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Top 20 Movies to Watch Over The Summer

10 Jun

 

Shannon’s Picks                                                              Chrissy’s Picks

Action:  

 The Bourne Identity                                                          Dracula Untold

PicMonkey Collage

Adventure:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows                       Bridge to Terabithia

sher

Animation:

How to Train Your Dragon                                            Lion King

drag

Comedy:

The Hangover                                                                    The Intern

hang

Drama:

Cast Away                                                                            Sense and Sensibility

cast

Family:

The Sandlot                                                                         Howl’s Moving Castle

sand

Fantasy:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey                           Harry Potter

hob

Horror:

The Shining                                                                         Shrooms

shin

Romantic Comedy:

The Wedding Singer                                                         The Ugly Truth

rom

Science Fiction:

iRobot                                                                                    Blade Runner

rob

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Chrissy’s Summer Reading List

10 Jun

Summertime,  the most relaxing word a college student can hear, say, or think. Summertime opens up a plethora of opportunities that are not available during the school year: sleeping until 1pm, going on random road trips, and of course reading fun books. I don’t know about y’all, but I find that during the school year I am way too busy reading the various assigned readings to  actually get any fun reading done! So, I made a list during the school year of all the books I would like to read during them summer and I am now steadily working my way through them! Here are my top 10 books that I would like to have read by the end of the summer. I included short summaries of the books that I found on the publishers’ websites.

Please note that most of these contain adult themes and violence. Please read at your own discretion. 

10. Ella Enchanted: Gail Carson Levine

How can a fairy’s blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy’s gift—the “gift” of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it’s hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head!

But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse—and live happily ever after.

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9. Dracula: Bram Stoker

During a business visit to Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, a young English solicitor finds himself at the center of a series of horrifying incidents. Jonathan Harker is attacked by three phantom women, observes the Count’s transformation from human to bat form, and discovers puncture wounds on his own neck that seem to have been made by teeth. Harker returns home upon his escape from Dracula’s grim fortress, but a friend’s strange malady — involving sleepwalking, inexplicable blood loss, and mysterious throat wounds — initiates a frantic vampire hunt. The popularity of Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror romance is as deathless as any vampire.  Its supernatural appeal has spawned a host of film and stage adaptations, and more than a century after its initial publication, it continues to hold readers spellbound.

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8. The Blood of Flowers: Anita Amirrezvani

Both a sweeping love story and a luminous portrait of a city, The Blood of Flowers is the mesmerizing historical novel of an ill-fated young woman whose gift as a rug designer transforms her life. Illuminated with glorious detail of Persian rug-making, and brilliantly bringing to life the sights sounds and life of 17th-century Isfahan, The Blood of Flowers has captured readers’ imaginations everywhere as a timeless tale of one woman’s struggle to live a life of her choosing.

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7. The Iliad: Homer

Dating to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the Trojan War. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace

The iliad

6. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep: Philip K. Dick

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.
By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.
Emigrées to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn’t want to be identified, they just blended in.
Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

Do androids dream of electric sheep

5. 13 Reasons Why: Jay Asher

You can’t stop the future. 
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

13 reasons why.jpg

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Sorcerer's_Stone.jpg

3. Brave New World: Aldous Huxley

The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future- of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley’s most enduring masterpieces.

BraveNewWorld_FirstEdition.jpg

2. The Other Boleyn Girl: Philipa Gregory

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of the handsome and charming Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane, and soon she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. With her own destiny suddenly unknown, Mary realizes that she must defy her family and take fate into her own hands.

the other boleyn girl.jpg

1. Poison Study: Maria V. Snyder

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace- and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dusté and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear—.

