Need a Good Book?

Starting in 2015, I got back into reading and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My favorite genre of books to read are motivational/self-help books, because I’m always in the mood for good energy. I also enjoy memoirs/autobiographies, because reading about how someone else overcame hardships remind me that it’s possible for me to. So, I decided to share some of my favorite books for those that enjoy reading or want to start reading.

1. Year of YesShonda Rhimes
This book is one I’m sure I’ll read for a second time and I benefited from it tremendously. For years Rhimes turned down any and everything that was outside of her comfort zone as most of us do. Until one day her sister Deloris whispered six simple words, “you never say yes to anything.” At that moment Rhimes decided to challenge herself for one year to say YES to everything that scared her. With this challenge, she learned so much about herself and the things that scared her ended up producing her biggest accomplishments. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone, because that is when you are really living.

2. Write It Down, Make It Happen- Henriette Anne Klauser
This was actually the first book that sparked my obsession with motivational books and the one that I picked up in 2015 when I wanted to get back into reading. This book Klauser discusses how simply writing down your dreams is the first step into making them a reality. There are many stories in this book of how everyday people wrote down their goals and saw things transform into reality right before their eyes. Klauser stressed that by writing down your goals and being clear about them makes you more motivated to want to do them.

3. Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success- Steve Harvey
I don’t even know where to begin about this book. Mr. Harvey, he helps you to find what your calling is. Once you discover that purpose he mentions how to make your passion your career. There’s a few times when Harvey talks about his personal life and how difficult it was to come from nothing to making a huge name for himself. Success don’t come easy, but as long as you work hard, don’t give up, and believe in yourself anything and I mean anything is possible.

4. Jump- Steve Harvey
Yes, I’m mentioning another Steve Harvey book, because when it comes to motivating people he’s perfect. One day after a taping of Family Feud, a game show in which Steve Harvey host he had an encouraging message to the audience. Well, without knowing someone filmed it and uploaded it to the internet and before you know it the video went viral. That video is what prompted him to write this book. This book talks about how nothing extraordinary can come staying in your comfort zone. All the real magic and joy is on the other side. In order to really maximize your full potential and your purpose you have to take that leap of faith and JUMP. He says that when you first jump from that cliff your parachute isn’t going to open right away. In fact, you’re going to get bruised up, scraped by the rocks but eventually your parachute will open, but you can’t be afraid to take that risk. I highly recommend this book for anyone that has been day dreaming about a goal and need that extra push to get started.

5. Life is not an Accident- Jay Williams
Talk about depressing this amazing memoir inspired me in a way that I can never fully put into words. This three-time Duke All-American player and number two pick in the NBA draft ended his career due to a motorcycle accident. Jay Williams the former player for the Chicago Bulls thought he was invincible until one day that came to an end. This book shows how he hit rock bottom and was still able to rise above and change his life around. I think this book also teach a person to always stay humble no matter how much fame or money you have, because there’s always something in life that will remind you being a good person is key.

The Passing Procrastinator

I don’t like to study and will go out of my way not to study. That makes me a normal student for the most part. With life taking one in several different directions it is crucial to find what kind of study methods work for you. It wasn’t until my last year of college that I figured out what really works best for me, but I’d rather learn it late than never at all. So what works for this procrastinator?

  1. Early Notes
    I am not the best note taker but I still try to take them especially at the beginning of the semester  and then again right after mid-term exams. Why, because at these times the professors are teaching a foundation that is often referred back to later on.  One should always take notes but let us be real, that doesn’t always happen.If the professor says it more than once, write it down!
    On the board, write it down!

    On a slide show. Write it down! Taking pictures for later use works too, however when you write something down you are more likely to remember it.

