Ten things to do before finals are over 

Finals are just around the corner, and after that, school’s out. As the year comes to a close, here’s a list of things you should do before you go home for the summer.  

 

Use all your Panther Bucks 

 

They don’t transfer over to next year, so use them all up before they disappear! 

 

Buy storage containers 

 

Where did all this stuff come from?! Don’t worry, Target has you covered, selling storage bins for a cheap as $8.99.  

 

Eat all the food in your fridge 

 

No one wants to be greeted next year by a moldy peach.  

 

Rent a storage room 

 

For a small storage room at Storage West, the cost is $74.95 a month. See you in the fall, bike. 

 

Write a harsh course evaluation for the professor who wronged you 

 

They deserved it. 

 

Get one last dance in at the District Lounge 

 

Nothing says a good time like being grinded on by complete strangers.  

 

Go to our beloved Pizza Press 

 

We will miss you.  

 

Return all your textbooks on Amazon

 

Or if you bought it, sell them back at your own price. You won’t need those anymore. 

 

Participate in Undie Run 

 

There’s nothing like running through the streets in your underwear to put you in a good mood. Undie Run kicks off at midnight May 16 in the Piazza.  

 

Cry as you say goodbye to your friends 

 

Don’t worry, summer will be over before you know it. We’ll be together again soon. 

Students review ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Photo from Wikimedia Commons by Christianlorenz97. (CC BY-SA 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

 

WARNING: Spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution.

 

“Avengers: Infinity War” hit theaters April 27 and has quickly risen to the top of the box office charts, beating out “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for highest-grossing film, becoming the biggest global opening in history. This film was 10 years in the making, including a cast of more than 20 superheroes from the Marvel universe. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive, with an 84 percent rating by Rotten Tomatoes critics and 92 percent by the audience. Many students believe that the film’s success was well-deserved.

Junior graphic design major Jennifer Johnson had great anticipation for the film.

“The fact that this has been in the works and building up for 10 years, through 18 films, there’s no doubt it was going to be big,” Johnson said. “I even blocked about 30 words and phrases on Twitter to be safe, because I wanted to experience it with a fresh mind.”

For junior creative writing major Ashley Musick, she was afraid that her limited knowledge of the Marvel universe would impact her viewing experience.

“Since I haven’t seen all the Marvel films, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to understand it, but I found the film very easy to follow,” Musick said.

Captain America leads Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Black Widow, The Hulk and others towards an unseen foe. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.

It took a couple viewings for junior strategic corporate communications major Brandon Garcia to really appreciate the film.

“The first time I saw it, I came out very entertained but very skeptical and unsure of the quality of the narrative,” Garcia said. “The second time I saw it, I decided to analyze it a bit more and realized that this movie is subtly genius.”

Marvel’s Iron Man. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.

Throughout all the moments in the film, junior graphic design major Olivia Hosbein especially enjoyed the humor.

“I think the jokes are genuinely funny and help lighten the mood, being that they are trying to save the universe and all, which is pretty bleak,” Hosbein said.

Erin Crowder, a sophomore communications studies major, loved seeing powerful women working as a team on screen.

“My favorite part of the movie was the scene with Scarlet Witch, Black Widow and Okoye as they fought Proxima Midnight,” Crowder said. “I don’t necessarily consider myself to be a feminist, but I was definitely getting behind this scene and its girl power.”

Mantis tries to wake Thor as the rest of the Guardians crew stands by. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.

There were also moments that weren’t as popular with audiences.

“I really didn’t like how Loki died. He’s supposed to be the God of Mischief, and his big plan to defeat Thanos is to sneak a knife on him?” Crowder said. “He should have gained Thanos’ trust by being at his side, and then come up with a creative way of attack. A knife isn’t going to bring him down.”

Johnson was disappointed with the film’s ending.

“Not because it was poor writing or anything, but because it completely mutilated my heart.” Johnson states, clearly overwhelmed by the turn of events. “Killing Groot for the second time is unacceptable. It was hard enough to watch him sacrifice himself in the first “Guardians,”, and now that he’s closer to being fully grown, they kill him off again? I also can’t get Spider-Man’s scene out of my head. ‘Mr. Stark I don’t feel so good…I don’t want to go.’ That was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve had to watch. He’s so pure and just wants to help save the universe with uncle Tony!”

Spider-Man clings to the side of an alien spaceship. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.

Ultimately, the film drew a range of emotions from its audience. Musick had conflicting feelings about Thanos.

