Archive for the ‘Finals Guide’ Category

Library etiquette: the dos and don’ts

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 | Erin Fults

This article originally ran in Student Life on April 28, 2006.

Finals are fast approaching and students are flocking to the library. It will be days before some of them see genuine sunlight. While not everyone enjoys studying there, those that do are dedicated and strict in their code of conduct. Study spots are marked and outsiders are soon detected.

“People get possessive of the library,” said seasoned library studier Whitney Lesch (who prefers the second floor, right hand, window study carrels), “and the influx of studiers around finals gets annoying.”

With the increased load of studiers in the library, and the increased workload on students, library manners can sometimes fall by the wayside. Remember the two-inch whisper the librarian made you use? There may be no librarian to enforce such rules anymore, but it is clear that an unwritten code of library etiquette exists. So before packing up the books, laptop and provisions to camp out in “the lib,” consider these tips and remember to mind your manners.

Volume: Just like in elementary school, the library is a place for indoor voices. While most people don’t talk loudly in the hallowed halls and rows of books, whispering isn’t always so quiet. The classic loud annoying whisper is a pet peeve to many, so make sure to keep your indoor whisper at a restrained decibel level.

Noises: The library is usually quiet enough to hear an orgo notecard drop, but there are an assortment of irksome noises that can pollute the silent atmosphere. Among these are loud nose blowers and the occasional snorer. Library users are also encouraged to turn off their AIM sounds and computer noises. No one wants to hear the Windows start-up noise or the Word paperclip constantly tapping on your screen.

Cell phones: The signs on the doors say it, but people still forget to turn their phone off or put it on silent. Even with it on silent, library studiers consider it an affront when people answer and talk before exiting to the stairwell. Two words: text message.

Food: Everyone needs munchies to get through the study day, but not all food is library friendly, at least to those around you. “My pet peeve is when people bring full course, loud meals,” said Lesch. It’s generally safe to stick to food offered in Whispers.

Sprawl: More obnoxious than suburban sprawl, study sprawl causes grief to the many looking for a place to sit only to see an empty chair surrounded by spread out notes and books. The library is not your room, so conserve space.

Study rooms: Quiet and set aside, study rooms are vied for frequently. It can be frustrating, then, when only one person is occupying a room. Get some friends together and share a room. But, noise levels can be an issue there too. “Study rooms aren’t soundproof,” said junior Sally Preminger, “and you can hear people talking loudly.”

Computers: When there’s a queue for the comps, be respectful and efficient. Facebook checking, sports and porn are not acceptable when others are waiting, and porn really isn’t for library time anyway.

Making out: “Just don’t make out, it’s distracting,” said senior Sarah Muszynski. Cuddling and other forms of excessive PDA are typically discouraged. “This is a work place,” said sophomore Ian Pearson. “Come to work, not to love.” Mild making out is a don’t, but it seems that many students do condone sex in the library, particularly in the stacks (see the popular Facebook group).

Whispers: For those who require a certain degree of background distraction, Whispers is the preferred study zone. Disagreements arise, however, on the respectful noise level here. “It’s called ‘Whispers,’ not yells,” said Preminger. “Just keep an inside voice.” Some disagree. “You’re allowed to be loud,” said Muszynski, “it’s a café.”

Holmes Lounge: Non-library studiers may also find refuge in Holmes. Space is of the essence here and space-saving techniques are often debated. “People put their backpack at a table and then go get in line for food,” commented junior Jonathan Shelley. “Holmes is an in demand location and it’s unfair to rob a person of space. You either wait for a table or wait for food – make a choice.”

So remember to mind your library manners. The library dwellers are always watching – and listening.

Top Ten List of Ways to Procrastinate

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 | Erin Fults

There are many ways to procrastinate without using your computer.

1. Go to a different library every 15 minutes.

2. Visit the zoo with friends and watch the penguins.

3. Go to the other side of the floor and talk to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile.

4. Visit another university (Fontbonne counts).

5. Play football in the hallway.

6. Buy several things at Bear Mart, mix them up and serve it for dinner.

7. Empty your mailbox.

8. Try to catch a bunny or a squirrel.

9. Go to a Cardinals game.

10. Read the Finals Survivals Guide.

You know you go to Wash. U. when…

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 | Erin Fults

…you don’t know who is the bigger school namesake: George Washington or Chancellor Danforth.