Poison study.jpg

Quick & Easy Healthy Snacks

10 Jun

I’ve got to say, having such busy weeks I’m always looking for quick and easy snacks. And now that its summer and temperatures are high, nutritious snacks are even more important to keep up with this heat. Now after browsing the internet, I found a variety of recipes that are perfect for summer and taste delicious! Now to share with you are a few snacks I’ve tried myself that take no longer than 10 minutes!

apples

Apple Moons

Just spread apple slices with peanut butter and add granola to the top!

chicken

Chicken and Waffles 

Mix chicken salad with some sliced grapes and chopped walnuts. Spoon onto toasted mini whole-wheat waffles.

slush

Pomegranate Slushies 

Blend 1 cup pomegranate juice and 2 tablespoons honey with 3 cups ice until slushy. Pour into glasses and top with more juice.

melts

Matzo Melts

Brush matzo crackers with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried rosemary. Top with sliced turkey and shredded cheddar. Bake 5 minutes at 400 degrees F.

These are just a few of the great snacks I’ve made at home thanks to the Food Network. To see more visit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/50-after-school-snacks/50-quick-snack-recipes.html?oc=linkback

Vacation vs. Staycation

12 May

Every summer I am met with the same struggle, should I spend a ton of money going on a vacation and having fun with my friends, or should I stay at home and work. Let’s be honest, usually I stay home. Not only do I not have the money to go on vacations, but vacations, at least mine, tend to be more trouble than they are worth.

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It doesn’t matter who I go with, whether family or friends, there is always so much drama that I would not have had to deal with if I had stayed home! I don’t know what it is about vacations, but they tend to bring out the worst in people. This year though, I have decided to brave the dreaded vacation, but only for a weekend. I am going to go to California for 3 days with a few friends, and hopefully it won’t be a huge mistake.

Chrissy Blog 6

Usually though, I have a staycation. For those of you who do not know, a staycation is a vacation you take without going anywhere. I tend to be a bit more strict with my staycations than most, I don’t allow myself to use social media, I do not watch T.V. shows that are currently on; instead I re-watch classic movies, I get caught up on books, and I sleep and sleep and sleep. Now, my staycation only lasts about a week because I take summer courses and work, but for that one glorious week I have no worries and no one can bother me. I am not trying to say that you have to do your staycation the same way I do, that’s the beauty of the staycation, it differs for every individual!

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The rest of my summer is usually spent working and taking classes which for some is not relaxing, but having the same routine I have during the school year is quite nice for me. I tend to take online classes so I can do my homework by the pool or while watching A League of their Own for the thousandth time, and work tends to be a bit more relaxed in the summer, so in the end I do have a nice relaxing summer.

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Now, whether you choose to vacation with family or stay at home and relax there, just make sure you do relax a little bit this summer. Students really do need the time to reenergize themselves.

Chrissy Blog 5

-Christine

Spring Cleaning

7 Mar

Spring is supposed to be a time for new beginnings. This is why we have Spring Cleaning- so we can clean up our lives and get rid of all the icky stuff. Sometimes this means letting go of bad relationships and bad habits.

Spring has always been a time of productivity for me. I usually take on multiple projects and really hit my stride. The spring semester of my junior year was the first time I truly embrace the idea of spring cleaning, and tried something new for myself.

During the fall semester of my Junior year, I had a falling out with my roommate, who happened to be my best friend, it was my first semester working, and it was just a difficult time for me. When spring finally arrived, I was motivated to make a change for myself and focus on my personal growth. I decided to stop holding on to all the hurt my ex-bestfriend had caused, I chose to get more involved at work, and I stayed on top of all my classes. Doing this was difficult. Hitting a bad patch in life is extremely hard because it taints all areas of your life. I had never felt more alone than I did during the fall semester my junior year, but as I started to focus on work and classes my loneliness started to dissipate. I made new friends from class and work, I felt productive as my grades started to improve, and I started to appreciate myself more.

Trying new things can be stressful and may seem unrewarding at first, but stick it out and things will get better. I needed time to focus on myself and replenish my supply of inner peace. I am much better off now because I took the time to check in with myself and reorganize my priorities. It is now my the spring semester of my senior year and the good habits I created a year ago are still paying off. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and make changes. You deserve to be appreciated and cared for, and it’s okay to take the time to appreciate and care for yourself. Always keep fighting, and embrace spring cleaning.