“He was a villain you couldn’t fully hate,” she said. “I saw a little bit of logic in his methods, and I think that’s kind of the scary part. Of course you can’t wipe half of the planet out, that’s immoral. But then you can also see his point in that it allows the people left to have a better existence and balance out the universe.”

The movie left Johnson in contemplation for days.

“It’s been five days since I saw it and I’m still thinking about it constantly,” she said. “After that ending, I was in denial and literally couldn’t go to sleep because of how upset I was. I think Captain America did a great job summing up all of my emotions at the end, defeated and on the ground simply muttering, ‘oh God.’”

Without a happy ending, Musick felt defeated by the movie.

“A superhero movie is there to provide hope and this idea of no matter what, we can save the world and good will always prevail. But to lose so many of our heroes and have that not be the case, it was really a hard concept to walk away with,” she said. “It was like you were being told that your hope was false, this is reality and that superheroes don’t always win.”

Thanos on his way to collect all six Infinity Stones. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.

The ambiguous ending and promise of a fourth Avengers film left students to wonder what will happen next.

“I have hope that somehow everyone who died didn’t actually die and Thanos will be defeated,” Hosbein said. “I don’t know how they’re going to do it, but they just have to.”

Johnson doesn’t believe the popular theories of other fans.

“A lot of people think that they’ll get the Time Stone and bring everyone back. In my opinion, that seems too easy and is the same as saying it was all a dream.” Johnson said, “Dr. Strange was very persistent in the fact that he would do whatever it takes to protect the Time Stone from Thanos, even if it meant letting Stark and Parker die. However, when it came to it, Strange ended up giving it over and said that it was the only way. Earlier he looked into the future and saw that the Avengers only win 1 out of 14,000,605 scenarios. He knew what he was doing, and I guess we have to put our faith into him and that everything that happened needed to, in order for them to eventually win.”

Dr. Strange and Wong protect the Time Stone. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.

“I think the technology Wakanda has will help get the Infinity Stones back, or somehow reverse Thanos’ actions.” Musick said, “Since we were just introduced to Wakanda in “Black Panther,” there is still a lot we don’t know about their tech.”

While the next Avengers film will not be released until May of 2019, other Marvel films are set to hit theaters this year, such as “Ant-man and The Wasp” July 6 and “Venom” Oct. 5.

Undie run’s most memorable moments

Students gathered in the piazza await the flood gate opening. Photo by Ian Craddock

One of the biggest traditions here at Chapman University is the infamous Undie Run, where students blow off steam and the stress of finals by stripping down and running through the streets like headless chickens. Undie Run is held every semester on the wednesday of finals week, kicking off at midnight. Here are some students recounting their Undie Run moments – the good, the bad, and the totally bizarre.

Freshman year instead of participating, I got together with a group of friends and sat on the wall near Musco Center. There are these poles that stop cars from driving onto campus, and I was told that was the best seat to see people crashing and falling into them. And boy, was it fun. The first wave of people saw the poles, but it was the second and third that didn’t and those were the ones who ate it. It sounds sinister, but it was hilarious.
– Emma Liegler, Junior Public Relations and Advertising Major

I did undie run a couple times, but I don’t really remember them that much. But a couple of my friends for undie run did the total opposite and did a “suit stroll”, where they ran around the circle in suits.
– Christopher Donly, Senior Creative Writing Major


My undie runs always ended with someone getting hurt or injured. Like this one time my friend had worn new shoes on the run, and by the time the night was finally over she had completely peeled off the skin on her heels and was bleeding all over my carpet. It took forever to get the stains out.
– Anonymous

I think my most memorable memories from the run were when people stood on the back of my wheelchair the entire run just screaming their heads off!
– Makenna Sewell, Senior Business Administration Major

Gif by Sydney Druckman

I dressed up as one of the McPoyle brothers from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and drank a lot of milk and vodka and it was not good. Would not recommend.
– Jayson King, Junior Creative Writing Major

Once I saw a guy running around in a swimsuit and a blow-up donut around his waist.
– Jennifer Johnson, Junior Graphic Design Major

Students hyping up for the run. Courtesy of Ian Craddock

My friend one time ended up in Dean Price’s office at 3 a.m. after Undie Run and he bought her tacos.
– Anonymous

I think the best moment had to be running with my good pal, Jayson King. Rounding the circle, we saw a benevolent group of Jesus preachers shaming all Chapman students for their ‘villainous nudity.’ And in front of them were multiple men and women making out with each other.
– Henry Miller Mein, Junior Creative Writing Major

A religious gathering protesting Undie Run last semester as students watch. Courtesy of Ian Craddock

Four DIYs you can make for Mother’s Day

Coming up with a gift to give your mom for Mother’s Day can be hard, especially when you’re on a budget. Here are four simple, and affordable DIYs you can make that your mother will love!

