Tagged: education

Spotlight: Stay Studious During Spring Break

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer
@stacyscootover

With Spring Break only days away, school is the last thing students (myself included) want to think about. But staying on top of school during the break can really help your stress  level and well being for the remainder of this semester. Here are some tips you can use to get ahead and use time wisely during spring break:

1. Look at your syllabi.

Find your syllabi for each class and focus on the next two weeks of classes after the break.

2. Make a list.

Write down the assignments, readings and homework for each class for these next two weeks.

3. Choose a few assignments to complete over break either from each class or from one or two classes.

Getting future readings done is a good use of time and they’re easy to do while lying on the beach, flying on a plane or riding in a car. If the readings are for the not-so-near future, take notes in the margins or on a laptop so that before the due date you can review what you read. It’s a real time saver!

4.Figure out when you’re going to accomplish your academic goals.

Instead of simply packing homework, plan ahead: allocate time to work. I usually pick one assignment per day. I know I’m going to the beach during my break, so I’m going to read a book for my International Relations class on those days. So, don’t let the work get in the way of your plans, but find a way to fit them in.

5. Find a way to reward yourself!

Getting even one assignment done during the break is an accomplishment in itself, so find a way to reward yourself. It’ll help motivate your studies.

Homework is important, but remember to also have fun. Spring Break should give students a breather from the busy life of a BU student. Get work done, but in the words of Donna and Tom from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”, “treat yo self” to a fun week. We all deserve it!

Spotlight: Why I Should Be Going To Class

By Amy Gorel, Staff Writer

Listen to Dwight and pick two./PHOTO VIA quickmeme

Chugging a coffee during the last five minutes of lecture, distractedly checking social media, my foot is tapping on the ground and I’m hoping that the professor lets us out early. He gloriously says, “Okay, any more questions?”

Sweet. I’m out of here. Going to print out that paper due next class and call my boss to tell them I can’t make it to work because I have this thing and that thing to do. 

But wait, there’s a hand up in the back of the lecture hall and now another one. Who are these people? He was about to let us out early! 

And then I realize that their questions encouraged the teacher to clarify some important and interesting info that was covered in class. Ugh.

Those hand-raisers were more concerned about the here and now–the lesson covered in this class–than they were about rushing off to do the next thing.

When every freshman gets to college, either through some orientation talk or an Internet meme, they hear the options they have: “Academics, sleep and social life. Choose two out of the three.” And sometimes more comically and probably more correctly, you find Dwight from “The Office” telling you that you could only choose one.

American college life emphasizes “doing it all.” Get good grades, join all the clubs, have an internship, make some money (and sometimes a lot of money if you have to pay for your own tuition), have an exciting social life and be a healthy and rested human being. Easy, right? Just the idea of balancing all that reaffirms my practice of keeping a backup thermos of coffee in my backpack.

Let’s stop to think. What are we paying upwards of $50,000 a year for? An education. We’re paying for the opportunity to learn from professors and from the readings and homework they assign.

We could learn to cook on our own and go out at night without paying that astronomical price. I only have to pay about $2.50 at Pavement for permission to sit for hours–and they don’t even ask me to complete a certain amount of reading before I visit again.

The hand-raisers happened to be part of the Evergreen program–students over the age of 58 who audit classes at BU. Speaking to them after class, I realized that they were here for the reasons the rest of the students are supposed to be here for–a love of learning. They are overjoyed to come to class, while the majority of undergrads grumble about waking up at the early hour of 10 a.m.

They’re here because they want to be here and they want to learn. They don’t have to stress over what they are going to do with their lives or how to follow the proper class structure to finish their major in time. While the “what am I doing with my life” stress won’t go away as an undergrad, it’s a good thing to stop and think about why we want to be here in the first place.

The Rundown: Obama, Romney and the issues

By Hilary Ribons, Staff Writer
@hilaryalexisr

It’s almost election time. And with a few televised political debates under our belts, it’s time to start considering who we are going to vote for.

Though it’s truly entertaining to watch two politicians verbally duke it out, I was left at the end of the debates still seriously wondering what each candidate’s stance was on some key issues.

Even after watching the debate, it’s easy to be confused as to where both presidential candidates really stand. In an effort to fully understand the candidates, I looked up their stances on some key issues and put them side by side for an easy comparison. Most of the information below was pulled from their websites, which are obviously not objective, but still state their stances. The information that I got was my understanding of each candidate’s stance, and hopefully will help you on your way to looking over the policies that the candidates are endorsing.

Remember, we are voting into office the president who will be making decisions that shape the same country that we’re graduating into soon. Hopefully my preliminary research, complete with a few websites I found helpful, will inspire you to vote as a truly informed citizen.