…most of your Wash. U. apparel consists of free shirts, because the sweatshirts at the bookstore are too damn expensive.

…more salt ends up on the ground than actual snow.

…you wake up to the sounds of construction

…you know you will never get a snow day.

…Uggs are seen all year round.

…you think the Loops is what a “real college town” is like.

…your freshman dorm has been demolished, or is at least slated for destruction.

…there are more prospective freshman on campus in the spring than actual students.

…the typical weather is rainy, with a chance of sun and possible earthquakes and maybe tornadoes.

’90s Bubblegum Pop Lyrics Quiz

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 | Indu Chandrasekhar

1. When you’re feeling sad and low, we will take you where you gotta go

2. She’ll make you take your clothes off and go dancing in the rain

3. Oh baby, it might seem like a crush, but it doesn’t mean that I’m serious

4. Don’t wanna be a fool for you, just another player in your game for two

5. Although loneliness has always been a friend of mine, I’m leavin’ my life in your hands

6. You’re my sunshine after the rain, you’re the cure against my fear and my pain

7. I feel like I’ve been locked up tight for a century of lonely nights, waiting for someone to release me

8. Would you cry, if you saw me crying? Would you save my soul tonight?

9. Tell me, you’re so into me, that I’m the only one you will see

10. No matter the distance, I want you to know, that deep down in side of me.

11. BONUS: Baby set me free, from this misery, I can’t take it no more

Show Answers

Quatrano named interim dean of faculty

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 | Sam Guzik

Ralph S. Quatrano, current chair of the Department of Biology, has been named interim dean of the faculty of the College of Arts & Sciences effective July 1, 2008, according to an e-mail sent by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton earlier today.

Quatrano will take the position currently held by Dean Edward Macias; Macias is vacating his deanship to become the University’s Provost.

“Ralph has been an important leader in Arts & Sciences since joining Washington University nearly a decade ago,” Wrighton said in his e-mail to students in the College of Arts & Sciences. “Throughout his professional career, he has demonstrated a strong ability to connect people and ideas and guide them towards a common goal. Ralph will benefit from the strong foundation that Ed Macias has built in Arts & Sciences, and he will be a key leader in implementing plans for the future that have been developed.”

Quatrano jointed the University faculty in 1998 as the chair of the department of biology.

In his professional life, Quatrano’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms behind molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling seed development.

Quatrano earned his bachelor’s in botany with honors from Colgate University in 1962; his master’s in botany from Ohio University, Athens, in 1964; and his doctorate in biology from Yale University in 1968.

Schalfly’s selection for degree incites protest

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 | Ben Sales

This article has been replaced by another, more recent article available here

One of six people to receive honorary degrees at this year’s Commencement ceremony will be notable conservative political leader Phyllis Schlafly, a Washington University graduate and donor.

Schlafly’s distinction has led to criticism of the University for what some see as implicit support of her views, several of which have aroused controversy.

In response to her impending award, students have created a Facebook group entitled “No honorary doctorate for anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly.” The group targets Schlafly’s stances on feminism, marital rape and sex education, saying that they do not “fit with the future [of] the men and women of Wash. U.’s graduating class,” and that her presence at Commencement will be “incongruous at best, offensive at worst.”

Chancellor Mark Wrighton, however-who confirmed the selection of the recipients-said that Schlafly’s accomplishments and fame merit the honorary degree.

“Her contributions have inspired women and she certainly is a leader,” Wrighton said. “She is well known on a national level for the conservative movement.”

Wrighton added that though many-including himself-may disagree with Schlafly’s views, her writings have value in that they serve to enliven the national political discourse.

“I would not myself agree with her political views,” he said. “When you step back from it you have to admire her for working for the great democracy that we enjoy. She’s a prominent leader and a prominent woman, and she happens to be a conservative.”

This article has been replaced by another, more recent article available here

Top 7 Web sites to help break writer’s block

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 | Steve Hardy

This article originally ran in Student Life on November 9, 2007.

These Web sites will help provide relief during times of study; they are a way to procrastinate, all under the guise of getting inspiration. Whether you’re stuck on a sonnet, perplexed by a proof, or otherwise desperate for new perspective, you can go to the following pages to jump-start your creativity.