1. Sugar Scrub

Sugar scrubs help smooth and get rid of dead skin. It’s perfect for a mom who loves to pamper herself!

Ingredients:

Sugar – $1.97 (Ralphs)

Coconut and/or Olive Oil – Coconut $4.99 (Trader Joe’s), Olive $4.99 (Ralphs)

Essential Oils – $3.39 (Michaels)

Container/jar – $1.79 (Michaels)

Mix equal halves of coconut oil (or olive oil) and sugar into your jar.

Add a couple drops of essential oils.  

Now it’s ready for the shower!

2. Candle

If your mom always has a candle burning in each room, this gift is perfect for her!

Ingredients:

Wax –  $8.99 (Michaels)

Wick – $3.99 (Michaels)

Essential Oils

Container/mason jar – $1.99 (Michaels)

Pencil

Place wax shavings in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for three minutes.

Once melted, add essential oils.

In your mason jar, wrap the end of the wick around a pencil and place in center of jar.

Pour in your wax and let it sit until hardened.

Snip excess wick, and it’s ready for lighting.

3. Hanging Plant

If your mom was able to keep you alive, I’m sure she’s a pro at keeping plants alive too. This gift would look great hanging in her window!

Ingredients:

Twine –  $3 (Michaels)

Planter or reused container – $3 (Dragonfly Shops & Gardens)

Plant –  $2 (Dragonfly Shops & Gardens)

First cut 8 equal pieces of yarn, twine, or rope to your desired length and knot them together at one end.

Separate the strings in pairs. Depending on how big your pot is, tie a knot a couple inches away from the end.

Then, tie the right and left strings together of each pair to create a net-like structure. Continue this pattern until you reach your desired length or until it can hold your planter safely.

Secure your potted plant into your macramé hanging and you are done!

4. Perfume

Your mom big on perfume? Instead of buying an expensive bottle, make her a custom scent you know she’ll love!

Ingredients:

Coconut Oil

 

Essential Oils

Roll-on perfume bottle – $4.96 (set of three on Amazon)

Poor coconut oil into roll-on bottle and add a couple drops of essential oils.

Secure top and you’re set!

Happy Mother’s Day moms!

 

Photos by Sydney Druckman

What is Skit?

Alpha Phi placed first last year with their rendition of Hercules. Photo By: https://www.chapman.edu/students/life/greek-life/about/programs-events.aspx

 

Skit is one of the longest standing traditions here at Chapman. If you are thinking of attending, here are some commonly asked questions answered by Greek Life Coordinator and Accounting & Business Administration major, Cason McHose.

What is Skit?

It is a Greek wide competition where sororities and fraternities put on seven-minute performances that tell a story using music, choreography, and mouthing to dialogue. It can be anything; from a movie, a book, or a routine that they come up with all on their own. There never is a theme so it’s very open ended and up to the sorority or fraternity as to what they do, as long as it’s appropriate for students and family.

Do I have to join a sorority or fraternity to be involved or see the show?

To be involved in the show itself, yes. You must be in a sorority or fraternity to be a part of the performances. However, we are always looking for volunteers to help with ticketing and setting up the brunch for parents on the morning of the matinee.

To watch the show, no. We try to open it up to the community; friends, family, parents, and also other chapman students to get a taste of what the Greek life and chapters have to offer.

 

Delta Tau Delta performing their version of Wreck it Ralph. Courtesy of Sara Knobel.

 

If I’m in a Sorority or Fraternity, how can I get involved?

Your chapter will need to hold auditions and select at most 40 people for their skit. Then the chapter will need to choose those most capable to perform as well as those who have the best energy and attitude. Your chapter also should look for and scout members to help out with making props, costumes, and lend a hand backstage.

 

Kappa Alpha Theta won in 2016 with their skit Haunted Mansion. Courtesy of Sara Knobel.

 

When is Skit?

There are generally three shows. This year the first show will be held on April 27 at 7 p.m.,  in addition to the matinee show on April 28 at 1 p.m., which is open to the public. The last show will be held that night at 7 p.m., where the performances will be judged and prizes will be awarded.

Where is it held?

Skit this year will be held in Memorial Hall.

