3 Tips to Make Completing A Reading Assignment Easier

3 Tips To Make Assigned Readings Less Painful

After a long day of classes the last thing that any student wants to do is complete a reading assignment, but after a few years here are three tips I want to share to make those assignments a little bit easier!

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It is quite crazy to think that as students at the University of Cincinnati (UC) we are already in the third week of our 16-week semester! Thinking back over the past two years and remembering my time here at UC, I feel like the third week of the semester, whether it be the fall or spring semester, is always the week where professors really begin to lay the coursework on their students.

Whether it be reading, essays, case studies, or the beginning of dreaded group projects, the third week is always the week that sets the tone for not only the semester but for the coursework of the class. Being a senior, however, I have already been slammed with homework the past two weeks. Regardless, here are three tips that I have found really helpful over the past two years that classmates, friends, and even professors have recommended helping knock out that reading, group project, essay, or whatever your coursework may entail!

The first tip that was recommended to me by a classmate and one that I also highly recommend is the candy trick. Being a Communication and Journalism major, a lot of our coursework involves countless hours of reading, therefore, if you also find yourself in a situation where you have a lot of reading, this trick is definitely for you! First, you will need to purchase your favorite candy if you don't already have it. Whether it is gummy bears, airheads, sour patch kids, whatever it may be, you are going to need that in your possession. If you are not much of a candy eater or would just like a healthier option you can also substitute candy for vegetables or fruit slices or in general any snack food that will satisfy you at the time!

Next, you will need your reading assignment(s). Before diving in, look over the assigned reading and divide the reading into paragraphs however you see fit. They can be short, long, or they can follow the natural division that the writer initially wrote them in. Then, at the end of each paragraph place a piece of candy, vegetable, fruit or whatever snack food you chose. This acts as a motivator and a reward for every paragraph that you finish reading. I have always found that it seems to make the reading take less time and the treat at the end of each paragraph provides a little boost of energy to keep me/my brain awake!

The second tip that was recommended to me by a friend, and one that is really great for when an artist releases a new album, is the music break. Preface, this trick does take up a little more time, therefore, if you have a lot of reading to do or are in a rush to complete an assignment this might not be the best trick to use. However, first you need to pick an artist, song, or playlist. I recommend using a playlist whether it is one that you already have or one that you found on Spotify or Apple Music or wherever.

Next, just like in the candy trick you are going to take your reading assignment(s) and divide them, however, you are going to divide them by pages rather than paragraphs. I understand that not every paragraph ends evenly on the page, therefore, find where the paragraph ends on the following page. Then, once you begin reading and you finish a page you can stop and listen to one song by the artist or from the playlist that you have chosen. The song, like the candy, acts as a motivator but it also is a great way to give your brain a rest from a potential overload of information.

The third tip that was recommended to me by one of my favorite professors and one that is incredibly helpful during midterm/finals week is the distraction eliminator. Being that we live in an age where we are constantly connected through technology, this technique might not be the easiest. But first, you need to find a quiet place where it is just you and the reading. Whether it is your room, a place in the library, or a rented room in the library the place you select should eliminate the possibility of you being distracted by people.

Next, turn off your phone, apple watch, tablet, IPad, television, basically any electronic device that will distract you from your reading. Then once you have eliminated all of the possible distractions that you can think of, you can dive into your reading assignment(s) and really hone in on the information. Like I said, being that we live in such a technological age I can understand this could be very difficult and quite boring. However, I promise you don't realize how much you get distracted by these things until you try this tip.

Reading assignments I understand are not only boring as hell but they take such a long time. However, hopefully, these three tips will help you and maybe even your friends and classmates get through your reading assignments. Who knows, it even makes them a little bit more fun as the semester progresses!

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The Horrible Tale of Medusa

Medusa is known as a monster, but what led a beautiful and faithful servant girl to turn into a snake monster?
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One of the most popular beings from Greek mythology is not even a god or a monster; she is actually a cursed woman who is a victim to a horrendous crime. Her name meant "guardian" and "protectress." Her tale shows the cruelty of the Greek gods and how mankind is nothing but items to the gods. Medusa is known as a woman with snakes for hair and a gaze that turns men into stone. But who knows the truth behind this woman? This is her story.

