The Best Spring Break Ever

The Best Spring Break Ever

I was doing what I love in a place that I love.
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I’ve been in school for about fourteen years now, so that makes about fourteen spring breaks in my life, and this past week was by far the best. Let me back up a little. First of all, since I live in Illinois, it doesn’t always feel like spring during spring break. My family has never been one to take a week long beach vacation during that time because both my parents worked, and preferred not to use their time off for something like that. Sure there were a few day trips, and some sleepovers were had, but I pretty much always just stayed around the house during spring break. In grade school it felt a little pathetic, and I would get bored, but it’s different in college. Spring break is at that point in the semester where I start to miss home, my own room, and my cozy bed, and I just need a break from school, so I’m perfectly happy lounging around my house for a week. However, this past week did not involve a lot of lounging around. It was really nice being at home, and even though I was extremely busy, I enjoyed every minute of it.

As part of the education program at my school, I am required to do a practicum in my hometown for a week. I chose to do it over my spring break because, as I said before, I’m usually not very busy. So, a couple weeks before my break I contacted my old third grade teacher, who is still at the elementary school I went to. I had her about ten years ago, so I wasn’t sure she would remember me if she read my name in an email, but sure enough, she did. She was very excited to hear from me and welcome me into her classroom for the week to aide and observe.

My third grade teacher had switched to second grade, and since I’ve always wanted to teach fourth or fifth grade, I wasn’t sure how much I would like it, but I really enjoyed it. I mean my week was AWESOME. She introduced me to the class on the first day as one of her former students, and they eagerly asked me questions about what teachers I had when I was that age. I did some observing during a math lesson, and then she had me lead a reading group. I was surprised at how quickly the students warmed up to me. I was sitting at this long table in the back of the room, and after working with the reading group, a student came over to me and asked to read me a story that he had written. This led to another student reading me her story, and soon enough there was a flock of second graders standing around the table waiting for a turn.

Next thing I knew, a student was handing me a picture he had drawn, and another one was asking me to come out for recess with them. I’m happy to say that this is what the rest of the week looked like. I got asked to go out for recess every day (sadly I had to decline), students would come over and sit with me at the table while they did their work, and come and show me something once they had completed it. They were sad to hear that I was only there for a week, and on the last day asked me to stay longer. I was just as sad to be leaving them, and wanted to stay so badly, but spring break was over.

Like I said before, it was a busy and quite exhausting week, but I enjoyed every minute of it. If anything, this experience just confirmed why I want to be a teacher. I love working with kids, and helping them learn. I was excited to get up everyday and see my students. It’s so great getting to know each one of them, and even though I was only there for a week, I could probably tell you one thing that I learned about each individual student. It was truly the best spring break of my life, and it was because I spent it with some truly amazing second graders. I love that class, and I know I’ll never forget them.

Cover Image Credit: Google

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7 Truths About Being A Science Major

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Whether your major is Human Bio, Chemistry, Neuroscience or any other that deals with a lot of numbers, theories, experiments and impossibly memorizing facts, you know the pressures of pursuing a career in this field. So without further ado, here are seven truths about being a science major:

1. There is no “syllabus week.”

Coming back to college in the fall is one of the best times of the year. Welcome week has become most students' favorite on-campus holiday. But then you have syllabus week: another widely celebrated week of no responsibilities… Unless you’re a science major that is. While your other friends get to enjoy this week of getting to know their professors and class expectations, you get to learn about IUPAC nomenclature of alkanes on the first day of organic chem.

2. Your heart breaks every time you have to buy a new textbook.

Somehow every professor seems to have their own “special edition” textbook for class… And somehow it’s always a couple hundred bucks… And somehow, it's ALWAYS required.

3. Hearing "attendance is not mandatory," but knowing attendance is VERY mandatory.

Your professor will tell you that they don’t take attendance. Your professor will put all lecture slides online. Your professor will even record their lectures and make those available as well. Yet if you still don’t go to class, you’ll fail for sure. Coming into lecture after missing just one day feels like everyone has learned an entire new language.

4. You’re never the smartest person in your class anymore.

No matter what subject, what class or what concentration, there will always be someone who is just that much better at it than you.

5. You get totally geeked out when you learn an awesome new fact.

Today in genetics you learned about mosaicism. The fact that somebody can have a disease in part of their total body cells but normal throughout all others gets you so hype. Even though you know that your family, friends and neighbors don’t actually care about your science facts, you HAVE to tell them all anyways.

6. There is never enough time in a day.

You are always stuck choosing between studying, eating, sleeping and having fun. If you're lucky, you'll get three of these done in one day. But if you're a risk taker, you can try to do all of these at once.

7. You question your major (and your sanity) almost daily.

This is especially true when it’s on a Tuesday night and you’ve already consumed a gallon of Starbucks trying to learn everything possible before your . Or maybe this is more prevalent when you have only made it through about half of the BioChem chapter and you have to leave for your three hour lab before your exam this afternoon. Regardless, you constantly wonder if all the stress is actually worth it, but somehow always decide that it is.

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7 Ways To Help You Sleep Better

Try something new to help you to sleep better.

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Every now and again we all have a sleepless night. These 7 ideas can help you to try something new to help you to sleep better without having to take any over the counter medications.

Practice good sleep hygiene

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Sleep hygiene means that you are following a bedtime routine. Which can be for some going to bed at the same time. Only use the bed for sleep and intimate relations. Washing your face, brushing your teeth, turning the screens off at a certain time. Find a routine that works for you and helps you to relax and get into the grove of preparing to go to sleep.

Meditation

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Meditation can be used to help you relax your muscles. I found a cool app called Insight Timer that you can download for free on the app store that has loads of guided meditations. They have specific ones for sleep, you can choose the amount of time that you would like to utilize and if you prefer a male or female voice. This is one way to help release the tension that is occurred throughout the day and drift into a good sleep!

Use an essential oil diffuser with lavender.

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Lavender is a great sent to help you relax. Have the essential oil diffuser have lavender pumping throughout your room. Relax and enjoy the scent!

Get a sound box.

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Have noisy neighbors, can't fall asleep when there is no noise? They make noise boxes now that can play a bunch of different settings and you can change the volume to be as soft and as loud as you need it to be.

Get light darkening curtains.

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Having trouble falling asleep because of light? Invest in some light blocking window shades, or new curtains. Get the room to have as much or as little light as you find comfortable.

Get a new mattress pad.

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Maybe your bed is too hard? They have all sorts of extra mattress pads that you can buy that range in price. Give this a try, maybe you just needed a little extra cushion.

Limit your food and drink intake after a specific time.

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Depending on the sleep schedule you need to utilize to fit the schedule you have throughout the day choose to stop eating and drinking at least 2-3 hours before bed. This will limit the number of times you have to wake up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Stop drinking caffeinated beverages at least 6 hours before your nightly bedtime is scheduled because this can be a huge factor in not being able to sleep.

Before trying any sleep aids and or supplements make sure you talk to your family doctor to ensure that it is suitable for you to take any over to counter options. Walk through what you normally do before bed and change one thing at a time to see what works and doesn't work for you. If you change too many things at once you may not be able to know what will help you and what will not.

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