  2. Coloring
    I learned this trick very late in my college career and by accident. I knew the upcoming semester was going to be rather tough for me so I bought a daily planner that happened to have coloring pages in it. I quickly discovered that while coloring the pages, I was more able to focus on what the professor was saying. I didn’t zone out now glance at my phone. By coloring I was able to concentrate and better understand what the professor was trying to teach. Only drawback to this method of learning is that while you are coloring the professor can take it as a sign of you not paying attention. This method worked for me, hopefully it will help others.
  3. Show up and ask one question
    Attend class! Just being there goes a long way when it comes to exams and finals. You already paid for the class so make sure you get your money’s worth. The professor is getting paid whether you show up or not.  After all, it is your future not theirs. However, most professors will work with you as long as you try. If you don’t try with them, they won’t try with you.Ask one question. Professors like students who are involved and trying. When you can ask a question or add to the discussion. Yes, we all hate speaking up and end blankly staring at the professor but teaching isn’t easy when your teaching to zombies.  Active students break up the monotony of a straight lecture and opens the door for student professor communication
  4. Study Guide How To
    I make study guides to help me through exams and finals. I try to start the study guide a few days in advance but I am a procrastinator so I tend to start the study guide the day before. Part of the reason I procrastinate and most students will agree with me but I have more than one class giving an exam so by the time you study and take the exam for one class you barely have 24 hours before another exam or final comes into play. Last minute is how a student studies during this time. That is why it is crucial that a student is active in class.

Step 1.
Divide what you need to study into pieces. I usually divide it into chapters

Step 2.
Get in your study zone. Mine happens to be in my room computer and books scattered across the bed and some random YouTube video playing in the background. I tend to choose videos along the lines of 48 hours or creepy pasta.  Creepy-pastas tend to be voices that tell a story. I choose these videos because the don’t require you to listen to them and when you need a mini break you have something to focus on for a few moments.  Music distracts me and so do tv shows and are not compatible with a study zone.  Make sure you have something to eat and drink in the study zone else it will be an excuse to not study.

Step 3.
First you pick a chapter and read the first two paragraphs. From there, you read the first sentence of every paragraph. Lastly, you read the conclusion paragraph. Now you have a good idea of what the chapter is about.

Step 4.
While reading if you happen to come across a phrase or fact that jumps out at  you highlight it and type it up into your study guide. I try to find one thing on every page that I believe is important. Also while typing out the study guide if you can relate the fact or idea to real life it helps you memorize it better.

Step 5.
Next you take a short break.  If you are a procrastinator you don’t have much time for breaks. This break is only meant for those who need to go use the restroom or take a smoke break.

Step 6.
Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 until the ‘chapters’ are translated into notes.

Step 7.
Now it is time to review the notes that you took during class. If you are like me the notes are at random and not that consistent, so you cherry pick information off of them.

Step 8.
I don’t focus too much on slide shows myself but I do cherry pick from there.

Step 9.
Put it down and go do something for about an hour.

Step 10.
Pick it up and read your study guide. If anything doesn’t make sense redo it. If you think it’s not needed drop it. Also remember it is your study guide you are not turning it. Write notes to yourself like “look at the graph on p256”. If you can’t explain it or if there is to much to type simply say “explained really well on page 75 2nd paragraph”

Step 11.
Review it when you think about it, which after the long study session into making the study guide I have a hard time looking at the guide because I still remember typing it up. I tend to get to class about 30 minutes early and read the guide and try to lock it into my memory. What helps me the most is discussing the chapters with classmates before the test begins. They remember things and cherry pick information that I don’t know or have.

Step 12.
Finally, take the exam.

At this point it doesn’t seem like I am a procrastinator, right? When in actuality I took barely existent notes and only made the study guide the night before. However, I do try to show up and take part in class every day.  By focusing on the lectures and typing up a study guide I do manage to be a passing student. Finally, remember, unless you are a rock star, procrastinators don’t get A’s

The Last Jedi – A Star Wars Recap

MAJOR Spoilers! (For the 1st 8 Star Wars movies)

I have been a huge fan of Star Wars since I was young. So young that I would sneak into my parent’s room grab the collector’s edition VHS tapes and watch them. The first time my dad found me watching it, he was not happy. Since then, it has become a tradition to binge watch all the episodes, usually when a new movie is about to release.

As the latest release of the Star Wars series is coming into view, fans are eager to have a few questions answered. Who are Rey’s Parents?  Who is Supreme Leader Snokes, and what is going on with Luke Skywalker?  All these questions will be answered in the second installment of the third wave, hopefully.

For those who are unaware, the second installment of the third wave is essentially the 8th episode in the series. In the past, George Lucas filmed movies four, five and six between 1977 and 1983. Several years go by and then movies one, two and three were made between 1999 and 2005. Ten years go by, and you had the seventh movie debut. Now we are approaching the eighth installment come December 15, 2017.  Wait, wasn’t there a Star Wars movie that came out in 2016? Yes, however in typical Star Wars fashion it is out-of-order and doesn’t directly tie into the main storyline. It’s best to think of it like Tokyo Drift in the Fast and Furious series. It doesn’t fit into the story when it is released, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get tied in later.

