De-Stress Day 2017

As final exams approach, a college students anxiety level reaches its peak of the semester. It is important to take a step back, and give yourself a mental break. The Office of Student Life held its annual de-stress day on December 6th, where students had multiple options to relax and rejuvenate before exams hit.

Activities included a massage treatment line where students received machine heated back massages, a machine leg massage, and a full body water massage.

Senior Communications student Leira Moore said, “The massage stations worked wonders on getting my mind off of final exams!  With several stations set up to massage different parts of the body, it made for a very relaxing session. The water massage was my favorite part, as cool water jets gave a full body massage. I’m really thankful that the University offers this for their students.”

The puppy petting center and adult coloring books were also a big hit.

Sophomore Kinesiology student Brooke Rayburn said, “I absolutely love dogs! The puppies brought to campus were so happy, energetic, and sweet. It was nice to be able to take a break from my studies and play with the adorable pups.”

For tips about how to make it through finals week successfully, check out the article below written by Communications student Sharda James.

Best of Luck! Remember, keep calm and make it to Christmas break.


Demon-Haunted PechaKuchas


Dr. Rebecca Martindale gave a PechaKucha presentation at the end to give her interpretation of the book.

On Friday December 1, Dr. Rebecca Martindale, Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology, had her students present their PechaKucha presentations over the book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan.


“When we first started these presentations, I kind of did it in the middle of the semester and Caleigh started at the beginning. She’s going to do her presentation of The Demon-Haunted World the way most students and faculty would present when they use PowerPoint Presentation,” said Dr. Martindale.

The event began with Caleigh Bailon’s traditional presentation summarizing chapter 1 of the book. She discussed the key points of the chapter and her slides were text-heavy, which is common in many traditional presentations.

“After learning the new method of presentation, it’s kind of gruesome to go back and look at something like this,” Bailon said.

Next, Philip Dorouen explained what a PechaKucha was and how they worked. PechaKuchas are presentations that follow a specific format. 20 images are shown for 20 seconds each and they advance automatically.

“They are a great creative way for students to express themselves,” he said.

The benefit to this presentation style is that it can prevent the speaker from spending too much of their time talking about one part of the presentation. They have to keep speaking to keep up with the presentation and it can shorten a lengthy topic to highlight the main points. You can visit the PechaKucha website for more information and to watch other presentations. He also played the following video for the audience to give them a visual of how this presentation method worked.

“One of the things they do is have PechaKucha nights. It was originally designed by a couple of architects who basically had this philosophy where if you give an architect a microphone, they’ll talk for hours and hours. People all around the world get together in lots of different venues and have PechaKucha nights to talk about whatever they want with this particular format,” said Dr. Martindale.

Abram Garza presented his PechaKucha to summarize chapter 3 of the book.

Abram Garza presented the first PechaKucha of the event to summarize chapter 3: The Man in the Moon and the Face on Mars. This chapter was about pseudo-science and how people tend to believe tales without proof of their validity. He used note cards to aid his presentation because this format relies on images without text. Roslyn Swofford was the last student to present and she summarized chapter 21 of the book.

Dr. Martindale ended the event with her own PechaKucha presenting her interpretation of the book. This particular method made it easier to stay engaged during the presentations. The absence of text put more focus on the presenter and what they were saying, while also providing an interesting visual. Next time you have a presentation for class, try using this method to make your presentations more fun, engaging, and interesting.

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

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!

College Student Discounts

Between paying for tuition, books, the dining hall, and a dorm room your budget probably seems a little slim. What if I told you there are tons of discounts you can get just for being in college? From everyday essentials to specialty items, these companies want to treat you to savings created specifically for college students.

Also, don’t forget to pick up a personal discount card designed for Texas A&M University-Texarkana at the front desk of the University Center. It has great deals for businesses in the area.


Anytime Fitness

  • One Week Free Trial

Legends – State Line Texarkana

  • One Week Free Trial

Sportsplex By Health Care Express 

  • $42 Student Rate



  • Free Drink with Student I.D.


  • Free Drink with Student I.D.

Gusano’s – Texarkana

  • Show Student I.D. and Discount Card for 10%.


  • Show Student I.D. For 10% Off

Taste & See

  • Show Student I.D. For 10% Off

Twisted Fork – Texarkana

  • 25% off All Pizzas with school discount card.

