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Hi there! This is not a typical blog post, but I couldn't find anywhere else to put this. I will be out of the country July 4-15, 2013. I will have no access to internet and so will be unable to respond to any mail. Please bear with me, and I will respond to you as soon as I'm back in the States. I will also be out of the country August 6-13, 2013. Again, there is no internet access, so I am unable to communicate with you, my lovely students, until after my return. Thank you for your patience!

Sometimes you just need a break. And it's OK to take a break, but it's good to consider a few things first. 1. Have you been productive? When you're working hard on something, it's good to give your brain a short break every once in a while. But if you haven't accomplished anything yet, you probably shouldn't take a break before you've even started working! Try setting a reasonable goal and telling yourself to take a break when that's accomplished. For example, you can text your friend after you finish this chapter. 2. Are you in the middle of a good brainstorm? If you've been "on a roll," sometimes it's better to stick it out and finish the thought, be it the math problems you're working on or the paragraph you're writing. If you're in the groove, groove, baby! :) It is easier to stay in the zone and finish it then it is to take a break and then try and get back into the zone. 3. Are you in a time crunch? In those times when the deadline is fast approaching,... read more

This post can be summarized in one word: Priorities! Time management comes down to prioritizing goals and allocating time to accomplish those goals. It helps me to write down my list of tasks I want to accomplish, estimate approximately how much time and effort each task will require, decide the importance of each task, and then determine when in my schedule I can dedicate time to those tasks. One tool that is good for helping determine priorities is a graph. The axes are Level of Importance and Level of Urgency. The quadrants are 1. High Importance, High Urgency 2. High Importance, Low Urgency 3. Low Importance, High Urgency 4. Low Importance, Low Urgency By listing tasks in one of these quadrants, it is easy to see what you should spend the most time on and in what order.

In 11th grade, I took Rhetoric I. One of our first assignments was to memorize and deliver Shakespeare's St. Crispian's Day speech. Here was the catch: we were told when we had to be ready to present, and from then on, we could be called upon to deliver the speech at any time. In the cafeteria. In chapel. In another class. During our class, but taken to give it to another class. As soon as Mrs. G. passed out the speech, I vowed to have it memorized at least two weeks before the delivery date, so that I could focus solely on my delivery for a while. My trick? Read the speech out loud to myself every night right before I went to sleep. The brain transfers short-term memories into long-term memories while you sleep, and it transfers LIFO, to use an accounting term, meaning Last In, First Out. Whatever you last put in your short-term memory most recently will be put into your long-term memory first. I wanted to take advantage of my brain's work and make memorizing easier. This... read more

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