Thursday, April 30, 2009

A new site, a new start

Hey all,

I started a new site. Study Successful
I wanted a wordpress site, a real domain name (without and a new name.
This name, Study Successful is a new which resembles more what I'm writing.

So, I'm moving on! I hope you all move with me!
Start with the About StudySuccessful page!

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Why ready, fire and aim (doesn't) work

I couple of weeks I read on Zen College Life about 'Ready! Fire! Aim!'  and I thought it was great. The actual meaning, as I interpretate it, is to get started, get into action, modify what you do later. I read another article, on Study Hacks, about 'getting started is overrated' and I want to talk about both the views.

Why 'Ready! Fire! Aim!' does work.
  • The wheel starts to roll. As Kevin said it, a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. If you keep thinking about how to make that first step, you will never walk. If you keep thinking about whether you should make the journey or not, you will never start!
  • You have to modify. Alright, you made a mistake, but you don't want to turn around and go back anymore, that means you waste your time. You are going to change your way and keep on walking, keep on going.

Why 'Ready! Fire! Aim!' doesn't work.
  • You waste time. If you are going to put everything in action, immediatly, there is a big chance of failing on the way. If you don't decide which way you are going to take on your thousand mile journey, you may end up on the wrong way. Maybe, as Kevin said at the end, you find a shortcut and you reach your goal more efficiently. But on the other side, you may find that you are walking on a road which ends dead. And you have to walk back. (I ain't that pessimistic, I think I'll find a shortcut)
  • You don't really know what your are doing. You don't know how you are walking. Maybe you are putting your feet completely wrong on the ground and you will have an injury after 50 miles. This is the danger with instant action, you can go wrong, and this means your whole idea can go wrong.
  • You can lose credibility. When your action involves other human beings, your action, without overthinking, can lead to loss of credibility. If you come up with the plan 'I'm going to walk thousand miles' and the other person asks 'what kind of shoes are you going to wear?' and you don't have an answer, it is most likely the other guy won't even believe that you are serious about your plan. 'How are you going to walk thousand miles without any good shoes, haha!'
Ready! Fire! Aim! is a great way to get you on the road, get your wheels rolling, start the action. But when it involves other people, you should worry about your credibility, you do have to overthink something, have some sort of plan, it only has to be sketches, that will do.
Make some sketches of your plan, and put it into action!

image by watchsmart

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to make a presentation, quick

8 p.m. you finished all your homework, and you feel satisfied and check your agenda once again, and then, there it is: 'Presentation English.'

Do you recognize this? You think you are on schedule, and suddenly there is a big presentation left.
Here is how you make a presentation, quick

  • First, find your subject. Maybe you already know it. If you don't, find a subject and think about it. Think about it while you are doing things you normally do at the end of the evening, pack your back, make lunch and think about the subject.
  • Next, write everything down. In the direction that you want to say it during your presentation. Just write your presentation down. But, don't look for every fact on the internet, that's something you can do later. Just write [OVERLOOK AGAIN] or something like that behind it.
  • Color or highlight everything that supposed to be in the powerpoint presentation. Do this while you are writing things down.
  • After you wrote it all down, look for all the facts, and write them down. 
  • And now, make the powerpoint, choose a theme quickly and write everything in it which you highlighted before. This is going really quick now.
  • At last, practise you presentation once or twice before the mirror.

Now you can be really satisfied, you finished all your homework, AND made a presentation in less than two hours! That's fantastic.
Good luck with it!

Further reading:

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

How to give Feedback

I discussed getting feedback, or how I like to call it, a smack in the face, a couple of days ago.
And now I would like to explain how you should give feedback.

When I asked some friends about feedback, they all say. 'But it should be nice feedback, not only negative.' Of course, feedback contains good things, and bad things.
Only bad things would make you feel miserable, only good things doesn't help you at all.

How should you give feedback

Make it a real 'feedback' talk. Don't just give some tips, but make it serious. It isn't a bad thing to make it take ten minutes. Write things down, and explain, with examples, what you are thinking about what the other person is doing.
Like, if someone is your group-leader in some sort of project, take some time at the end of the week to talk about how he is doing. Write, during the week, things down which you want to say to him at the feedback moment. Schedule that moment, make it the weekly feedback moment!