Obama

Romney

Education 

- Placed a cap on federal student loan repayments at 10 percent of income
- Offer incentives to keep qualified, successful teachers in the classroom
- Allow the states to create their own plans for education reform, instead of abiding by No Child Left Behind
- Offer incentives to public schools by rewarding innovation and reform
- Reformed/expanded post-Sept. 11 G.I. Bill to include more G.I.’s eligible for education benefits.
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- Allow low income and special needs students to decide what school they would like to attend
- Provide incentives for states to increase choices and alternatives for parents
- Make charter and digital schools more effective
- Make report cards public as part of an effort to improve “No Child Left Behind”
- Offer teachers incentives through greater job flexibility and rewards and through cutting down on certification requirements.
- Strengthen and simplify Financial Aid System
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Energy

- Double fuel efficiency standards
- Increase natural gas production within the United States
- Open more land for development
-  Increase oil production, increase safety measures
- Increase wind and solar energy
- Invest government money in researching clean coal technology
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- Put control of energy within state lines (excluding those that are off-limits by law) into the hands of state government
- Open offshore areas within the United States for energy development and set minimum production targets for these areas
- Pursue a North American Energy partnership with Canada and Mexico
- Attempt to slightly strengthen environmental laws and regulations and “streamline” limitations on “red tape,” or oppositions, surrounding new developments
- Put money into private-sector research and development of new energy technologies
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Health Care

- Affordable Care Act:
- Prevents insurance companies from putting a cap on coverage, or dropping coverage when you become sick
- Provides those with Medicare free preventative services and lower costs on prescription drugs and monthly premiums
- Stop health insurance companies from charging women more than men for their coverage
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- Putting states in charge of medical insurance and caring for the poor, uninsured and chronically ill
- Promote competition in the healthcare system.
- Cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits
- Allow individuals/small businesses to form purchasing pools
- Prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage
- Facilitate IT interoperability
- Allowing people to choose what kind of healthcare plan they want, giving them options and information
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Taxes

- Those who make more than $1 million a year will pay an equal or higher percentage of their income in taxes than middle- and lower-class citizens
- No plans to cut taxes: money will go to education, manufacturing, infrastructure
- Plans cut discretionary spending
- A plan of spending cuts and revenue increases over the next decade to reduce the national deficit of $4 trillion
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- Twenty percent cut in individual taxes for everyone
- Current tax rates on interest, dividends and capital gains stay the same
- Eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for those who make below $200,000 a year
- Eliminate the Death Tax
- Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax
- For corporate taxes: cut the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, strengthen and make permanent R&D tax credit, switch to territorial tax system, repeal the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax
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Jobs

- In short, Obama plans to cut unemployment through
- Looks to revive manufacturing
- Looks to eliminate tax breaks for companies that outsource their jobs overseas, create incentives to bring business back to America
- Looks to implement Wall Street reform, keeping Americans from paying to bail out large banks
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- In short, Romney plans to cut unemployment
- Supports free enterprise, hard work, innovation
- Looks to reduce taxes, spending, regulation and government programs
- Looks to increase trade, energy production, human capital and labor flexibility
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Gay Marriage

- In support
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- Against it
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National Defense

- Focus on ending wars and building national economy through more investments in industry
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- Put money into improving the military
- Maintain a presence in the Middle East
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Immigration

- In his first term, Obama upped deportations of undocumented immigrants
- Upped border patrols
- Passed DREAM act, which grants a path to citizenship of children of undocumented immigrants who attended college or served in the military. In 2012, he announced that the Department of Homeland Security would no longer seek to deport young illegal immigrants if they were brought to the U.S. by their parents before 16, and are currently under the age of thirty.
- Focuses on the deportation of criminals
- Proposes plans of a “start-up visa” that allows foreign investors to open businesses in the U.S.
- Backs AgJobs Act, which allows farms to legally hire foreign workers
- Supports reform of H1B visas, vaguely
- Supports path to legalization for estimated 10.8 million undocumented immigrants already in the country
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- Unclear on stance about the deportation of minors
- Does not agree with granting amnesty– wants to keep and enforce legal pathway to citizenship
- Permanent immigration reform by offering those who serve in the military the opportunity to become legal and permanent residents
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Abortion

- Does not believe abortion should be covered by Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan except in cases of incest, rape or where the life of the woman would be endangered
- Supports the decision of Roe v. Wade
- Disagrees with parental notification
- Supports Planned Parenthood
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- Looks to overturn Roe v. Wade, giving power to chose legality of abortion back to individual states
- Supports Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding for abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood
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