Monday, May 8, 2017

Stop Procrastinating!

Hi Roxy Readers – we’re in the middle of final exams for the Spring 2017 semester, and it's crunch time. Once again, I'm sharing information about apps that will help you avoid procrastination. I've added a couple of new apps, so give them a try.

Do it Now, Not Later!

When you find yourself procrastinating, you just have to prioritize. Do you really need to check Facebook for the tenth time this hour? Is Snapchat really more important than your grade? Of course not! Procrastination happens for many reasons, and sometimes we need a little help with our choices. Let’s face it, our phones are more distracting than our computers now. Facebook just feels better on a small screen even when our MacBook is open in front of us. Here’s some great ways to break your smartphone and internet addiction so that you can get stuff done!

1.       OFFTIME
This is an app that lets you block other apps that you know are distracting to you. For example: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, games, or Twitter. You can also set aside blocks of time for family, work, or “you time”. It even gives you statistics on how you use your phone so you can finally see that you spend five hours a day on Snapchat. That’s a wake-up call. OFFTIME is available on iOS and Android.

2.       AppDetox
This app also allows you to block certain apps and view what your usage is like. However, this app lets you know when you break the rules. Sometimes we need a visual reminder that we need to change our ways. Only available on Android.

3.       Productivity Owl
This Chrome extension is really serious about keeping you on track. If it notices that you’ve been spending too much time on frivolous websites, the Productivity Owl flies in and closes your tabs. Of course, you can control what the owl thinks are frivolous websites and regulate how much time you’re allowed to spend on the sites. If you start to get addicted to watching the Owl fly in, you may need to move on to a different extension.

This free Android app temporarily blocks programs on your mobile device. You set the date and length of time to block. Once that time is up, you'll have access to the apps again. 

5.       StayOnTask
This app will randomly check that you are doing what you've said you would do and not wasting time. Again, you set the parameters, and the app will pop in to see if you're on task. StayOnTask is a free app in Google Play.

All of these programs have one thing in common: you have to want to get things done. Sometimes all we need is that extra push. Push yourself, please; you’ll be happy you did. The end of the semester is so close, and we just need to hang on. Before we know it, we’ll be riding the waves again.

That's it for now, Roxy Fans! This is my last entry for the semester. Good luck on your finals!

See you next time the sun is up, the breeze is cool, and the waves roll into view. ‘Til then, hang ten!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

You CAN Do This!


Greetings, Roxy Readers! Well, Spring Break 2017 is loooong gone in the rear view mirror, and we are all working hard in the SWC. We still have some time to go before the semester ends and finals start, so it’s time for that last push. We must keep going to classes and get all our projects and papers done because glorious summer break is right around the corner!

Here are some awesome ways to help you get through the rest of the semester and finish strong!

1.  Get some sleep.
Try to go to bed at a reasonable time, especially the night before you have lots of work to do. Turn off distractions like cell phones, TVs, and computers. These bright screens can interrupt your sleep. You want to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world! It’s hard, but you can do it!

2.  Be Organized!
Make some time to get organized. Toss papers that you know you won’t need anymore and find the ones that you know you will. Go crazy; use some tabs, hole-punch some stuff, and maybe even break out a highlighter. These things definitely help me. It’s much easier to take an open-notes test or write a final exam essay when you can easily find notes and readings.

3.  Set Goals
If you know that you have a 10-page paper due in three weeks, don’t wait 2.5 weeks to get started! Set a timeline with realistic goals for yourself. Be aware of due dates that go along with certain projects, papers, and tests. Set reminders on your phone. If you have a planner, use it!

4.  Don’t Procrastinate!
It’s so easy to get distracted. There are many things that you’d rather be doing than schoolwork. Procrastination is a bad habit though, and you will feel so much better when you can relax and watch Netflix without a giant project looming over your head. Remember that.

5.  Reward Yourself
Treat yourself for all of your hard work! Go see a movie, go to the coffee shop, check the latest Snapchat stories, or do whatever you do to recharge. It’s okay to take small breaks as you move through your goals. Make sure you get back to it, though!

6.  Surround Yourself with a Support System
Surround yourself with people who will encourage you to make good choices and succeed! Right now, you don’t need those friends who tempt you to stop studying and go to the beach. They need to chill for a while and let you work.

7.  Be Positive!
It’s so easy to wallow when you’re in the trenches. But remember—the end is near! There is a light at the end of the tunnel! Stay positive, stick with it, remember these tips, and YOU WILL MAKE IT.

You can do this! Now, go be amazing!

