Another Picnic Day has come and gone, and now the UC Davis campus has a week or so to recover from the trampling it took from the billion or so people that visited on Saturday.
Meanwhile, students will spend the next few days contemplating, avoiding and ultimately studying for the quarter’s first batch of midterms.
Studying for many students means procrastinating until they either run out of distractions (and with the monoliths of diversion Facebook and StumbledUpon, this is technically impossible) or their conscience wriggles to the surface and points out that maybe they should spend the last half hour before the test at least learning the name of the course.
Of course, you might be in that special subset of students that has done every assignment, attended every lecture, went to two events on Picnic Day and spent the rest of the day studying, went to study groups on Sunday and could not be more prepared for the exam if you taught the class (although maybe you’re remembering a variable wrong in that one formula … better go back and check).
If that’s you then kudos! Also, hit me up if you want to take some of my tests for me.
Anyway, if you’re a student who procrastinates, allow me to be your news-gathering conscience and give you some tips on how to be an aware college student.
Start subscribing to podcasts. They’re great. I barely ever listen to the radio anymore because of them. They don’t have commercials and can be listened to at the drop of a hat (as opposed to whenever the radio station deigns to broadcast them). If you’re an NPR-phile like me, you’ll love it even more. Fresh Air, the morning news bulletins, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, Car Talk, This American Life … each program has a podcast that updates regularly. All you have to do is subscribe on iTunes or go to NPR’s website. It’s great.
And before you think I’m just plugging for NPR, there’s a ton of other podcasts out there. Most are free. Sports fans need look no further than ESPN for a host of podcasts about the gamut of sports (quick journalism aside: Bill Simmons‘ The B.S. Report has had a number of fantastic podcasts about the future of journalism. Check them out!).
Maybe you liked Loveline when you were in high school, and, not living in L.A., haven’t been able to get your Adam Corolla fix lately. He’s now hosting the most downloaded podcast in the world.
My point is that there’s something out there for everybody. I don’t feel like it’s a stretch to say most college students have an MP3 player of some kind; you can download a podcast at your leisure and listen to it on the bus or before class (when the professor is chatting it up with his TA because, you can tell, he wants the class to start as little as you do).
It’s easier than EasyMac and the end result is a more entertained, more learned you. What’s not to like?
Check out that whole RSS feed everyone’s been talking about. The average college student doesn’t get up super early, make breakfast, go for a run and then read a newspaper before heading to class, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to do some of those things. Sitting down with the intention “I’m going to read this whole paper” might be daunting unless you’re a middle aged guy with his coffee on a Sunday morning, so RSS feeds might be a thing for you to check out.
Using an application like Google Reader (Google it!) will let you subscribe to as many RSS feeds as you want. If you’re crafty and selective, this means all the news you want on all the things you’re interested in will be found for you and all put in one convenient place, saving you the time of constantly checking for news and surfing from site to site.
Just don’t make the mistake I made and sign up for too many; it got daunting having that much reading material and I ended up not reading anything!
Check out theaggie.org! Hopefully you saw that one coming. We try our best to provide you with timely news relevant to Davis students and residents. If however, you’re very interested in Davis community goings-on and The Aggie’s offerings only whet your appetite, I encourage you to point your web browser in the direction of Davisvanguard.org. There’s a lot of interesting news there with perspectives you won’t find in The Davis Enterprise or The California Aggie.
RICHARD PROCTER wants to give a shout out to professors at UC Davis that podcast lectures. Yes, please. Give Richard a shout out at firstname.lastname@example.org.