-Erika

New Year, New Me?

21 Feb

Starting Spring semester is always a wake up call for me. I am not sure why, but I am never as motivated in Spring as I am in the Fall. This Spring semester seems to be the worst one of all because I am taking a lot of units and I have my annual laziness epidemic going on. Personally, I think I, and students in general, have a harder time staying focused in Spring because the weather gets better, and everyone wants to be outside. Regardless of the causes, what I need to do this Spring is to get myself organized and set up personal goals.

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The most important aspect of a goal is that it is achievable, so while it is nice to think that I can take 21 units and work 20 hours a week, this is really not possible for me. So, my first goal is to work enough to keep me busy, but not so many as to overwhelm myself. I have actually already achieved this goal, I found that working 13 hours a week is best for my current schedule.

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My next goal for the semester is to study on the weekends. Often, I have the mindset that the weekend is my time to relax from school, and while I might not have to go to school, I can still do school work. Doing work on the weekend will make my daily work less stressful and help me stay more motivated.

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My last goal for the semester is to socialize a bit more. I am not sure how it has happened, but since I have come to college, I have become a recluse. It doesn’t matter if it is just hanging with friends at my apartment, having any kind of social interaction will help me not procrastinate as much.

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Look, I know motivation in the Spring semester is hard to come by, but if you make goals for yourself, we will find a way to get through it together!

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-Chrissy

Chrissy’s Declassified Midterm Survival Guide

21 Oct

It’s that time of the semester: when all-nighters are a must, the libraries are packed, and anyone hoping to survive can be found with notes in their hands. That’s right, it’s midterms!

Midterm 1

For those just starting out, midterms can be a frightening thing, but with these tips you should be able to get through them without too much trouble.

1) SLEEP

This is honestly the most important thing a student can do. Not only does your brain get a chance to rest and sort all the information you are going over, it also keeps you healthy. While you sleep your body rejuvenates itself. Staying healthy during this time of year is difficult enough without adding this obstacle, and you need to be healthy for your midterms!

Midterm 6

2) Start studying in advance

This is one tip I have trouble with, but it really does work. You know at the beginning of the semester when your midterms will be, so be sure to start studying at least two weeks in advance. I know that you won’t have all the content of the class by then, but if you start refreshing yourself on the old content earlier, then it you will only have to refresh yourself on the new content closer to the exam!

Midterm 2

3) Drink lots of water

Water is very important especially in Arizona. Drinking lots of water will not only keep you hydrated, but it will also help with your attentiveness in class. Try replacing one of your coffees a day with a bottle of water, you’d be amazed by the difference.

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4) Don’t stress out

I know that this seems a bit hard, but honestly by stressing yourself out over midterms you are really psyching yourself out of doing well. This is not to say that you shouldn’t take midterms seriously, but stressing out will only take time away from studying. Be sure to take breaks and let yourself breathe.

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Good luck on all of your midterms!

Midterm 5

-Chrissy

Don’t Let Classes in the Summer Be a Bummer!

8 Jun

Summer Pre-Session is over, and Session I is now upon us. Though this session only lasts for 5 weeks, losing academic motivation, whether it’s during the summer or during a full semester, is very common. I myself took two online classes while I was visiting my mother in Oregon last year. This was my first time taking summer courses, and I was concerned that I wouldn’t have any time to relax and truly enjoy my break off. But to my surprise, balancing school and fun was totally doable! I learned to manage my time, making sure I put enough aside to dedicate myself to my homework, and it worked out perfectly 🙂

Near the end of the Spring Semester, I asked each of my students whether or not they were planning on taking summer courses. And the ones who said they were voiced some concerns. The most common one I heard was being worried that taking a class that was condensed into 5 weeks would require them to do a lot more work in such a short period of time. I will admit, the course work is a bit more fast paced, but professors completely understand how potentially overwhelming that can be for students.

