6 TEDTalks For Exam Season

6 TEDTalks For Exam Season

Great Thinkers On How To Be More Productive And Stress Free
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As we get closer to the end of the semester, I cannot help but notice how time flies as paper deadlines and exam dates seem to grow closer and closer. If you’re like me, you probably have been losing motivation as you focus on surviving (and maybe thriving) in the present and not on the future. For me, this is a slippery slope into stress and procrastination. Balancing the lack of motivation and the desire for my work to be good can be difficult and cause stress.

So here are some TedTalks for how to fight off procrastination and stress so you can be more productive:

1. Inside The Mind Of A Master Procrastinator (Tim Urban)

According to Urban, we all have a “Panic Monster” that scares us into action and explains why procrastinators do so well under pressure. However, no deadlines means no Panic Monster scaring them into action and is why many chronic procrastinators can be unhappy: “The frustration is not that they couldn’t achieve their dreams; it’s that they weren’t even able to start chasing them.” So we need to take a long, hard look at the “Life Calendar” and create our own deadlines to motivate us into action.

2. The Surprising Habits Of Original Thinkers (Adam Grant)

As a teacher, Grant has found that moderate procrastinators are more creative than the chronic procrastinators and “precrastinators”, or those who rush in and do everything early. For Grant, this is because “procrastination gives you time to consider divergent ideas, to think in nonlinear ways, to make unexpected leaps.”

3.Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work (Jason Fried)

Just like you don’t sleep well if interrupted, Fried claims that being productive requires a block of uninterrupted time or you risk having to go back a few phases and start again. To increase your productivity, he suggests putting away distracting things like your phone and email “and then you can be interrupted on your own schedule, at your own time, when you’re available, when you’re ready to go again.” He also suggests going for an entire afternoon without talking to anyone so you can work uninterrupted.

4. How To Succeed? Get More Sleep (Arianna Huffington)

“I’m here to tell you that the way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep.” Since her experience of fainting from exhaustion, Huffington has become a big supporter of sleep. She wants to end the ‘sleep deprivation one-upmanship’ or bragging about how little sleep you got.

5. How To Make Stress Your Friend (Kelly McGonigal)

“When you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress.” For McGonigal, the key is changing your mindset from stress as harmful to your body’s response to stress as helping you rise to the challenge.

6. How To Stay Calm When You Know You’ll Be Stressed (Daniel Levitin)

When we get stressed, our brain is flooded with cortisol that can cloud our thinking. So if you know that you will be stressed, Levitin suggests that “you look ahead and you try to figure out all the things that could go wrong, and then you try to figure out what you can do to prevent those things from happening, or to minimize the damage.” As students, consider doing things like saving your papers in multiple places and printing out extra copies. As you get ready for exams, consider setting multiple extra alarms in case you miss your normal one so you don’t sleep through your exam!

Hopefully these TEDTalks will have motivated you to finish off the semester strong and to not procrastinate too much! Just remember that you can do it!


Cover Image Credit: emergingedtech.com

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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.
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College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University



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Sociolinguistics Series: Part 49

Language is a powerful tool.

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Welcome back! We made our way to a meeting with Dr. Shikaki, a Palestinian demographer--basically, that means he takes polls to see what the population's opinion is. It also means he can see how the opinion changes, as the polls started decades ago.

Again, as I talk about his message, keep in mind that this is his unique narrative, and it is different from other narratives out there--both on the Palestinian and Israeli side. He does give a very factual talk, though, due to the nature of his job. He essentially takes all the narratives of everyone else to craft a blanket-statement narrative; however, we should keep in mind that blanket-statements are almost never 100% accurate.

In addition, because he is able to write the questions being asked in his polls, there could be certain narratives left out. Of course, if you've taken any statistics class, you know about nonresponse bias and other biases that come out of censuses and samples. To my knowledge, Dr. Shikaki's polls are only in the West Bank, so Gazan Palestinians aren't even included here.

The first thing he tells us is that a majority of Palestinians in the West Bank are dissatisfied with their government, the Palestinian Authority. The approval rating for the PA is only about 20-25%, and 80% of Palestinians surveyed said that the government is corrupt in some way. A large group of secular Palestinians said that they support the liberal values that are associated with democracy, such as press freedom, gender equality, minority rights, and most importantly, regularly-held elections.

Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Palestinians who support a democratic political system (because they are dissatisfied with the current corruption, as the current system is not giving them a very high standard of living) rose to over 80%.

Some liberal social values are not as widely accepted because many of these liberal values are a very Westernized way of living, and Arab culture differs from Western culture in many ways; neither is better than the other. However, Palestinians do want the freedom of press and less corruption in political parties. Currently, they do not think they have an independent judiciary.

Dr. Shikaki explained that Palestinians can be split, for the most part, into "nationalists," who are mostly secular, and "Islamists," who are mostly religiously observant and non-secular. Nationalists believe in a separation of the church and state, and they are first and foremost Palestinians (compared to Islamists, who are first and foremost Muslims--and Palestinians second). Fatah is the largest political faction within the nationalists.

Within nationalism, there are mainstream nationalists and leftist nationalists. The overwhelming majority of nationalists are mainstream nationalists. They believe that though there is a separation of church and state, there should be cooperation between the state and religion; both can work together. It is not an antagonistic relationship. 55% of the entire Palestinian public would identify with mainstream nationalism (15% would identify with leftist nationalism, and 30% would identify with Islamism).

The smaller section of nationalism is leftist nationalism. They believe that the state can eradicate the importance placed on religion if need be. On the other end is Islamism, which believes that state and religion cannot be separated. Parliament cannot rule in a way that is opposed to Islamic rule and Muslim values. Again, they are first and foremost Muslims, and after that comes their identity of Palestinians and Arabs.

They show more support for a rule by Hamas in the West Bank because Hamas tends to have similar values as them. In the West Bank, about a third of the population supports Hamas over the PA. In Gaza, there is higher support for Hamas, and Hamas was actually democratically elected after the second intifada.

The public in the West Bank sometimes blames nationalists for corruption, and since nationalists are associated with the current government, Hamas could actually win a popular vote right now--which is why the PA has been holding off elections (which, to Palestinians, is another sign of corruption).

Now that we've seen how Palestinians view themselves, we need to see how Palestinians view their Israeli neighbors--and how they view the possibility of peace. It's a lot to unpack, so this concludes this chapter, and I will be talking about it in the next section!

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