted piece of any man’s wardrobe. Whether marching through January snow on your way to your 9:00 class or sloshing through April rain puddles on your way to finals, these classic boots will keep those feet warm and dry from hustling on campus to hunting in the marsh. The only problem is that the LL Bean version of these boots are SO popular, they are currently on back order to about March. Sprerry however, makes a version that is just as tactical, fashionable and more available.

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 Gentlemen Only Intense by Givenchy

A man’s scent is like his calling card. I’ll never forget my first bottle of cologne; a bottle of Curve purchased with my meager McDonald’s paycheck in high school. As you mature, so does your palette. Soon you’ll have your clean, fresh and sometimes fruity scents for the spring and summer while you look to musky, woodsy scents for the fall and winter. Gentlemen Only Intense is the older brother of the original Gentlemen Only that will deliver masculine elegance right from your neck to your girlfriend’s nose.

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Archer Season 5

If you’re not watching Archer by now, all I can say is that you are missing some of the best television around. The Simpsons and Family Guy may have lost their bite a long time ago, but this spy comedy keeps its teeth sharp. Season 6 premieres in January so what better way to spend your holiday break by binge watching the world’s most inept spy agency become the world’s most inept drug cartel.

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Colligate needlepoint belt from Smathers and Branson

We are about nine months away from the next college football season which of course means, we’re about the length of a full term pregnancy from the next tailgate. In a sea of hoodies and fitted baseball caps, a needlepoint belt featuring your school’s logo is a discrete yet unique way to show your pride. Pair it with a tucked in Oxford and a gameday hat, and your ready for all of the barbecuing, co-ed flirting and carrying on the tailgate has to offer. Smather’s and Branson offers all conference belts for the ACC and SEC as well as a good listing of individual schools as well.

Ferguson Verdict Causes Unrest Across Nation

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On November 24, 2014, a St. Louis, Missouri grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, causing unrest throughout the country. The 12-person grand jury met in secret over the past months to decide the fate of Wilson, a white police officer, who fatally shot Brown, an 18-year-old black teenager – which has been a racial hot topic for over 100 days.

 Before the verdict was announced, officials and Brown’s family asked that protestors across the nation stay peaceful.

 “Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction,” said Michael Brown’s family.

 Although protesters were urged to remain nonviolent this did not happen. Not long after the decision was announced, crowds of protestors stormed the streets of Ferguson. Protestors showed their disappointment and anger towards the decision by lighting police cars on fire and vandalizing and looting local businesses. The protests weren’t confined to Ferguson, but were also found in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Oakland – among other cities throughout the United States.

 In Los Angeles, protestors marched throughout the city and shut down the 10 Freeway. In Oakland, protests turned violent and police officers were attacked. Several cities are staging walkouts and “die-ins”, blocking streets to show solidarity with Ferguson.

 People across the globe are supporting the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” movement through pictures and protests.