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Taking Advantage of the Weather

As the weather warms and we near the end of the quarter, many of us turn our thoughts to sunny days and summer leisure. Unfortunately, those thoughts still have a few weeks before they can be realized. As a recent article in the Indy points out, many of us suffer from a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder at this time of year due to long months spent under roofs and overcast skies. But just because you’re stuck with a boatload of assignments and studying for finals doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ripening weather.

The key? Studying outside. This is the perfect way to get some fresh air, soak up some vitamin D, improve your mood, and be productive at the same time. There are lots of great study spots to choose from, but here are a few of my favorites. If you’re near Gaiser Hall, try sitting in the Roy G. Anderson plaza. Its circular form means there’s always both a shady and sunny side, depending on your preference. It also sports power outlets on the outer ledges so you can plug in your laptop or waffle maker. If you’re more of a picnic-on-the-grass type, try the meditation area near the peace pole. The sunlight filtering through the branches of the giant oak tree makes for a charming study atmosphere. Finally, the Royce Pollard Japanese Garden provides a variety of seating arrangements so you can study alone or in groups. You’ll also benefit from the peaceful presence of a running fountain at the south end of the garden.

Additionally, you may find that the thought provoking architecture of the garden itself spurs your creativity. Wherever you choose to study, you’ll need to be prepared. To facilitate this, make sure you keep on hand your outdoor study kit. This can include sunglasses, a warm jacket, a picnic blanket, and a snack. All these items can easily be stowed in your locker (Ask the student life office to check out one of these.) and deployed on a sunny day. Once you’re prepared, you needn’t be afraid of a little breeze or some damp grass. As an added benefit, most people avoid exposure to any less-than-ideal weather, which means you can often have an entire grove or field to yourself.

One final thing to keep in mind: If you usually use a personal computer for your schoolwork, try to plan your studying so you can do the “device free” portions of it outside. It’s much easier to read paper and ink in the sunlight than a reflective computer screen. Armed with your kit, your knowledge, and your northwestern grit, you’re ready to take advantage of the many benefits of studying outdoors. Now that your eyes have been opened to this wondrous opportunity, go enjoy the weather!

 

Posted by Ambassador Nathan

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Learning English as a Second Language

Hi again!

As winter is coming to an end, it is time for some nice, warm, and sunny weather outside. Spring is just around the corner. I hope you are enjoying this wonderful time of the year. There is one more quarter left until summer. With this in mind, I would like to talk about a great opportunity for those who either recently came to the United States, or have lived here for some time but haven’t had the ability to study English. Clark College offers English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. You can start at any level.

ESL classes are designed for students who want to study or improve their English language skills. If you would like to learn more information about this program, you are welcome to come to an English as a Second Language information session. At this session you will: learn about classes, fill out an application if you still haven’t applied to Clark, and sign-up for a testing orientation. You do not need to register for this session, so feel free to come to any of them. However, please bring your photo ID with you. It will take place at the main campus – Gaiser Hall, room 213. Your friends and family can also attend this session with you. Here is a link with the dates and times available: http://www.clark.edu/academics/transitional-ed/esl.php

As for me, I have studied a few languages, so I know how tough it may be at times with the language barrier. Currently, I am studying Spanish. Last summer, I went to Spain through a study abroad program at Clark, and I remember how hard it was at first to try to listen, speak, understand, and learn the language and culture of a foreign country. However, I think it is worth it a lot.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful ending of the winter quarter and a great beginning of spring!

 

Posted by Ambassador Elvira

Stress Relief!

Hello Penguins! I hope winter quarter is going smoothly for all of you!

However, I realize that at this time of year things can be stressful. We are getting ready for next quarter, starting final projects, and maybe even job searching. After recently attending a Stress Management Workshop and doing some outside research, I discovered a few helpful ways to relieve stress and improve your overall mental health.