 

Beta Theta Pi performing Avatar in 2016. Courtesy of Sara Knobel.

How much is a ticket?

Tickets this year are $7 for students, and $25 to $50 for parents. 

Where can I get tickets?

You can purchase tickets here at this link, and also through advertisements on social media. There are also flyers around campus to remind students, parents, and families to purchase their tickets quick before they sell out. Contact Greek Life at greeklife@chapman.edu for any additional questions or concerns.

 

One of the flyers on campus. Courtesy of Sydney Druckman

 

Why should people come out and support?

Skit is a really fun event. It’s an event that shines a positive light on Greek life and Chapman students, and it’s a wonderful way to bring the community together. While Skit is a competition, there is still a lot of camaraderie and appreciation for what sorority and fraternity chapters are doing. 

 

Kappa Kappa Gamma performing their rendition of Mamma Mia! in 2016. Courtesy of Sara Knobel.

Thoughts students have while studying

via GIPHY

 

This is stupid.

I really wish I didn’t have to study.

How long is this going to take?

Does this even matter?

I’m gonna forget all of this after I take the test anyways.

Ugh, I wish I had a photographic memory.

It’s fine, I got this.

Focus.

 

via GIPHY

 

This ain’t so bad. This is easy if anything.

I’m totally gonna ace this test.

Maybe I can watch TV while writing this essay.

I got time.

Alright I deserve a break.

I need a break.

Maybe a nap wouldn’t hurt.

Oh god, where did the hours in the day go?!

 

via GIPHY

 

How was I asleep for three hours? I swear I was out for like five minutes.

It’s fine, I did most of my work—I’VE ONLY READ ONE PARAGRAPH?

Why did I wait until the day before this assignment was due to start working on it?

Don’t panic. Don’t panic.

Is taking an Adderall really as bad as everyone says??

Where can you even get Adderall? I don’t have a drug dealer.

Is it possible to OD on caffeine?

Of course, the day I miss class is the day everyone was taught EVERYTHING.

 

via GIPHY

 

Why god, why.

Why did I choose this as my major.

I don’t want to do this.

I don’t want to read this chapter. It’s probably not going to be on the test anyway.

I wonder if any of my friends tagged me in memes recently.

No, stop. Pay attention.

Ugh, why did I wait so long to start studying????!!!

via GIPHY

 

*googles* is sleeping with a book under your pillow to absorb information really a myth???

In the real world, I’ll always have access to google.

If I go to bed in 24 minutes, I’ll get exactly four hours of sleep.

I went through half the study guide, that’s enough right?

*calculates minimum percentage needed to still get an B in the class*

…Is my professor going to curve it?

Wait, we never learned this?!

 

via GIPHY

 

Adh#fk&xjhld!@khjhk

That’s it. I should drop out of college and become a dolphin trainer.

Or a stripper.

I can marry rich.

Why do I have to learn this when I can hire someone to do it for me?

And did I really eat that entire bag of gummy bears??

 

via GIPHY

 

Oh look, the sun is coming up.

And I just realized I’ve been staring at the same paragraph for the past four hours.

Kinda feel like I’m in that one SpongeBob episode.

Is it better to sleep for two hours or should I just power through?

It’s fine. Everything is going to be just fine.

I’ll just tell my mom that C’s get degrees.

Also, why am I helping you with this article when I should be studying?!

 

via GIPHY

 

Contributors: Erin Crowder, Olivia Hosbein, Jennifer Johnson, Jayson King, Katarina Lehner, Laura Liegler, Emma Liegler, Ashley Musick, and Makenna Sewell.

 

Four Desserts in a Mug

Love to bake but don’t have an oven? Well, here’s four desserts you can make with only a mug, a microwave, a bowl, and a few other simple ingredients.

 

 

Slutty Brownie:

2 Tablespoons of butter, divided

2 Tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of sugar, divided

1 Teaspoon of brown sugar

A splash of vanilla extract

2 pinches of salt

1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder

2 Teaspoon of water

4 Tablespoons of flour, divided

2 Teaspoons of chocolate chips, divided

1 Oreo

Recipe by Alyssa Janco, at astudyinsweet.com, published October 2014

 

Cheesecake:

 

2 Graham crackers

1 Tablespoon melted butter 

2 Eggs 

2 Ounces cream cheese 

2 Tablespoons of sour cream

2 Tablespoons of sugar 

1 Teaspoon of vanilla

Recipe by Lana Lingbo Li, at instructables.com, published September 2015

 

Strawberry Shortcake:

 

1 1/2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

3 Tablespoons of milk

2 Tablespoons of sugar

1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 Cup of all-purpose flour

1/4 Teaspoon of baking powder

Pinch of salt

Small strawberry, diced, plus more for topping

And if desired, whipped cream on top!