Waffle House

  • Show Student I.D. For 10% Off


Amazon Prime for Students

  • 6 Months Free
  • 50% off Prime Membership After Trial
  • ALL Prime Benefits including FREE 2-Day Shipping
  • Added College Deals

FedEx Student Discount Club – With Student ID

  • 20% Off Envelope Shipments
  • 30% Off Package Shipments
  • Available at FedEx Stations

Sam’s Club

  • Offers Student Membership and Benefits
  • See Local Club

UPS – Richmond Texarkana

  • 10% Off Printing Services


Spotify Premium For Students

  • $4.99 a Month
  • Includes FREE access to Hulu.



  • Students can save up to 15% on select coverages with a minimum of a B average.

Nationwide Insurance

  • Drivers up to 24 years in age can get discounts with a minimum of a B average.

State Farm

  • Offers up to 25% off insurance for students in good standing.


Adobe Creative Cloud

  • 60% Off Creative Cloud Application Bundle
    • Includes PhotoShop, Lightroom, AdobeXD, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver, Acrobat Pro, 20+ Desktop and Mobile Apps, Free Tutorials, Regular Upgrades

Apple Electronics – 

  • Student Pricing available for current and newly registered college students.

Red River Innovation Lab for the Humanities

In college, one of the most rewarding accomplishments as a student is acquiring the ability to conduct and exhibit our own works. Doing so means that we are in some way progressing intellectually and broadening both our skill sets and minds by practicing what we learn.  Admittedly, though, it’s hard to do this alone. Guidance, even the slightest thereof, can help individuals in dramatic ways. For this reason, Texas A&M – Texarkana is proud to present a new way for students, faculty, and staff members to collaborate, innovate, and communicate ideas and research agenda’s that will contribute to a better understanding of the humanities The Red River Innovation Lab for the Humanities!

The innovation lab intends on taking a student lead approach to education and scholarship by utilizing not only services and teachings of value to students, but also allowing them to produce their own research and experiments. The lab wants to offer Texas A&M – Texarkana school members a place of encouragement in which they can gather resources cooperatively and produce research-based developments that aid in the progression of their own understandings of the humanities. From the beginning, we want to emphasize student involvement and construct the lab in a way that benefits the wants and needs of student academics.

The Red River Innovation Lab, though not officially open, will be located in room 120 in the STEM building. We’ve just begun receiving our equipment to get up and running! Prior to our grand opening, Director Drew Morton will be hosting our first meeting on November 28th, from 12:15 to 1 pm, in the lab. The meeting is of a participatory nature meant as an opportunity for you to disclose what sort of projects and materials you’re interested in the innovation lab to offer. Dr. Morton will also provide further insight regarding what we will be able to provide for you! It’s an opportunity for voices to be heard. Finally, you get to tell everyone what you want to learn and gain experience in within the field of humanities. Some examples of possible discussion topics may be podcasts, broadcasting, PLACE work, and whatever else you bring to the table. A link to the Innovation Lab’s Facebook page is included below where you can let us know if you are interested in attending. If you plan on joining us, please RSVP by November 26! There will be a light lunch and refreshments offered, so feel free to come by and check out your school’s new research facilities! We hope to see you there.

‘Remediation’ is Everywhere

November 16th, 2017 – Squeezed between two Mass Communication courses Dr. Morton was teaching, he found the time to hold a PLACE Lecture in UC 210 – the subject, Bolter & Grusin’s Remediation, a subject dear to his heart (or as close as he can get with a subject so often covered in his courses) and one that I, a Mass Communication Major myself, find fun food for thought when it counts.

While the lecture got described as a 40 minute crash course, the topic of Remediation thankfully is one that’s simple to understand but difficult to master. Remediation, in the case of Bolter & Grusin meaning representing one medium in another, is something we don’t spot enough in everyday life for how prevalent the concept is – it’s essentially the ‘borrowing’ of ideas from one medium (Film, TV, Video Games) to enhance or otherwise detail another – consider Film and TV in the 90’s, two very distinct mediums that aren’t so different in modern terms.

The paradox of Remediation, however, is that often media need to borrow from each other to feel real – they must be less like themselves to be themselves. Think long enough about your favorite property and you might find that you can make a stronger argument for it being a medium other than one it actually is.

Dr. Morton was by the day’s end more than a bit exhausted but he did want to comment that if the lecture (or what’s being described by me after the fact) was of interest to anyone they should consider stopping by the Red River Innovation Lab in the Science and Technology Building on campus, Room 120. As of now, they’re shooting for a full launch of the lab before the beginning of Spring but there’ll be events to get a game plan going in the coming weeks.