How To Get Organized

Getting things organized and in place is a very stressful thing to do, I’ve realized, especially around the middle of the school year. Usually, around this time, the first semester ends, so the dreadful semester exams come flying. A week after winter break, I’ve already got at least one exam lined up in every single one of my classes. In others, like my Biology class, I’ve got a district exam and a mid-term final, which counts for fifteen percent of my grade! What’s worse, is that we have to remember everything from back in August, where the summer air still blew and the ice cream man still made appearances. But, I guess, having to remember what you’re taught is a pretty fair thing, considering that in fact, we are in the land of opportunity.

I love to stay organized because seeing everything laid out in front me, one undaunting task to the next, gives me a clear perspective of what I will do and when I will do it. Although I do admit that pesky little thing called “social networking” sometimes distracts me, with a few little helpers, I stay relatively focused, and, at the end of the day, I get the job done. Now, what are those little helpers? Well, here is my guide on how to stay focused, organized, and prepared!

Planner; $3.00-5.00

An agenda or planner is absolutely something that every student should have! I bought a nice one for $5 at Target at the beginning of the year, and it’s been very helpful. The only thing that is really tricky with these things is that you must remember every single class to write down what the homework is. (If you’re not a student, then what your plans are for each day.) For students, I understand that not every teacher gives the assignment at the beginning of the class. I know some lecture the whole class, then hand out the homework as you’re leaving class. Just make sure you’ve written it somewhere or remember to put it in your planner as soon as possible. Of course a nice leathery one sounds good, but I know people who have 3-inch ones that are acing all of their classes. The important thing is to have one!

Binder; $0.97

Folder; $0.10

Tab; $2.00

Spiral; $0.10

I might sound like I am rambling on like a teacher’s “supply” list, but it is surprising to see many people without the bare essentials. Binders are really very, very cheap and very, very useful. Before this year, I used to have a big sturdy one that I bought for $10 that lasted a few years. It had pencil holder, paper holders, rings, etc., but as I started moving up in classes, I realized that is was too hefty. I was left carrying numerous book in my hands because the big binder took up too much space. If you have not yet reached high school, I would recommend the big binder, because it’s sturdy, lasts several years, and it holds a lot. Once into high school and college, it’s difficult to manage all the books, notebooks, pencil bags, and still have space to have carry a huge binder. (Unless your backpack is a black hole!) This year, I decided to purchase some really nicely printed binders for a dollars or so. They have cute little designs on them, they are easy to carry around, and each class can have something seperate to hold papers. Even more space saving is buying folder for each class and placing them inside the 1″ binders, which is what I have been doing. The only warning for that is, once you start having a lot of papers piling up, the folders start to rip. But then again, the folders cost only about $0.10 so they are easy to replace. Tabs have never proved that helpful to me, personally, but a lot of teachers require them. They do help get from one page to the next and spereate large chuncks of paper, but other than those minor things, they are not that helpful. Spirals, of course, are major life savers. Once you get to upper level classes, there’s a secret on how to pass the most dificult tests: notes! Taking good notes is one of the most helpful things on learning how to pass classes. Spirals are amazing, but be sure to get the size according to the class. For science and math classes, I definitely recommend the big 5 subject ones, but for classes like “Physical Education”, I wouldn’t recommend getting big ones. But, that, again, depends on the teacher.

Recorder; $40.00

I know it can be scary to spend forty dollars on something, but the reasons behind this thing is incredible. Like mentioned above, notes are one important way to pass classes. Something that aides with that is a recorder. I’m sure cheaper ones are available, but the one I bought was a forty dollar one. It’s nothing special, and actually was no way in comparision to some of the more technilogically sophistacated ones, but it gets the job done. I’m not recording President Obama’s live telecast. I’m recording my AP World History talk about Peter III and his contributions to the development of Russia. It records from a nice length of space, and when playing it back, the volume is loud and the voice is intelligible. It even has proven results. I record lectures in two of my classes, History and Biology. In both the subjects, after using a recorder, my score from the last test to the test that was studies for using the recorder, improved by 12 points exact. That is more than a whole letter grade!

This concludes my “How To Get Organized” list. I hope I helped put a new perspective into your mind!

Word of the Week

Humbug; noun.

1. something intended to delude or deceive.

2. the quality of falseness or deception.

3. a person who is not what he or she claims or pretends to be; impostor.

4. something devoid of sense or meaning; nonsense: a humbug of technical jargon.

5. British . a variety of hard mint candy.

Picture of the Week

Where is Santa skiing? Perhaps on Mount Everest?

Book of the Week

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to the post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love—a stunning accomplishment. (Provided by

Movie of the Week

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. (Thursday, ABC at 8:30 PM, rated PG)

Rejected by the Who’s as a child and living in spiteful seculsion for most of his life, the Grinch has always hated the citizens of Whoville. That especially goes for Christmas with the Who’s noise, phony sentiment and wasteful materialism. When little Cindy Lou Who’s attempt to transcend the festivities’ empty commercialism by inviting the Grinch ends with his public humiliation, the Grinch hatches upon on his supreme scheme to ruin the holidays. (IMDB)

Song of the Week

Wish List by Neon Trees

Video of the Week

A Punjabi Christmas

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