  1. Breathing. Seems simple, right? This technique is targeted toward purposeful breathing and putting aside time to do so. By lying on your back and taking deep breaths, this relaxes the body and slows your heart rate. It causes your parasympathetic nervous system to engage, which is the part of the brain involved with relaxing muscles in your body, and calming states of hyperactivity.
  2. Aromatherapy. Many people are increasingly interested in the powers of aromatherapy, especially using essential oils. Certain smells can boost your energy level, ease aches and pains, and relieve stress. The top recommended smells are lavender (anti-anxiety and mood stabilizing), Rose (shock relief, anti-depressant), and Chamomile (decreases irritability, calming). The oil is concentrated so you don’t have to use much, but putting some on your temples or places on the body where you feel pain offers instant relief and comfort.
  3. Nature. There is nothing quite like getting outside on a nice day and spending time in nature. Here in the great NW it is hard to pinpoint times of the year that will be sunny. It’s important to get outside when those days occur, because constant grey skies drain your emotional system even if you don’t realize it. As you know, the sun produces vitamin D, whose functions include reducing depression. It is common in usually grey areas for people to become increasingly stressed and depressed due to lack of sunlight. If you are not able to get outside as much, you can buy a vitamin D supplement that will help your mind stay stress free.  I still recommend at least going for an hour-long walk on clear days, to get fresh air.
  4. Music. As a musician, I will always promote using music to relieve stress. One way to do this is by listening to music at a high volume. By doing this, the music becomes a distraction for your brain, and allows it to release “feel-good” hormones into your body. A high volume also gives people a sense of control and stability that counteracts a scattered feeling. I would not recommend doing this often because it can damage your ears, but try it once and a while when you’re really stressed. Experts also recommend listening to classical music to relieve stress. Because most classical music has a definable structure, it calms the brain by sounding organized and offering resolving sounds.

Whatever method you choose, remember that relieving stress is the key to being more successful in school, work, and life in general. By prioritizing time for self-maintenance, you are insuring that your body and mind are equipped to handle anything that comes your way.

 

Posted by Ambassador Abi

 

Caped Curators of the Cannell Collection

Winter quarter is in full swing and we’ve all huddled deep into our studies until warmer rains bring us out of hibernation. By now, many of us have frequented the Cannell Library in search of books or a quiet place to study. And while the library is certainly full of those, many people aren’t aware of the other fantastic benefits it offers.

One of these is the library reference desk. Clearly labelled with a large blue sign, this unassuming little booth on the ground floor is home to the library’s special forces: reference librarians. If you’re taking anything from English to economics to engineering, you may have the privilege of meeting these champions. Whether you’re just beginning a research project or finalizing a works cited, the reference librarians have got you covered. From 8:00 to 5:00 they stand guard over the library’s reference collection, a valuable assemblage of encyclopedias and reports covering everything from agriculture to bankruptcy law. Exploring these tomes can be a challenge, so the reference librarians are at hand to help you find the material you seek.

Don’t think, however, that books are their only specialty. In fact, if you need help finding anything in the library, be it books, periodicals, or any media, the reference desk is the place to be. These educated folks are fully up to date with the digital age. If you are utilizing any of Clark’s online research databases, they can help you turn up more and better sources than you ever thought possible. I guarantee you, if you think you found everything relevant that a database has to offer on your subject, the librarians will prove you wrong. Beyond their research aptitude, Clark College reference librarians are also masters of citing sources. Whether you use MLA, APA, or any other format, translating sources into their respective citations can be baffling. How do you cite your grandmother’s recipe book? Between their formidable knowledge and an arsenal of handbooks, the librarians have the answer. Believe me, they should all wear capes.

So the next time you are faced with an insurmountable investigative assignment, pop in and pay the reference desk a visit. If you’re buried too deep in your academics to come to Cannell Library, you can also telephone the desk or utilize the library website’s 24/7 online chat feature, which allows you to connect with a network of reference librarians across the globe no matter the time of day. Whenever and wherever your studies take you, good luck and happy hibernating!

 

Posted by Ambassador Nathan

Student Success Workshops

Hello fellow Penguins,

      I cannot believe it is already week four of the quarter! I hope everyone is adjusting well to new classes. If you are struggling, just know Clark has resources there to help you for anything you need! One of my favorite resources that Clark offers is the Student Success Workshops.

Student Success Workshops are completely free to all students and you do not have to sign up beforehand! All you need to do is show up and take in all that the workshop has to offer. There are three different types offered, which are academic success, professional development, and personal development. Therefore, if there is anything you need a little extra help with, they have it! For professional development, there is Resume Building on the 8th from 12-12:50pm. I personally attended one of the procrastination workshops and took a lot away from it. There are many others offered through the rest of the quarter including Destroy Debt, Develop Your Career Plan, Transfer Degree 101, and Job Search Tips. Just know that the ones I have mentioned are not the only ones offered. To find the full list you can stop by the information desk or the Welcome Center and we can give you a paper copy. Or you can find it online at: http://www.clark.edu/enroll/careers/events/studentsuccessworkshops.pdf with the full descriptions on every workshop.