Recipe by Kelli Foster, at thekitchn.com, published June 2017

 

Chocolate Pudding: 

 

2 Tablespoons of chocolate chips

1 Teaspoon of cornstarch

Pinch of salt

1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 Cup of milk

Recipe by Gemma Stafford, at biggerbolderbaking.com, published March 2016

Things We Wish Alexa Would Do For Us

Courtesy of Sydney Druckman

 

Amazon’s automated voice assistant, Alexa, has become a huge part of our lives. According to CNBC, this past holiday season Amazon sold millions of devices, the Echo Dot being a best-seller. Alexa can give us the news, play music, set reminders and send messages all by voice command. As cool and helpful as this may be, there are still a lot of things Alexa cannot do, that we really, really, really wish she could.

 

World peace

Bullock said it best.

 

Do our laundry

Three cheers for clean clothes!

 

Save us a parking spot in Lastinger

The struggle is real.

 

Register for our classes

No more last minute scrambling!

 

And, getting the classes we want

Hallelujah.

 

Pick out our outfits

Just think of all the time you’d save.

 

Write that midterm paper due on Turnitin by 11:59PM

While she’s at it, our exams too.

 

Break up with bae

Sorry, hun.

 

Make us breakfast

This way, more time to sleep!

 

Go to our 8 a.m. class and take notes

Or any class, really.

 

Pay off our student loans

Effective immediately.

 

Bring us puppies

C’mon, who doesn’t want a puppy.

 

Gifs courtesy of https://giphy.com. 

 

Spring Cleaning for the Digital Age

Courtesy of Jennifer Johnson

It’s that time of year again, when we bring out the Clorox wipes, vacuum and feather dusters – spring cleaning. Besides tidying up your desk and getting rid of the many wrappers of candy hiding underneath your bed, there’s one place you probably haven’t thought of cleaning that you really should–your computer.

According to macpaw.com, some signs that your computer desperately needs a clean-up is when:

  1. You’re running out of disk space
  2. Start-ups take forever
  3. Apps and other browsers never load or take ten years to do so
  4. Your desktop is full of files
  5. Because of this, you can never find anything
  6. Programs quit when you least expect it (bye 10-page paper you’ve been slaving away at for thirty hours)

Here are some tips and hacks on how to get your desktop clean and tidy, as well as free up space on your computer.

Folders

Instead of having a bunch of files fill-up your desktop, just put them in folders instead. To create a new folder on a Mac, right click your mouse and select “new folder”.  For PC users, right click your mouse, select New, then Folder. You can also rename it to whatever you want. Say goodbye to a messy desktop!

Image courtesy of Sydney Druckman

Image courtesy of Sydney Druckman

Trash

Even though you might have deleted files, they end up just sitting in the trash and continue to take up valuable space. To clear your trash and get rid of those pesky files forever, double-click on your trash can (or recycle bin, if you have a PC) and select “empty trash” or “empty recycle bin”.

Image courtesy of Sydney Druckman

Downloads

Downloaded images, videos, and other files also take up valuable space. Most of those files you only needed once, and never again. For a PC, open your Downloads/My Downloads folder. For a Mac, open your downloads in Finder and delete the files you no longer need, like that syllabus from freshman year.

Image courtesy of Sydney Druckman

Browser History

You may not know this, but every time you search something, it’s recorded and saved in your browser History. Over time, this builds up and can cause your browser to slow down. To clear your history, go to your browser, click your History tab, then scroll down until you find “Clear History”. You can also select whether to clear data from the last hour, day, week, or from the beginning of time.

Image courtesy of Sydney Druckman

Cookies

Cookies are like real cookies; at first, they’re great, but if you eat too much of them you get full and sluggish. This is what happens to your computer over time. Cookies store files and internet data from websites you visit, creating a shortcut to access them. After a while, this can build up and can seriously affect your browser’s performance, especially if you haven’t cleared your cookies in years. Think of all the websites you’ve visited! Here’s step by step instructions on how you can clear up your cookies if you use browsers such as Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Chrome.

Image courtesy of Sydney Druckman

Cleaning Apps

Apps such as CleanMyMac or CleanMyPC help free up space by getting rid of unwanted files. The app also tracks how much storage you have left on your computer. And it’s free!