Be sure it is constructive criticism. You have to be sure that the other person is able to turn your feedback in action. If someone says to me: 'Stefan, you are sitting like a bag of salt, go sit straight!' It is something I can't do anything with. It makes me angry towards that person.
Say instead of those angry words something like this: 'Stefan, do you know that you aren't sitting straight? Try to stretch your back more.'
First, the question. Probably I don't know at all how I sit, so ask first if the person is familiair with the problem, than give tips how to do it better.

Be realistic. If you are giving feedback to someone who is really shy about a presentation in class, don't give tips like 'try to walk more, make it more vivid' and all, because that person is having a hard time standing in front of the class. Give tips about being confident to talk to the class instead. Now who you are talking to, now their capacities, now what limits they have, and of course, now which limits you should cross ;)

Now you understand how to give feedback, give some feedback to me. Just give it in the comments, I would like to read it ;)

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Getting Feedback

A lot of times I think I'm on the right way. I think I'm doing a great thing and just continue what I'm doing. Untill someone suddenly says: 'Stefan, what the heck are you doing? That's completely WRONG.' Hmm, couldn't I get that feedback earlier?

Hell yeah, feedback is really important in whatever you are doing. Wether you are writing a book and keep saying teh instead of the, or you are playing pinball and sit wrong so you back will hurt. You would not notice!

Feedback makes you improve yourself. There are some critical points that you may be missing, and maybe someone else does see it.

Sometimes, you think you are completely on the good road to succeed in what you're doing. But actually, you aren't. And some will criticize you, give tips, but never say you are on the wrong way. What they do is just giving you a little push towards the good road, and those bumps are so small you don't even notice.

What should they do?
They should give you some real feedback. Make you stop, and tell you what they think. So you can stop, turn into the good way, and get back on the road again. So much better than those pushes you don't notice.

This can really be a smack in your face, but accept it. You are stuck in your own view, but your surroundings have different views, accept those different opinions and use them. Use them to improve yourself, use them to get back on the road to success!

What should you do?
Ask every week, month in what you can improve. Ask your classmate, teacher or mother what you are doing completely wrong, and make them stop you. Feedback is, as I said, most of the times a smack in the face, and people wouldn't like to give that smack. Ask them, give them your cheeck, and they only have to smack!

My next post will be about giving feedback, how to give it, and still be nice ;)

I'm running this blog now for a couple of months, I don't have many readers yet, but the readers I have, can you give me some feedback? Can you give me a smack in the face, please?

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Period Of Relaxation

After a week of tests, exams or any though brain-training sessions you need a week rest. You need a period to calm down, get yourself together again to start another period of hard working. Here are some great tips!

In my case, it is after a week of exams at school. I had 9 big tests, so had to learn, practice a lot. No serious, a lot. The weekend after it, I didn't do ANYTHING for school. What I did do was.
  • Sleep again. Finally some sleep again. Just sleep till 9am, instead of 7 am. Go to bed at 11pm, instead of 2am (because you just had to look at that paragraph again).
  • Play videogames. More for boys than for girls I guess. I didn't use my PS2 for like 4 weeks, so finally, again a good game of God of War! But some other great games: Pinball (of course the great 3D Pinball Space Cadett, the Windows one), Zombie Wars
  • Hang out with friends. Of course, the night you go to the bar, drink and have fun. But also some nice, relax at someone house. We made truffles and played monopoly!
  • Start again. Make yourself ready for the new upcoming period. Clean your room, refresh your note-map and get some order in your life!
These are my tips to do in a period of relaxation. The period you grab yourself together again. This period isn't over yet for me, so do you have any tips to do for me?

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Making Flashcards #2

Last week I posted 'Making flashcards' and I did it, and it worked pretty well.

How I made them
I said I was going to print the questions and add the answers, well I just wrote the questions and answers and that worked fine for me!
I didn't use that stupid program on my computer, didn't work at all. I wondered who install that program..

I used them for Biology, as I said, I made around 40 cards and carry them with me for a couple of days. I want to name some pro's and cons for it.