A recap of the episodes and the order best to watch them to avoid spoilers:

  • I: The Phantom Menace (1999) (32 BBY)
  • II: Attack of the Clones (2002) (22 BBY)
  • III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) (19 BBY)
  • Rogue One (2016) (15-0 BBY) Stand Alone Spin-Off
  • IV: A New Hope (1977) (0 BBY)
  • V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (3 ABY)
  • VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) (4 ABY)
  • VII: The Force Awakens (2015) (34 ABY)
  • VIII: The Last Jedi (2017) (34 ABY)
  • IX: Unknown (2019) (Unknown)

Solo (2018) (TBA-BBY) Stand Alone Spin-Off

[BBY- Before the Battle of Yavin; ABY- After the Battle of Yavin. The Battle of Yavin took place at the end of A New Hope (1977). It was the Death Star Explosion.

The Phantom Menace opened the door for Anakin to be trained as a Jedi. Anakin has grown up in Attack of the Clones and has become a skilled Jedi who defeats a clone army and later marries Padme. In Revenge of the Sith you watch Anakin turn into Darth Vader while his wife dies in childbirth to twins. In Rogue One they steal the Death Star Plans. In A New Hope they destroy the Death Star. The Empire Strikes Back by having Lando Betray Solo with the rest of the rebellion determined to rescue Solo. In the sixth movie, Return of the Jedi you learn that there is another death star and that Darth Vader had a redeeming moment. Finally moving into the recent installments with The Force Awakens you discover that the son of Leia and Solo has taken over his grandfather’s (Darth Vader) throne. The bad guys are building an even more destructive death star, and Kylo Ren does something unforgivable in the eyes of star wars fan and Chewbacca.  In the end, Rey finds Luke.  The Last Jedi picks up exactly where the last one left off which is not the typical George Lucas style. Without giving any spoilers the villain in this installment is called the Supreme Leader Snokes.

Somewhere in the 70-year timeline, the Solo movie will come into play as it reveals more about Lando, Chewbacca, and Han Solo’s history. Most fans will already know the correct order to watch the series, and will already be aware of the basic plots that go along with every installment. Few, however, know George Lucas kept the licensing and merchandising rights. During that time, people did not make much of a profit off of the merchandising rights. However, George Lucas did, and it was the rights to the first Star Wars film that allowed him to branch out and go on to create the following episodes.  From their George Lucas created LucasFilm and Industrial Light and Magic. As much as George Lucas enjoyed having realistic props, he also enjoyed using technology which was why he waited so long before producing the second wave of star wars films. He wanted access to more technology and thus started the Industrial Light and Magic studio which is the founder company of Pixar.

December 15, 2017, cannot get here fast enough for most fans, as they are eager to have another adventure. They are ready to fall back into the space western realm and have their questions answered.

Dear College Student

I’m writing this article for those entering college for the first time, the current students trying to make it to the finish line, or those making the decision to go back. If someone had a time machine I would probably go back and redo a few things. I asked a few of my college friends to contribute their advice for students so you can hopefully make better decisions than I did. Some of the advice might be common sense to some but you’ll be surprised at the type of decisions us college students make when “having fun” become your number one priority.

“Get out of your comfort zone! Push yourself to new limits.” -Brenda Awuah, Senior

“Go to college they said, it’ll be fun they said,” while college certainly had its fun times, from experience, I can certainly say I was not prepared for the not so fun moments. Had I known certain things I probably would’ve skipped some of the bad decisions I made as a college student. Yes, there were times I felt like pulling out every strand of hair on my head, dropping out of school, and thinking maybe college isn’t for me. College was a struggle but I’ve made some life long memories and friendships that have been impactful.

“Don’t Procrastinate” Teddy Henderson, Senior

Nelson Mandela once said, “it always seems impossible until it’s done.” This quote resonates with me so much because college was that thing that I once thought was impossible. As graduation is quickly approaching I can’t help but to think, “how did this happen to me?” I’m a first-generation college student and I must say this has been an interesting adventure. There was a lot of trial and error and figuring things out for myself. However, I’m so thankful for being able to attend a university with some of the most friendly and helpful staff members.