See you next time the breeze is cool, the sun is up, and the waves roll into view! ‘Til then, hang ten!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Midterms & Spring Break

Can you guys believe that the semester is already halfway over? It’s exciting and also a little scary for those of us with deadlines looming over our heads. Midterms means papers are due.

Sometimes those papers are written outside of class, but other times they’re timed essays that are written during the actual midterm. Being told to write an essay in an hour, in a classroom with the instructor watching can trigger anxiety. Don’t fret. Here are some tips on how to tackle that in-class essay.

Be prepared:

If possible, do research ahead of time. A lot of times, teachers will give you the essay topics in advance. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS! Compose simple outlines for each topic and make sure you know the basics like names, dates, titles, and possible quotes. Writing about a literary piece? Find quotes ahead of time and mark important moments in your story. Your teacher will let you know if you can use your notes. Even if you can’t use your notes, there’s no need to panic. Just be prepared!

Spend your time wisely:

You don’t want to run out of time and only have an introduction written. To avoid that possibility, do not spend too much time on any one part of the essay. It will be better to have a whole essay than one stellar introduction when you’re finished. Trust me.

Leave time for revision:

This goes with the previous tip. Make sure that you leave enough time to revise your essay when you’re finished. You want to make sure that everything makes sense.

Practice:

If you’re still really nervous, then practice! If you have the topics ahead of time or have a good idea of what the topic might be, you can practice writing a timed essay. It should alleviate some stress about the actual thing. On the flip side, if you find that you have a hard time writing the practice essay, then you may be able to figure out what you need to work on before the big day.

Visit the Stone Writing Center:

Remember that Stone Writing Center can help! We can help you prepare for the exam and offer feedback on your practice essays.

Most of all, take a deep breath, and do your best. Hopefully these tips help you feel a bit better. We’ve all been there, and it does get easier over time. Remember, too, that spring break is just around the corner! 


That’s it for this time, Roxy Readers!

See you next time the breeze is cool, the sun is up, and the waves roll into view! ‘Til then, hang ten!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

And...We're Back!

Hi there, Roxy Readers! We are now in full swing at the Stone Writing Center and so happy to see everyone! Whether you're a new face or a regular, the SWC is here for you. We’re so multi-faceted that we needed an entire blog post to tell you about us.

Where we are: Our brick and mortar is on the 4th floor of the White Library, East Campus. Once you get to the 4th, one of our many helpful staff members can direct you to wherever you need to be.

Exciting news - we've extended our hours:
8a -8p/ Monday-Thursday
8a - 1p/ Friday
10a - 3p/ Saturday

Where we are online: DelMar.edu/SWC. You’ll find all our contact info there, too. We are also on Twitter, so please follow us! We’re @theSWC.

What we do: If you need help with a writing assignment, college application letter, résumé - anything that has to do with writing - this is the place! Appointments are not needed; we handle walk-in visits. We have degreed, professional tutors working throughout the day; just ask to visit with one, and we’ll make sure you’re taken care of. All our consultants are highly trained in helping you improve your writing. You can come to us with a few sentences, no sentences, or an entire paper! We’re happy to help you with your writing, but it is YOUR writing. We’ll also share lots of tips on grammar and how to write a thesis statement. Basically, we’ll help you wherever you are in the writing process.

Can’t make it to our on-campus location? No worries! We offer writing consultations online through Canvas! Use your DMC username and password to enroll. Once you’re in Stone Writing Center Online,  there are 2 easy steps to complete. Step one will ask for your information, and step two is where you upload your writing. The usual turnaround for online submissions is 48 hours. Same great service, same great tutors!

That’s the gist, Roxy Fans. We're pretty awesome. Come see for yourself!

See you next time the breeze is cool, the sun is up, and the waves roll into view! ‘Til then, hang ten!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Say No to Distractions!


Hi Roxy Readers - the Fall 2016 semester is slipping away, and it's time to buckle down and study for final exams. Once again, I'm sharing information about apps that will help you avoid procrastination. I've added a couple of new apps, so give them a try.

Do it Now, Not Later!

Today I have to make choices, and one of the hardest choices I have to make is between surfing and writing. It always seems the waves are best when I need to stay on dry land. The end of the semester is fast approaching, and final papers are due soon. I’m in the trenches with all of you right now as I have a final paper due, too. I won’t tell you the length because it will just shock you. I have to get it done once I’ve finished my blog post. :-) If you put things off like I do, I want to encourage you to stop procrastinating and get on it!