  • It takes a lot of time. I spent around 2 hours making them, admitting that I maybe wrote too much on it.. But a lot of time, for not that much cards.
  • They are ugly in use. I'm the only one in my class who walks around flashing those cards in front of me. I will name some questions I got: 'What are YOU doing?!' 'Hey Stefan, are you going to be a quizmaster?' But when I explained it, they got it and said: 'Let me know if it works out.' 
  • They are extremely easy to use. No serious, extremely. Just when you don't have anything to do, waiting in an elevator, or walking to class or something. Just grab them and test yourself!
  • You can always carry them with you. They are so small, I got 16 cards out of one A4-paper. Really small, instead of big papers which leads to accidents when you read them walking. ;) Put them in your pocket, and grab them anytime you want.
Upgrades (extras)
  • I wrote a big Q on the question-side so you will know what is the front and what is the back
  • When I was near a pen, I marked the card when I got it right, after three marks I lay the card on the 'done-pile.'
  • I'm going to try something with colours!
I'm really curious in other upgrades, maybe you can give me some tips!

When I was in my first year of high-school my Latin teacher mentioned flashcards. I thought: 'A lot of work and it won't work for me.' I was wrong. Yes, it was a lot of work, but they DID work for me. Easy to use, small and simply everywhere useable.
Will I use them more often. Definitly!

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Frequent Breaks

I have been testing with breaks during study, and got some great results which works for me, and maybe also for you!

I heard about frequent breaks on the Wired Study Tips podcast and I've been thinking about it. How did I use breaks, and how do I want to use them?

How did I, and most of the students, use them?
We use our breaks as 'way-out' 'Finally, BREAKTIME!' including playing some video games, chatting on an instant messenger, making the best origami figures ever. And we forget the time and we waste another half an hour.

How should we use it?
As relaxation. Give your brain some time to process it all. And yes, we need to do some complete other things than what we did. That origami figure isn't bad. But don't do it too long. 

I have breaks every half an hour. Just set a timer, and after 30 minutes, I stop studying and do something else. After 5 minutes doing something else, I start studying again. And after 4 of those sessions, it's lunch time, or any eating time, which means a break for like, 15-30 minutes.

What to do on a break?
Well, you need to do something different than the subject. If you studying the industrial revolution of China, don't read an article about the industrialisation of China, but read an article about flying fishes!

Instead of reading, there are a lots of things you can do.
  • Cleaning your room. Jessica finds it usefull, and I agree with her. Not only something which doesn't require any thoughts, but also usefull, for if your girlfriend is coming over!
  • Get some tea. That is what I do most of the times, get a cup of tea, zipping a bit, and start studying again!
  • Just stare out of the window. Empty your mind, daydream a bit and get some fresh air. Lovely.
So, study for 30 minutes, stare for 5 minutes and study again for 30 minutes. When you got the routine, it's really easy!
Good luck, and, don't be afraid to share your thoughts about this subject with me!

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Making flashcards

I want to try something new in my learning style. I want to use FlashCards.

Only I don't know anything about it, how you use it and how it works. I guess it is something with questions and answers, on the other side..

So, what I found, quickly on the internet is:

'Flashcards remain one of the best tools for memorizing information. The most common way to create flashcards is to use index cards. Students can simply write the question on one side and the answer on the opposite side and test themselves repeatedly. However, there are several ways to modify this process to enhance the learning experience.' Source

And how to make them:
  • I'm going to print the questions. And I will write the answers on it with hand. With that, I already have seen the answer, and learned it in a different way
  • I found a program called 'make bootable flashcards' on my computer, I will check it if it is usuable, or just some wacko microsoft thing again ;)
Where I'm going to use it for:
  • Biology, the same class as where I tested iPod Studying on. Because here I do have some questions and answers, which are hard to memorize!
  • Maybe sociology, because this is one of the classes with a lot of questions!
Maybe you have any tips for me with flashcards, because I'm just going to test it, do you use it, how do you use it? Let me know!

Keep in touch for the rest of the experiment!

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Presentation in class: The Middle

Once you had your killer introduction, you are ready for the middle of your presentation.

What is in the middle?
  • More explanation about the subject, some space to make the problem bigger!
  • You come up with different solutions, and arguments for it or against it.
This part is more boring than your anecdotic introduction and now it is even more important to keep your audience interested, because this is what you really want them to tell!

Keep being interactive. The key to a succesfull presentation. Keep asking questions to some people in your audience, as I said in the introduction. They will be awake, and stay awake if you question them more often. The second sort of questioning you have to do is the 'does everyone understand?' No, they won't react, but it is a good gesture ;)

Keep it interesting. Yes, this is a more boring part, but it doesn't have to be! If you keep the dry math and all short, the class will be kept interested. Keeping that guys, who aren't interesting in anything but girls, interested is a great challenge. ;)

Be humoristic. Your class needs a laugh one at a time. Just make jokes, be sarcastic and you know what I mean, just make them laugh.