“Always make flash cards when studying for tests.” -Elizabeth Godinez, Junior

College will definitely be the place that you might make some mistakes, it’s okay. You might lose some friends, but I promise you’ll gain some new awesome ones. There will be times when you feel like it’s too hard and you’re going to feel the urge to want to give up…don’t! Get involved with the campus activities…something I wish I would’ve done.

“You need to know your limits, know your deadlines, and know that it’s perfectly alright to be different. Be sure not to over extend yourself and make sure you don’t leave everything to the last minute. Things pop up and emergencies happen, but don’t let waiting to the last minute be your normal. Most importantly, it’s alright to be different; that’s what makes you, you. Own it and have fun.” –Alex Jenkins, Senior

“Don’t get caught up in doing everything right. Despite the cliché no-one is perfect and, in the end, you’ll end up doing more harm than good if you don’t allow yourself wiggle room”
–Allison Hall, Junior

“There is no such thing as a normal bedtime in college.”Tatyana Johnigan, Sophomore

“You should challenge yourself, step out of your comfort zone and get involved on campus.”
–Andrea Corbell, Senior

In conclusion, this is the time that you should really enjoy yourself. Don’t be so concerned of what others think of you. You’ll quickly learn that people aren’t thinking about you as much as you think and that we are all here for one thing…a DEGREE! I’ve met some of the most amazing people here especially within the mass communication program in which I’m grateful for. College will be some of the best times of your life but it will also be a time in which you’ll learn a few life lessons.

Final Exam Week Tips

Final exam week is the week that every college student and maybe some professors dread. From a student’s perspective, I can tell you exactly how each of us are feeling. Most of us feel like pulling out our hair and we procrastinate like crazy…don’t do either of those. The semester is almost over, you made it this far so keep going! Pulling all-nighters is the norm, study groups are endless, and overloading on caffeine is the only way to survive. However, this time finals week will be different for you, right?

Here are a few tips that will hopefully help ease a few of those anxieties during “death week.”

Tip 1: Organize what finals you have:
First thing first, write down what finals you have coming up and the days in which you have them. Time management is everything during finals week, so by writing down your tests this will allow you to see what class you might have to devote more time to.

Tip 2: Get into a Nice Study Space:
When studying for a test it is important that you’re in a place that you can focus. Get rid of all things that can distract you, turn off your cell phone and television. This varies from person to person but for me personally, it helps to study in a clean space and organized space. Make sure that the lightning isn’t to dim and the space is quiet or at least have soft music playing in the background.

Tip 3: Go to Class:
I know this sounds like common sense, but you’ll be surprised of the number of students that begin to skip class closer to the end of the semester. Going to class can give you more insight on what could be on the final.

Tip 4: Pretend you are teaching the material to someone else:
When studying old notes and other materials for finals pretend as though you are teaching it to someone else. By doing this you’re more likely to remember what you studied.

Tip 5: Get plenty of sleep & eat healthy:
I know pulling all-nighters are the norm the week of finals, but getting plenty of sleep is the key to things sticking. An adequate amount of sleep can help a person be more productive while studying for finals. I know overloading on lots of caffeine and sugar is what a lot of students thrive off of but it’s bad if you’re trying to stay focus. I recommend eating lots of protein, fruits, and veggies. Personally, love eating a banana and drinking a Naked drink made with all natural fruits for breakfast. DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!!!

Tip 6: Organize a study group:
Most students benefit from study groups. Anything that you might’ve not understood during lecture your classmates might be able to elaborate on a variety of topics.

Tip 7: See the Counselor:
I know this may sound crazy or even embarrassing for some, but sometimes talking to someone about what it is you’re feeling can ease a lot of stress. Thousands if not millions of students suffer from test anxieties and in result they do poorly on tests. When the mind is at peace and free from worries you’re able to focus better. So, one quick visit to the school counselors’ office could help you do better on your finals. Also, this service is FREE of charge!

Hopefully these tips will help, don’t overthink the material and don’t second guess yourself during the examination. GOOD LUCK!

Justice League Movie (SPOILERS Review)

[Seen it? Skipping it? Read on! Plan to see it? Keep scrolling!]