7: Uncyclopedia


Less profane than encyclopediadramatica, but funny and diverting nonetheless. The site has tons of informative pages. You won’t believe the things you don’t know.

6: David Letterman’s Top 10 Archive


Thirteen years worth of the nightly feature. Break from studying to hear Letterman’s usually funny and self-deprecating take on absolutely everything, from obesity, to Hollywood, to the Mets.

5: Milk Eggs Vodka


Somewhere between PostSecret and Overheard in New York, this site is a massive index of found notes and grocery lists. You would not believe how many people just need some liquor. Regardless, if you ever need cooking ideas, come here. Besides, the notes are often inadvertently funny, like the one that reads “Bottled Waters, Bud Light, Good Beer” or the note that displays the signs of a feuding couple.

4: Encyclopedia Mythica


Go beyond Hercules and Zeus; read up on your Aboriginal and Latvian folklore. Find out why generations of metal-core rockers have turned to Norse mythology. A hint: this site includes lots of wolves and lots of fire. In fact, turns out that the ancient Norse believed that early morning dew is caused by the frothy spit falling from the mouths of the horses pulling the chariot of the sun. Leave it to the Vikings to turn dew into horse spittle. Now that’s rockin’.

3: Drivl


This “continuously updated
set of informally written articles” (not a blog) is solid satire. Users are encouraged to submit their own articles on politics, society and Britney Spears (the line-by-line breakdown of her latest letter to her fans is fantastic). The humor ranges wildly with the diverse authorship but is often clever. Interested in writing for The Onion someday? Cut your teeth on Drivl.

2: SoYouWanna


.get on The Real World? Hold a séance? Get a sex change? Map out your future or even just your Saturday night with the help of this site, which offers advice and resources for all sorts of daring pursuits. Though the expertise of the writers is debatable, the articles are believable enough to divert your attention from your work. Besides, where else can you go to find out both how to write a children’s story and how to make homemade beer?

2: Oddee


This “Blog of the Oddities of Our World” is full of obscure facts, funny mistakes and strange stories. If you ever need a light break from work, read up on the myriad ways our planet is screwed up. Many articles are coarse and decidedly un-PC (“20 Worst Engrish Ever” and “Only in Africa” are standout examples), but my favorite, “Papercut Sculptures” depicts true works of art. Another winner is “10 Most Bizarre Scientific Papers.” This site is truly addictive. Laugh, learn and be offended.

Oldies but Goodies:

Honorable Mentions:
SatireWire (
Dumb Criminal Stories (
HowStuffWorks (

You need a study break. Seriously.

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 | Meghan Luecke and Michelle Stein

1. Go and eat some Ted Drewes.

It’s not a sit-down meal, so if you have a car you can get there and back in a total of 25 minutes. You get a tasty snack, you get out
of the house – or dorm – and get fresh air, and you can take a friend along. At the same time, it’s a contained experience, so you won’t end up spending hours by accident.

2. Write a list of things you want to do over summer.

Write down some purely fun things that you never have time for during school, like a good book you’ve never gotten to read, a beach you want visit, or an old movie you never got to see. It’s a good distraction, and it’ll give you some motivation to get things done faster.

3. Listen to a song you haven’t heard since high school.

Listening to some old school Will Smith or ‘Nysnc will put you in a different state of mind and give you a brief but compelling break from the study craze. What does that song make you think of, anyway?

4. Switch up your study locations

It keeps you interested and makes sure you avoid distractions at your usual spots. Olin is nice, but it is tempting to join the rest of the crowd in their afternoon nap on the first floor.

5. Go outside and enjoy and sun.

Find a half-hour-long task, and do it sitting outside. It’s often hard to
get a lot of serious work done out in the hot sun, but if you give yourself
a short task that you know you can accomplish and set a time limit so you
don’t end up falling asleep on the grass for hours, it’ll be great to get
a breath of air.

6. Set up a reward system.

After finishing X number of chapters, go grab a Fro-yo at Bears Den or stop by to see a friend. After finishing a paper, call a friend from high school on the phone. Once all of the work for one class in complete, watch a movie. Goals make it easier to get things done, and make the black abyss of studying seem a little less deep.

Above all, remember that you can get through it! Finals lasts for about two weeks, and after that you have your whole summer to enjoy yourself. Good luck to everyone with papers, tests, presentations, and finals to finish.