With these tips, your presentation will be more fun and more interesting, what do you want more?

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Presentation in class: The Introduction

The beginning of a presentation, introducing your subject and especially: Getting the attention of your class! How to do it?

I spoke about the presentation in class lately, and I thought 'That ain't enough' this subject needs much more attention.

After a couple of years in high school now, I did many presentation, in front of my whole class. I also had to do some performing for even bigger audiences with acting or debating, so I am pretty experienced in speaking before an audience. I have most of the times the attention of the whole class and I have some tricks for it, which are really important in your introduction.

Start with an anecdote. This have to be a really interesting thing. If you start with a short story, your class would be interested 'hey that is something Stefan did, funny.' And the greatest part of it, it doesn't have to be true! If I start with 'Me, the religous boy I am' the class would immediatly start to laugh, because I am the opposite, but I do have their attention now!

Make the problem a huge problem. If you can convince your class that the problem you have chosen is a real, big problem they are more interested in the sollution you offer. There is a big difference between 'The red-headed frog is becoming destinct' and 'In 2 years, there won't be any red-headed frog anymore.' Make your class face the problem, awake them!.

Ask something! Be interactive! The class is on the same level as you are, they know plenty of things. You have to be exact. Don't ask the class a question, they won't respond. Ask a person. 'Blabla, ALEX! What do you know about blabla' the class will be awake immediatly, cause you are doing something uncommon. They should pay attention, cause they could be questioned!

Do anything interactive. I can't say it enough. If you want attention, let them do something. Let them sing a song, make a popquiz or make a mindmap with the whole class about the subject. A mindmap is a really good idea, cause you can take an inventory of the knowledge about the subject.

Make it an interactive introduction, awake your class. They have to listen whole day to teachers, make yourself stand out. Make it their luminous point of the day!

This is how I recommend it, but do YOU have any ideas? I'm really curious, I have some presentation coming up again, what can you learn me about this?

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Biology Practicum

How do you know if some tissue contains cancer-cells? How can you make them visible? How can you locate those cells, to destroy them later?

Those questions were lain down before us. Two students from the University Leiden came to our high school and gave a short college and a practicum. Really interesting.
We had to put a fluorisenting liquid on the cells, which will show the structure of the cell so we could see if it was a cancer-cell or not. And it was. Simply great.

And how did it affect my vision on the University?
  • First, I learned that you have much more cool stuff on the University. They brought a special microscope, simply fantastic.
  • That even if you study Medicine, you can learn a lot about DNA and how to show it. This guy studies Medicine, and this is his side-job. So instead of working at the McDonalds, he worked for the University and gives presentations at high schools, pretty awesome!
  • When you study on a University, you learn to presentate even better. These guys just explained some really hard topics, and they made it understandeble. Of course, they did it a couple of times before, but they have a really easy way how they present the topic and themselves.
  • I know now that University is going to be great. Of course, I already knew it, but I'm even more sure. It is going to be great, if I see those guys, I really look forward to become like them, really.
I learned a lot about biology, but also about the University, so I think it was a afternoon well spend!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

How to give the perfect presentation in class

I have a presentation in English class tomorrow, not that big, for a mock mark. Here is how we are going to do it and how it works.

The presentation is short and not that important, five minutes is enough. We have to do it in couples and we chose the musical Les Misèrables as topic.

  • Have a good introduction. Don't start with 'You all know' or 'I want to talk about', those phrases won't activate your class. You have to make them interested. We saw the musical (my partner is my girlfriend actually) so the class will be interested. 'Hmm, a personal experience!' 
  • Keep your presentation vivid. The class will not keep listening if you are just standing there, saying all the words on your paper. Forget the paper! Throw it away! Give the presentation as if you are just talking to your friends. They are your classmates, so they will be your friends right?
  • Have an ass-kicking interactive end. We will make the class sing along with a song from the musical. When everybody is singing, they must feel ridiculous and great at the same time.
The class will hopefully like the presentation, wish me luck!

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Quoting: Bertrand Russell

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.  - Bertrand Russell

I just love this quote. Because it seems so true.
Fanatics are always in charge with a new project. 'Wow, that sounds great, let's get started!' Believe me, I know, I am one. Fanatics doesn't think, they just do, because they want to. Get it done, and get it done good.
And who remains silent? The wise people. They think it over and over, and when the project is nearly finished, they start to speak. 'Shouldn't we do this or that.' And it is great for the fanatics (at least for the bit wise fanatics), cause they have a little feedback now. Lovely! Is this a problem actually?