The Justice League is something I’ve loved ever since I was a kid. Growing up I watched the cartoon series that ran from 2001 to 2004. This movie is tough for me to review because one part of me loves it and another part of me hates it. Going into this movie, my expectations were already low from Batman V Superman, but unlike many people I liked it. I am even a big fan of the “Batfleck.” Out of the list of problems with the Justice League, the first is the same as with Batman V Superman. It feels rushed. They come together like “oh hey it looks like we got to save the world”, instead of coming together more organically. It feels like they made this to compete with Marvel and if so, they should have followed that formula.

Marvel has been making films leading up to the Infinity War film since 2008. I don’t expect DC to be on the same scale or make films for the next ten years leading up to uniting their heroes but we could have seen a Cyborg and an Aquaman movie before they came together. The best thing about Marvels Avengers is that we had time to get to know and care about the characters.

Another weak factor of this movie was its villain Steppenwolf. He was another one-dimensional villain who was so awful that at the end the Justice League forgot he was even there. The final flaw is the cringe-worthy writing. The film is full of one-liners where characters say what is not really something they’d say. For example, Batman rolled on the ground saying something like “something’s bleeding.” The Flash came off as more annoying than funny. Then there was the very cliché line “Do you bleed?” said by Superman that was kind of painful to watch. The worst thing to watch, however, was the famous CGI done to remove Henry Cavill’s mustache during the filming of this movie. His mouth looked distorted. The film had a much lighter tone, not a bad thing, but  almost too light for me. I go see Marvel for a lighter toned movie and I go see DC for a darker tone movie. Most of the problems could be because of Joss Whedon’s takeover since Zach Snyder had to leave because of his daughter’s suicide.

Now that I’m done with the flaws there were many things I liked. I really enjoyed seeing Superman come back. Until he came back, it felt like something was missing. This movie is overall a lot of fun and really gorgeous. The actors are amazing for what they were given. Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot are Superman and Wonder Woman. I am just pleased to see these characters come to life and be on the big screen. Despite my negative comments, this is still a good movie to watch and I recommend seeing it if you like any of these characters. I have watched this film twice and probably will again one day. Also, unlike the other DC movies, be sure to stay after both sets of credits for a very cool scene that could be important to future DC films.

Rating: 7.5/10

Marvel’s The Punisher on Netflix

The Punisher has been on-screen many times, in The Punisher (2004) and in Punisher: War Zone (2008). Both films had strengths and weaknesses but neither could fully get the character right. There was also a film in 1989 that doesn’t count as part of the modern Marvel Universe of today. For those of you who don’t know the Punisher, he is a guy named Frank Castle whose family gets killed and then becomes a vigilante known as “The Punisher.” So, in other words, he’s like Batman only he kills people with guns. The Punisher got his start in The Amazing Spiderman comic in 1974 as a foe to Spiderman. Military and law enforcement use his symbol which is up for debate if it is appropriate or not. The Punisher is an anti-hero that does not care about the law but just killing criminals so they don’t commit crimes again. There is even a comic where he kills everyone in the Marvel universe including himself.

The Netflix Punisher is a newer take on the character. He started out on the Netflix Daredevil show and he was so good that fans petitioned for this series. This could be because of actor Jon Bernthal’s performance. He is one of the most underrated actors and is now starting to get recognition. Most people know him from The Walking Dead as Shane or most recently in Baby Driver as the guy at the beginning of the film that you never see again. Just as Robert Downey, Jr. was born to play Iron Man, Jon Bernthal was born to play The Punisher.

The supporting cast is also terrific. I greatly enjoyed interactions between Frank and Micro. There were some reviews that said the series dragged but I found that it didn’t. The other Netflix Marvel shows like Luke Cage feels twice as slow to me. It does take some time for things to heat up but it is fun and refreshing to see Frank in a new environment.

It starts out with Frank living life day-to-day and dealing with the loss of his family. This show handles modern political issues like gun control and other topics such as how veterans deal with PTSD. The show gets better and better with each episode. Towards the end, there is a scene that is so brutal I could barely keep from turning my head away from the screen. The finale was satisfying and makes you want more. I have high hopes for another season since the series is though with all the character development. I highly recommend binge watching The Punisher whenever you can.

Rating: 9/10

Go to https://www.netflix.com/title/80117498 to start watching!

Once you finish the series watch IGNs Marvel’s The Punisher: The BEST Easter Eggs and Referenceshttps://youtu.be/bHTnKmz5iw8