Medusa was a priestess to the goddess Athena, the virgin goddess of wisdom and battle. One requirement to be a priestess for Athena is that the young woman must be a virgin and give her life to the goddess. One day, Poseidon, the god of the Sea and rival to Athena, saw Medusa and decided to humiliate Athena by raping the priestess on the steps of Athena's temple. Poseidon vanished after he was done and left Medusa vulnerable and weak.

Medusa prayed to Athena for guidance and forgiveness. After all, in those days, the gods claimed their mates as their partner forever, and Medusa was now Poseidon's wife. Athena looked down in anger and cursed Medusa for betraying her. Medusa was sent to a faraway island and was cursed so that no man would want her. She was given chicken legs, giant metal wings, cracked skin, madness, and her signature snake hair and stone eyes. Medusa was now a monster woman.

Medusa was banished from civilization to an island by herself. She was alone and only saw men chase her, trying to kill her. She looked at them in fear and saw them turn to stone in front of them. She was scared of her powers and angry at the gods for cursing her. She took her revenge on the men that were sent to kill her. Anybody who took one step on her island were marked now for death at the hands of the Gorgon Medusa.

Years later and many men later, Perseus came to the island with a shield from Athena, flying shoes from Hermes and a sword and crown from Zeus. He outsmarted Medusa and cut off her head to take back with him to save his mother from marrying a jerk. From Medusa's body came a winged horse, Pegasus, and a golden warrior named Chrysaor. Many years later, Perseus presented the head of Medusa to Athena, who took the severed head and turned it into an ultimate shield with a metal head of Medusa terrifying many enemies with a single look.

Medusa was a loyal woman who spent her youth training to become a priestess to a goddess she worshiped and believed was the strongest of all the Olympians. Athena also liked Medusa because Medusa was a beautiful woman who chose the goddess instead of any man. However, the immortal feud between Athena and Poseidon affects much more than just those two; it splits Olympus and ruins many lives.

Their feud has 3 main spikes: the representative of Athens, the events with Odysseus, and the claiming of Medusa. Medusa, after being raped, was cursed for betraying her goddess. Medusa's destiny was a harsh one she had no control over. However, she does spend all her life with Athena, as she protects her goddess against many foes. So, in a twisted series of events, Medusa fulfills her role of protecting Athena. However, it also led to snakes hating mankind for worshiping the Olympians. This is one story that shows the cruelty of the Greek Gods.

Cover Image Credit: Movie Fanatic

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The Worst Book Covers Ever Made

I have a bone to pick with the people at "Wordsworth Classics".

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Generally, once an author has been dead for over 70 years, his or her work becomes public domain. You might think about it like a sitcom getting syndication. When a book becomes public domain, it may be sold by any publishing house in need of some extra cash. This is why, for example, you can find a copy of the Great Gatsby from Penguin, Random House, and Harper Collins, even though it was originally published through Scribner.

This has lead to an enormous amount of creative freedom cover-wise. We've had more than a few mishaps.


I mean, what the hell even is that? This looks like a "Big Eyes" painting if it got left in the sun for too long.

Of all the sins I've witnessed in the name of literacy, I never thought I'd stumble upon something so laughably God-awful, so lazily slapped together as this:


If you're thinking, "something's off here," you're not alone. Say hello to "Wordsworth Classics", a division of a minor British publishing house whose main goal seems to be getting the original authors to roll over in their graves (70+ years on). I've compiled the worst of their collection for your viewing (dis)pleasure.

This is bad. I mean, I don't know what they were going for here, but thank God for that conveniently placed smoke.

I have a hard time believing Tom's Disney channel haircut was all too common back in the 1800s.


Man. 300 looks worse than I remember.

treasure.jpg

Everything about this is bad. The borderline copyright infringement Cheshire Cat, Alice's "Victorian" getup, not to mention the Mad Hatter, who is clearly the first man in Wonderland to receive a face transplant via photoshop.

Ah, yes. Moby Dick. Origin of the proverbial "White Whale", who apparently, was not actually white.

Why does "Dorian Gray" look like he's about to lecture me on how to brew the perfect IPA?

Robinson Cru-NO! This looks more like a bad porno than classic english lit...

Little known fact: when this book cover was sent into the publishers, Notre Dame spontaneously burst into flames.

This is not Dracula. Clearly, this is a photo of Oscar Wilde, who, after smoking an enormous quantity of marijuana at a Halloween party, believes that he is Dracula.

Even Harlequin Romance wouldn't sink to this level. Look how they're leaning against the fence! Is that even physically possible?

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