The fools are always certain because they just don't know better. 'No, this is the good way, stop criticizing me!' They don't listen anymore. Yes, that is a problem ;)

How do you see this? Is it actually a bad thing that the wise are always in doubt, or does it help the fanatics actually?
Don't doubt to share your thoughts!

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Quoting: George Orwell

Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it. - George Orwell.

I really want to read his book, 1984, but I can't find time.
About the quote. I think it is really true, we all feel better than the generation who was before us, we are more civilized, better educated and much, much smarter.

But how true is it? Are we better? Is working with computers better? What if the power goes down, and we depend all on the power of our computer, not our instinct anymore.
I am not someone who thinks like it, but I do find it interesting to think about it.
And how about you? What do you think about this?

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Week Review: Week 5 of 2009

Week 5 of 2009, the week where I:

  • Quoted C.S. Lewis, who said something about failures!
  • Talked about STRESS! and especially stress at your exam.
  • Read a lot about personal development, which I got really interested in.
And the week where I:
  • Practised more for a upcoming debate!
  • Did a lot for a big school project, a lot of typing!
  • Talked with some printing offices, about printing our school paper!
  • Was really happy, I did an air guitar on my bycicle!
It was a great week. But also a week with some stress, cause I had to do a lot for school. Last year of High School, what a year.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How to be stressless at your exam

How can you be without stress at your exam. I mentioned that as one of the point how I aced my examweek, being calm. I think how to have no stress needs more words.

First we need the definition of stress at an exam. I think it is a sudden feeling that you do not know anything. You don't know anything, and you will not know anything in the whole exam.

So you must prevent that feeling, or overcome it.

How to prevent stress
  • Don't interfere in the discussion your classmates have just before the test. Every time, before an exam, my classmates will go like 'Do you know what that is, and that, and how do you do this.' You should NOT interfere, cause most of the times you won't get out of it. Your classmate doesn't know the answer, and you don't either. So you will get stressed, cause you don't know that, and you will not know anything!
  • Be prepared. You will not get the feeling you don't know anything, if you do know everything. There is no need for stress, if you know you can make the test good. If you prepared yourself with questions which are the same as the examquestions you will know what you can expect. No need for stress.
  • Have enough sleep. Like I said, you have to be prepared. You are not prepared to solve great math puzzles when you had 2 hours of sleep. Make sure you get enough sleep, drink a cup of coffee before the exam. Make sure you are awake, sharp and ready to rock at the test.
  • Get the vibe. This is one of the best things I did this examweek. Before the test, get the vibe, get into the flow of the exam. If you have math, make some sums right before the test, so you know you are ready. And at this last practice, don't make it too hard for yourself. Practise some sums that are a bit easier then you expect on the exam. You will have the feeling you can do it, and your brain is already adapted at those kind of questions!

With these tips, the chance you will get a 'stress-attack' is reduced. But, there is always a chance. I had some stress suddenly at an exam also. I needed a very good grade, and when I saw the first question, I didn't knew it. And I stressed big time. But when I read the question again, I found out that the question wasn't that hard at all.

How to overcome stress during an exam
  • Pull yourself together, immediatly. You can't allow yourself to come into the circle of stress. Cause if you are in it, it gets harder to recover. So you need to be quick with noticing you get stressy. And when you know you get stressy, breathe in through your nose, and out through the mouth. Just a regular zen-like exercise, which actually helps.
  • Read further. Every exam has a simple question. So if you got the feeling you don't know anything, read further and look for that question. Or any question, as long as you know it. Answer it and you will think to yourself 'not that hard at all'. And if you see the first question again, you will be more confidend.
  • Read better. I am the person who always reads too fast. I got better at it, and learned to read the questions better, but sometimes, I read too fast. So when I do it, I interpretate the question wrong and think I don't know it. That is crucial, cause I am close to get in the stress circle. So read better, make sure you get the question good. This is what saved me at an exam this week.
The key to a stressless exam is being prepared, and you have to have the 'read good' technique mastered. If those two factors come together, you won't have stress at the exams anymore!
How do YOU reduce, avoid stress at your exam?