            I highly suggest you all try at least one workshop every quarter. There is a different schedule every quarter so make sure to look back for the new workshops for the spring quarter!  

 

Posted by Ambassador Makayla

Did you know that there is another resource available for you? – Scholarships

Hi everyone!

It is nice to be back in school again after winter break. I hope you all enjoyed some time off and have begun this quarter with new strength to get through another, well, 7 weeks left now. I have some more advice for you to help in your further success. A great resource that we have is scholarships. We offer many scholarship opportunities at Clark.

How do you find a scholarship that fits right for you? Where do you go for more information about scholarships? I will try to answer these questions for you. So the first place to look for scholarship opportunities is by going to our Clark college website, click enroll, and then choose scholarships. Here is the link: http://www.clark.edu/enroll/paying-for-college/scholarships/index.php . There is a list of them, and you can also choose to view all donor scholarships, which will give you even a bigger list to choose from. If you don’t have a lot of time and energy to apply for scholarships separately, you can go to Clark College Foundation Scholarships: http://www.clark.edu/enroll/paying-for-college/scholarships/foundation/index.php . You will need to fill out just one application online and it will be turned in to the foundation. The foundation then looks through your application and decides whether or not you qualify for a scholarship, and if you do, they assign you for a scholarship. Yay! That’s exciting. It is not required, but you can attach a few recommendation forms from your instructors or employers.

Also, one more tip, the more you are involved in different activities on and off campus, such as volunteering, working, being part of a club, and just making our society a better place to live, the better applicant you are. With this in mind, write all of the activities that you are or were involved in into the application. The Clark foundation scholarship applications are open every April and October to apply, so watch out for these months, and I encourage you to apply. You will be notified via mail if you received one, and via email if you didn’t in a few weeks (maybe a month). The amounts of the awards vary, but I think it is totally worth it. You might spend a few hours total on everything, and “get paid” (scholarship award) around a hundred dollars per hour (amount varies). This is something to think about.

Another few places where you can go is the scholarships wall in Gaiser Hall. There is a display on the wall in the hallway that is between the Welcome Center and the information desk. They are some wonderful opportunities. Check it out some time. Otherwise, if you have any questions about any of the scholarships, contact the Scholarships office located across from the Culinary Institute in Gaiser Hall (room 137). They have answers to all of the questions you might have. I have been there myself a few times and it was very helpful. In case you want to call, here is their number: (360) 992-2582.

I hope this will help you deepen your understanding about the resources that are available to you in paying for college. Thank you for reading! Have a nice day, and I wish you success in your educational and career goals!

 

Posted by Ambassador Elvira

Take Care of Yourself this Quarter!

Hello again, everyone! Welcome to winter quarter!

I am going to tell you about the Counseling and Health Center that we have right here on campus. This is a great resource for students.

Since it is the dead of winter, there are some nasty bugs going around. We all know how horrible it is to be sick right before a big test or project. Luckily, we have a great resource to combat productivity-lowering-sickness. Clark’s counseling and health center, located on the main campus, has a nurse practioner on site. This means that you have access to many different medical services. They offer; physical exams, a few different vaccines, lab tests and even nutritional counseling. All of these things are offered at a low cost to students.

This office also offers a variety of over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and cough drops. These are free to students. This is an excellent resource, so you can kick that headache to the curb and focus on your studies. Another cool thing about this resource: snacks. Yes, that’s right. Food. This office has quite a few cool, self-care features such as; hot tea, coloring books, and couches for students to study or de-stress.

Speaking of stress, this office offers mental health counseling. Students are given 10 sessions for free! They can help you get through whatever hardship may be going on in your life. Whether you’re struggling academically or having relationship problems, they have people that can help. Mental health is something that is very important to your well-being, so get help if you need it.

Lastly, this office has student success resources. Even if you are not struggling academically, check it out! You can get some great tips to help you be even more successful. They hold quite a few workshops throughout the quarter.

The Counseling and Health Center is an awesome resource for students. Even if you think you don’t need their services, check it out! You never know what awesome resources you may find.

 

 

Posted by Ambassador Rachel