The University of Arizona knows that their students deserve much needed breaks throughout the year, especially during the summer. So professors tend to adjust their lesson plans accordingly. So rest assured, taking courses during the summer isn’t as painful as it may sound. But for the sake of making this experience even more painless, I would like to share some tips on staying motivated 🙂

1. Balance classes with fun. Though school is very important, don’t forget to relax and spend time with you friends and family. It is summer after all!

18343-Titanic-Jack-Rose-Spin2. Take plenty of breaks. If you just spent 2 hours reading material for an upcoming paper, reward yourself with an episode of your favorite television show (if you have a Netflix, may I suggest Friends?).

yeah_sure_friends3. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Speaking from personal experience, if you don’t understand the material try not to spend hours figuring it out all by yourself. It’ll create unnecessary stress for yourself, and cost precious relaxation time. So ask your professors and/or TA.

gif-bigbangtheory-penny-laptop-help4. Exercise. We all have those moments, when we sit down, determined to crank out an essay, but we can’t for the life of us form a coherent thought! The little wheel in your mind doesn’t want to turn, so give it a little push by going outside for a walk or even taking a dip in the pool (considering it may be too hot to do anything else).

2296YMX5. Stay organized. Invest in a planner (if you don’t already have one). Feeling overwhelmed is what procrastination feeds on. When we feel that we have too much on our plate, we want to avoid it all together. So compile a list of all the assignments you have due and split it up evenly throughout the week. Also getting to place a check mark next to each item is incredibly satisfying.

tumblr_n6cyv0QbeX1tr2c16o1_400I wish you all the best of luck during the next few months, you’ll do great! (You’re a Wildcat, so why wouldn’t you?)

Best,

Casey 🙂

The Time I Forgot to Eat During Finals…

1 May

I’m sure hearing all this talk about finals, last homework assignments, and exams have you like “Okay I get it, THANKS!” Now let’s take a moment to and ask ourselves, “how am I going to get through these last few weeks?” Start with the basics. Sometimes when we get too ahead of ourselves we might “pull a Maddie” and forget just one minor detail… eating!

 Johnny Depp

It all started with a plan… a plan that was so exciting at first but then crashed and burned due to late night visits to the Cellar, and UA Mart’s ice cream. I was down to my last few dollars on my meal plan when finals came around during my second semester. By last few dollars I mean about $2.50. Luckily, it was my last week of exams and I had a decent supply of oatmeal and peanut butter in my dorm. Breakfast? Oatmeal. Lunch? Oatmeal with Peanut Butter. Dinner? Free Starbucks coffee and some peanut butter. Don’t judge, peanut butter with oatmeal is surprisingly tasty!Peanut Butter  Now by the middle of the week my body was running off of caffeine and you already know, oatmeal. I had a few books left over that I planned on selling online instead of back to the book store. I guess you can say I was pretty stubborn at the time.

Then of course, it hit me. I was putting so much pressure on myself that I didn’t realize how ridiculous I was being.

It wasn’t until my friends Stephen and Sydney said, “Whoa, Maddie, you look awful. Have you even showered today?”

For the record, I did shower, thank you very much! Then I went to over my mirror to see what they were talking about. The bags under my eyes looked like they just got back from Forever 21. My skin and lips were pale, and don’t even let me get started on my hair. 

Needless to say I was really going off the deep end. I got myself together, went over to sell back my books and saved that money to indulge in a huge omelette at Cactus Grill the morning before my two most important finals. It all sounds great but with the way I was treating my body prior to that, I immediately felt sick. The worst part was feeling nauseous during my last two finals of the semester.

Lesson learned! So, no matter what your circumstances are, make sure to take care of yourself first! Taking care of yourself is a no brainer to most of you right? Consider this, if you’ve pushed yourself to the point where you can’t even think straight or rationally then it’s time to stop and breathe! Listen to your body, and schedule time to step back from the books and into a state of relaxation.

P.S. I still put peanut butter in my oatmeal every once in awhile…

Until next time,

Maddie