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Quoting: C.S. Lewis

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement - C.S. Lewis

So true, but so tough to put in practise. I think it is just so hard for people to fail. Nobody wants to fail, you will be embarrased, or you will regret it forever.

But you need to go through it, and on the road to achievement, it may be a very important step. Cause when you fail, you will learn so much more. You can better fail 2 times, than succeed 20 times. When you fail, you will go through every step which led to the failure, and you will think over every step again, to know why you failed.

And no, we suddenly do not want to fail. But that is the best part about failure. Failure is inevitable, and we should love that. Cause we do not want to fail, but we have to.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Week Review #3 of 2009

I'm still thinking about the title. Week review #4 of 2009 isn't true, cause I started in week #2, so it is WR #3, but week #4.

Week #4 of 2009.

The week where
  • I didn't quote anyone! I simple haven't had the time, sorry!
  • The week where my examweek was finished. And I had one of my best examweeks ever. How did I do it?
  • The week where I actually only made one post. Bad, very bad. But I got some things coming up!
Except that, it is also the week where
  • I had 5 tests, in 2 days. Insane
  • I felt great again
  • I trained 3 times.
  • I learned the meaning of the words: Antebrachium, ileus and acra. Do I need to explain what those words mean?
And the week where
  • I went snowboarding with school!
  • I only fell 28 times! (Maybe more, maybe less)
  • I watched La vita è bella with my girlfriend. What a fantastic movie!
Week #4 of 2009 was a good week. I liked it that I got all those great marks back, and the snowboarding day was also great. The week started with a lot of stress, cause I had 5 upcoming exams, and ended with a lot of relaxation cause the examweek was over!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How I aced my examweek

My examweek (testweek, week full of exams, how you wanna call it) is over. 7 days, 12 exams later, I'm finished.

How did it go? Fantastic. After every test I had a good feeling (well, except Latin, but that is nothing new), the feeling that I could answer the most of the questions. Lovely feeling.

How did you do it? I think that is an interesting question. Because I am almost the only one with this feeling in my year.

I think the main thing is stay calm. Do not stress out, stick to the plan. I made the plan that I want to be done studying at 10pm every evening, and then go to sleep, or read a book, watch some tv. And stick to it. Make sure you are finished at 10pm.
Do not stress, it won't get your grade up. When you stress, stop studying. Breath through your nose, just relax for a while. Do not stress at your test. If you don't know a question, pass it.

What follows from staying calm/sticking to the plan is get enough sleep. I do not get enough sleep normally. I sleep at 12, and have to wake up at 7am or even 5.30am. But now, in the examweek I forced myself to get enough sleep. When I had to wake up at 7, I slept before 11pm, what means I get more than 8 hours sleep. I have classes like math, chemics, physics. So I have to be focussed all the time, it is more than just learning facts. I had to be sharp, and I was it.

Eat good. I always eat pretty much, nothing different in the examweek. Except that this week, I got il. So I ate a lot of vitamins, a lot of fruit. Also I drank a lot of tea. And I felt great with it!
The plan I made with the hot beverages didn't work that good. I found out that hot chocolate in the evening gave me too much energy, so I couldn't sleep before twelve. So after the first day, I scrapped that from the list. Also I drank a lot of tea more, but not much more coffee, so I'm happy 'bout that.

Be prepared. Of course. Be prepared before the test. Make sure you don't have to learn everything the evening before the test. This is crucial for the stay calm part. Just be prepared, I shouldn't explain why.

Will you do it again this way? Yes. Definitly. I will do it very much the same next examweek, but I will be even more prepared. On the last day, I had biology and latin, and I had to do too much for that on the day before the test, so the preparation should need some improvement.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Week 3 of 2009

This is the week of the second exam week of the year.

The exams went great, that's sure.
The week that my surrounding got sick, my girlfriend, my sister.
The week that I got sick, but didn't admit it, just go to school and make the test!

The week where I blogged only once, about Adolf Hitler. But it is a blog which I love, a good post about some just follow what is been said things. (Have to know that for another test tomorrow ;))

The week where I had to learn, but watched Pirates of the Carribean, with my sick sister.
The week where I went babysitting with my girlfriend, and watched Back to the Future there. What a fantastic movie, can't stop loving it.

The week where I was really happy with my style of learning and my preparing for a good test. Think I'm going to blog about that this week, when I find time. Cause I still have another 5 tests in two days. Wish me luck.