When you find yourself procrastinating, you just have to prioritize. Do you really need to re-watch Parks and Recreation? Is Destiny really more important than your grade? Of course not! Procrastination happens for many reasons, and sometimes we need a little help with our choices. I’ve gathered a list of handy websites, apps, and add-ons that will help you in your ongoing battle against procrastination.

1.       Self Control
This is a program that is only available to Mac users. You tell it how long you want it to block your favorite websites like Facebook, Imgur, Pinterest and anything else that sucks up your time. You can’t even get to these websites if you restart your computer or delete the application! It’s cruel, but it’s for your own good.

2.       Get Cold Turkey
This is basically the same thing as Self Control but for Windows users (because procrastinators use all platforms!). The interface uses a humorous-looking turkey and asks you to donate any amount you want ($0-$20) to block websites from your viewing pleasure. It also gives you the option of donating the money to charity.

3.       Productivity Owl
This Chrome extension is really serious about keeping you on track. If it notices that you’ve been spending too much time on frivolous websites, the Productivity Owl flies in and closes your tabs. Of course, you can control what the owl thinks are frivolous websites and regulate how much time you’re allowed to spend on the sites.

This free Android app temporarily blocks programs on your mobile device. You set the date and length of time to block. Once that time is up, you'll have access to the apps again. 

5.       StayOnTask
This app will randomly check that you are doing what you've said you would do and not wasting time. Again, you set the parameters, and the app will pop in to see if you're on task. StayOnTask is a free app in Google Play.

All of these programs have one thing in common: you have to want to get things done. Sometimes all we need is that extra push. Push yourself, please; you’ll be happy you did. The end of the semester is so close, and we just need to hang on. Before we know it, we’ll be riding the waves again.

That's it for now, Roxy Fans! This is my last entry until the spring semester. Good luck on your finals!

See you next time the sun is up, the breeze is cool, and the waves roll into view. ‘Til then, hang ten!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

And then there’s all our Instructional Programs


Wow! This semester is zooming by, and there is STILL so much to share about The Fourth! So far I’ve talked about the cool spots to hang out in up here. No doubt, the most popular space is the Stone Writing Center, but we also offer all kinds of instructional programs benefitting faculty, staff, and students. 

SWC Experiences: Have you been part of an SWC Experience? They are Interactive sessions, customized for specific classes and individual assignments. Instructors can bring their students to the Fourth to learn about our services, see our space, and experience the SWC.

Workshop Series: Designed for writers across all disciplines, the SWC Writer Workshop Series provides students an opportunity to discuss challenging concepts in grammar, writing, and research. Our interactive sessions are 15-20 minutes in length with time for Q&A. Students are introduced to specific editing and revision strategies to avoid common grammatical errors and create stronger, more powerful writing. Students also learn how to successfully incorporate source information into their writing and avoid plagiarism. If you’re on my stretch of beach next week, Nov. 14 - 18, stop by The Fourth for Workshop Week. Here’s the list of topics:
  • APA Documentation
  • MLA 8th Edition Documentation
  • Preparing Notes for the Essay Exam
  • Tips for Combating Test Anxiety
  • Study Apps: Quizlet & StudyBlue Flashcards
Online Tip Sheets: Helpful handouts for writers are available on the SWC website. Handouts cover topics in Grammar and Punctuation, Composition, Literature, Documentation and Research, and Résumé Writing.

We’ve got you covered here on The Fourth. Come see us!

See you next time the sun is up, the breeze is cool, and the waves roll into view. ‘Til then, hang ten!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

This is 40!

Undeniably, the most well-known component of The Fourth is the Stone Writing Center. SWC is my retreat - my place to be when I’m not riding the waves. It’s my home away from home.

So, here’s the story of how it all started. In 1976, the concept of a writing center began in one room of the English Building. This resource soon expanded to include a second room, more staff, and text and audio-visual materials, formally becoming The English Learning Center (ELC). This center fulfilled the late Dr. Virginia Stone’s dream that Del Mar College provide a place and the staff for students to get one-on-one instruction, supplemental to the classroom, in English skills. We became the Writing Center in the 90s. In 2006, we officially changed our name to Stone Writing Center.

What happens at the SWC? We provide one-on-one and small group writing instruction to help students from all disciplines develop and strengthen their writing skills. Students can meet with a tutor on campus or they can submit their work to the Stone Writing Center Online in Canvas. The SWC offers spaces, devices, and other technology for students to use individually or in groups; students are also encouraged to bring and use their own devices. The SWC and its services are also available to the community.

Much has changed in the 40 years the Stone Writing Center has been open. Yet, it has never lost sight of its original mission...to help students become better writers and lifelong learners.


Happy Birthday, Stone Writing Center! 

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