I discovered a while ago that laughter catches people’s attention. They want to know what the joke is. Even if you’re not actually laughing at anything, people around you will be curious if they hear you.

I was studying with some friends in a random classroom the other night. It was quiet and productive, the silence only punctuated by the occasional joke.

That is, until two girls walked in.

I’d never seen them before in my life, but they came in laughing and I couldn’t keep... Read More
Last week I talked about how you should plan around snow days and inclement weather in order to keep up with work. Well, this week looks like it’s going to be mostly clear, so you won’t have any excuses for missing class short of car failure or dismemberment.

What drives me nuts more than anything else I’ve encountered on this campus is how frequently students skip classes. I get that sometimes you have a project or paper that you haven’t had time to finish and take an extra class period to bang it... Read More
Normally I’m a fan of the snow. It’s fun to romp in, you can build snowmen, and you can tackle your best friend to the ground and smother them without causing any real damage. However, as I discovered last year and as I’m sure most of you are observing already, living at UMass Amherst with snow everywhere is kind of, well, hellish.

You’ll find yourself cold all the time, get targeted by passing automobiles as they splash through puddles, and take involuntary skiing and sledding lessons as the ice... Read More
I’ve discovered that, to get just about anything done, I need some sort of motivation. That doesn’t necessarily mean the whole carrot or the stick model either. Yeah, reward and punishment are good to get people moving on a conscious level, but, for me at least, I’ve found that I need some emotional investment too.

If I have a particularly tedious task like math homework looming over me, the promise of freedom afterward isn't enough to get me started. More often than not, I have to get excited over... Read More
Welcome back to UMass, folks! The last time I wrote you, I was doing the stereotypical exam pep-talk. Now I’m going to suggest that you take some time to chill out. This is the end of the add-drop period, so do some serious thinking about your workload now! Don’t go overboard like I used to.

I have been a workaholic for all of my life. I kid you not. Some of my earliest memories from elementary school were my music teachers telling me to be less hard on myself. Everyone from my parents to my karate... Read More
I credit/blame my father for introducing me to anime. When I was in the third grade, he rented an amazing film called “Spirited Away” by Hayao Miyazaki and I was instantly hooked. I afterward became increasingly engrossed in anime and I think he’s regretted it ever since.

I was a socially inept bookworm as a kid. I might as well have had a target painted on my forehead for the local delinquents. By the time junior high rolled around, my best friend had moved, some personal issues drove me to further... Read More
If I’ve got my timetable right and on the off chance that you guys are reading this during Thanksgiving break, first, I want to say that I hope you had a happy Debauchery Day! Or at least that’s what my family calls it. Second, I want to welcome you back to the fight.

For those of you who read my last entry, I want to reiterate how important it is to get ahead in school right now. Again, take the rest you need, but be ready for the next few weeks because finals will feel like the end of a marathon. It... Read More
Day 37 of Midterms: I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as “Midterms Week.” It’s all a lie to make us feel better and encourage us to trudge ahead! There was a series of intense weeks in October and the assessments have not since ceased. I’ve got it pretty easy compared to some of my friends who are still getting multiple exams in a day, but this was supposed to end! I can feel the madness creeping upon us! I think we’re going to burst if we don’t escape this whirlpool of papers and tests!... Read More
Happy Veteran’s Day! For those of us with friends or family who’ve been in the armed forces, this is a wonderful day to reflect upon their noble sacrifices and the politics that sometimes forced them to make those sacrifices needlessly. For just about everyone else though, it’s an excuse to relax. Hey, everyone needs a break, so I’m not about to judge. I just hope that the people I’m seeing with the bags under their eyes aren’t feeling their hangovers too acutely. It’s college, so when you hear you’ve got the next... Read More
Ever had a sense of déjà vu? You know, when you’ve got the feeling that you’ve experienced something already, though you’re sure you haven’t? They can certainly be entertaining, but more often than not I find them alarming.

They usually recall some memory from years ago and I’m struck by how much time has passed and by how vivid the memory is still. My old man talks about when he gets those moments except that, instead of the fifth anniversary of my first breakup, he’s talking about the fiftieth... Read More

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