Week 3 of January, a good week, a good examweek. A week where Holland got ill, but I'll make my way through it. Yes, I can be gratefull for week 3. Thanks.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Quoting: Adolf Hitler

What luck for rulers that men do not think - Adolf Hitler

Every time in history class, I wondered. 'Don't those Germans had any idea? Couldn't they think at all?' And now I see this quote, quoted by the man himself. Funny.

Could they think? They just had a war of which they were punished. Germany had to pay a lot, really a lot to other countries. So they were angry, they felt treathen unfair, they needed a strong leader. 
Then this small, but persuasive man came up, and said the cause of all these problems. Of course you would believe him, he promised golden times for Germany again!
No, they do not think, men are too driven on emotions to be rational all the time. And for rulers, that is a good thing. Just indoctrinate them with some propaganda, make them believe that what you are going to do is good, and they will follow. The only thing you need is a good strategy.

Men get too much influence from their emotions, so do I. I can get really mad when our government discuss something ('How could they only THINK of that!'). But if I get an explanation by a classmate, or my mum, I understand, and sometimes even agree!
Then, should you try to let go your emotions? Should you just ban them out, and only resolve on ration?
No, that isn't the solution also. It will make you a miserable person, not only to live with, but you will also feel like a miserable person. Interesting to think over more..

Yes, it is a luck for rulers that men don't think. But as a ruler you must be thinking. You must think of your strategy, how you are going to abuse the fact that they don't think.
Or can you learn something to the people of your country, can you learn the people to think? It will take some courage to say 'You don't think'. And some people will not take it lightly, but it can be a greater good..

Perhaps I should become a ruler too, will you listen to me without thinking?

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 Week 2 January

This is the week that

  • I quoted some french guy
  • Wrote about the hot beverages in my exam week
  • Wrote about the student bag. And what should be in it!
But it is also the week that
  • Had a debate in class and scored an 8.8 (on the scale of 10!)
  • Read about visualization, something I didn't read about a long time, and put it in practise with swimming!
  • Learned that coloured marshmellows doesn't even come close to real marshmellow's in hot chocolate (just gross!)
  • Learned that to-do lists DO work, and I'm going to use it more!
  • Learned that Google Calender may be pretty handy in my examweek, and the rest of my life?
And of course the week that
  • I was at the swimming pool at 6 am for training (yes, that is the usual bussiness with swimming in the Netherlands) and find out that my coach didn't had the keys, so I could go back to bed!
  • The week that it was really, really cold in Holland, minus 13 celcius..
  • The week that I went riding on a sledge with my girlfriend, and had a wonderfull time in the snow!
  • The week I read something in the book Dracula, and find out that foreigners doesn't know anything 'bout Holland. Dutchmen's say: 'Mijn god', not 'Mein Gött' that German! Holland is a country, not the capital of Germany or something!
The second week of January? Full, sometimes stressy, but a good startin' up week!

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

8 things that has to be in every student bag

What should be in every senior's schoolbag?

Which things can't be missed in your bag?

There are a couple of things which are variable in my backpack. Like my books and my lunch.
But there are a couple of consistant things in my bag, what should be always in every student bag!
  1. Your map with notes. I keep all my notes (and small assignments) in one map, all my notes from every class. And I will always carry that map. So I got always my notes I took in class with me, so if I have nothing to do, I can always look at that!
  2. A pencil, or so you can underline your notes, or things in your books, which your hopefully carrying with you.
  3. Agenda/diary, to set all your deadlines, know what you have to do and when you have to do it. You can also put something like your grades in it, or adresses, random notes/quotes. I actually don't use it. But it is in my backpack, all the time.
  4. A pen, of course, you can use the pencil for everything. But I prefer the colour blue above grey. And it writes easier, and clearer.
  5. Bottle of water, or just an empty bottle, which you can fill. But keep yourself hydrated, and you can concentrate better in class.
  6. In this time of the year (winter on the northern hemisphere), some kind of lipsalve. Else you get bursted lips, what nobody wants!
  7. Your earphones, for your iPod or telephone, so IF you recorded some notes you can always listen to it. Or just listen to some normal music, if you don't want to do something all the time.
  8. A notebook. I just got an A4 notebook, where I write all my ideas in. If you are having a creative moment, capture it and put it down, so you won't forget. What I also do is taking a paper from it, and make some small cards from it. That is where I write my todo's on. This notebook can't be missed from my bag.
So, now you know the content of my bag, what about yours? Share it in the comments!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How hot drinks will help me through my examweek

It is the time of year again, when you can enjoy hot beverages with full intensity.

It is the time of year again, when you love to cuddle up at the fireside.
I love it too, I really do.

But, for me, it is also the time of year again that I have exams on school. 8 days, 11 tests.
And I'm going to make my way through it, using the benefits of hot beverages.

Starting in the morning: Coffee
When I have the test early, I will get one cup and then go to school. But if I have the test later, something like 11am, I will wake up with one cup, and drink another cup before leaving.
It will keep me sharp, awake and ready to ace the test!

Then, in the afternoon: Tea
When I finished the test, I go back to my house, and then I will have a cup of tea. Relax for half an hour, drink some green tea, to relax, hang over and get ready to study again.

After dinner, in the early evening: Coffee
Yes, coffee again. I think I need it then, cause I have to be awake the rest of the evening to study. So another cup of coffee is added.

Around 9pm. Later in the evening: Hot chocolate
The drink I love the most in the winter season. Especially with tiny marshmallows in it. Lovely, and a good break from your study. I need to be finished with studying at 9pm, so I think I can drink my cup of hot chocolate when I also read my reader. Enjoying enjoying.

Before going to bed, in the late evening: Tea
Yes, another cup of tea. Something to make me calm down again. I ain't stressed that much, but relaxing before going to sleep is important, I think. So a cup of tea, while watching tv with my mom or so, will be a good thing.

That will be my hot beverage schedule. I am already applying it a bit, to look if it is good. And it does work for me, but I actually got two cups of coffee tonight, cause I hadn't had much sleep.
When I count it all up, it will make 6 or 7 hot drinks a day!
It will be something to look forward to 'yes, in half an hour I can have a cup of hot chocolate!'
Sometimes, I love the winter season.

Which hot drinks are you drinking during the day? Does it also helps you through something?
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Monday, January 5, 2009

Quoting: Anatole France

"Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another."
The Quote comes from Anatole France who is a French novelist.

I really agree. I always find that, when I finished my homework, I'm going to blog (well, not always, like now), going to read a book or going to run (should start doing that again..). But I never really rest, or is watching tv something like rest? But often I plan that time; 'Finish my homework before 10, so I can watch tv'. So is it rest?
Why is that? That human beings, at least the modern human being, always wants to do something all the time? I can't go to bed at 8 pm, it is like wasting time to me. Why?
Can't I have normal rest? Can't I just relax?
Yes I can, I can just watch a movie, lying (spelled correct? can you confirm?) on my couch. I should do that more often.
But when I do, I feel like 'wasting time' again. 'I have to do so many things, and what I'm going to do, watching a movie'.

I like it to over see my habits like this.
Have you the courage to look at your habits once a time? What do your for 'relaxation', do you also take up another labor, or do you really 'relax'?

Monday Quoting Day. Number 4 already! See my post from the other weeks: firstsecond and third.
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Friday, January 2, 2009

Having a movie marathon

I had a starwars marathon last weekend with three of my friends. Fantastic, Crazy.

Really, watching six movies in a row, with some of your best friends, there is nothing like it.
We did it with Star Wars, but you can also do it with Lord of the Rings, The Godfather or Harry Potter.

How do you do set up a movie marathon?

Step 1
Choose the serie. We did it a Star Wars marathon, cause one of the guys (17 years old) didn't knew Yoda.

Step 2
Set a date. You will need a weekend, cause you will be dead afterwards. We began at 1.30 pm, ended at 4 am. Choose the location also. We did it at my place, cause I have a beamer. You need a room big enough, some sleeping bags.

Step 3
Buy food. You need some food, you need a lot of food. Buy too much, it is better than that you are hungry at the last film. Everyone needs 2 bottles of soda, 4 bags of chips and 10 chicken wings.

Step 4
Watch it. Go! Put on the dvd-player and have your movie marathon. Watch them all, eat your food, order a pizza when it is dinner-time and eat it during the movie. Enjoy the movies, discuss them with each other.

Step 5
Go to sleep. We watched an episode of friends after it and then (well, three hours later) went to sleep. I recommend to sleep earlier, cause you are dead the day after. Make sure all of you can sleep at the place where you watch, it is more fun.

So, that is my 5 step plan to have a movie marathon.
Really, when you need (or want) some quality time with your friends, this is the best way!

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