Image courtesy of Sydney Druckman

Before you know it, your computer will be running like it’s brand new!

Five ways to combat writer’s block

Photo Courtesy of Sydney Druckman

 

 

Writing is hard sometimes.

Coming up with a new story for your creative writing class, or just buckling down to write an essay, can be a struggle. Rosanne Bane, a creativity coach at Loft Literary Center, University of St. Thomas, University of Minnesota, StoryStudio Literary Center as well as others, says that writer’s block, or “writer’s resistance” as she likes to call it, happens when the limbic system in your brain — the part that controls your freeze, fight, or flight response — blocks the cerebral cortex of your brain, which houses your creative thinking process. “It’s not so much fighting it, as it is learning how to recognize and work through it,” Bane said.

Here are some ways to help you get back into the writing mojo.

Meditation: 

Meditation helps you clear the mind of all distractions, as well as encourages mindfulness. In a recent study at Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, it was found that those who practiced meditation had increased thickness in cortical regions of the brain, as well as slows neurodegeneration in those areas. Nancy Martin, associate professor and chair of religious studies at Chapman with expertise in devotional Hinduism, comparative religious ethics, and gender and religion, says that “mindfulness practices offer a way to step back from being carried along by distractions, to ask what causes them to arise and to cease, and to bring our minds to a state of calm awareness. As we continue to observe without judgement, they gradually subside and we are able to reach a point of rest and clarity, bringing us back to the task at hand.”  

“Awareness of relaxing in the moment brings that cortex back and allows you to write again,” Bane said. “Practicing mediation over time makes your brain less reactive and so you will have fewer of those limbic system takeovers.”

Apps such as Headspace are great, with ten minute guided meditation sessions a day. Chapman also has meditation classes on campus at Wilkinson Founders Chapel, Fish Interfaith Center on Mondays, noon to 1 p.m.  

Exercise:

Just like meditation, getting out and moving helps the writing process. Exercise helps improve memory, thinking skills, as well as alleviate stress. “When you’re exercising, your brain creates  BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), causing the brain to grow new neurons and existing neurons to grow new synapses, making more connections in the brain.” Bane said. “It also increases oxygen and blood flow throughout the whole body. Anything you can do to improve the oxygen flow to the brain is going to improve your brain function.”

There have been several case studies with mice showing how exercise affects their brain development. A recent study at Guangdong Medical University found that mice who exercised on a treadmill improved in spatial learning and memory, as well as other cognitive functions compared to mice who did not. So go for a walk, or go do a quick workout at the Julianne Argyros Fitness Center. If a mouse can do it, so can you!

Prompts:

Prompts are a great way to get the creativity flowing. Rebecca Goodman, a creative writing professor at Chapman as well as an avid writer, said that prompts and free writing push you into new ways of thinking, especially places you weren’t expecting to go. “Often the writing that comes out of that carries with it the energy of the experience,” Goodman said.

Prompts also help give your mind a bit of a break from your work. Bane calls these types of breaks which involve creative engagement, creative play.

“Creative pay is very important.” Bane said. “Play for the sake of playing, such as coloring, playing with Play-Doh, kinetic sand, writing prompts, dancing — something you do for the joy of just doing it. Even when you’re not working, your subconscious is still working on the material.” Ashley Musick, a junior creative writing major, said she loves this method.

“I love writing prompts. I have a book called 642 Things to Write About, and whenever I get stuck I flip to a prompt and start writing,”Musick said.“It’s fun, helps me free up my mind a little bit, and refreshes my mind before I get back into my work again.”

There are also a bunch of prompt generator websites online, such as thinkwritten.com.

Timing Habits:

Setting a strict time table can also help you stay on top of your writing game. “It’s really important to make small commitments.” Bane said. “You want to keep that commitment small, small enough that it’s like setting the bar so low that you can’t help but walk over it. It keeps your cortex engaged and in charge. I recommend my students write 15 minutes a day, and once you get started and get past the initial inertia, it makes it easier to write and want to keep going.”

Lisa Cupolo, a writer and lecturer at Chapman, also uses this technique.

“It’s like a seatbelt. It keeps you grounded. It’s hard for me to get stuff down so timing myself forces me to write as much as I can. You’re in the zone, not moving from your seat or letting yourself get distracted,” Cupolo said. “Afterwards you feel, ‘yes, I’ve worked today!’ even if sometimes it’s a line, or other times two pages. In the end, you’ve done the work and you feel accomplished.”

Trust Yourself: 

Finally, trust yourself and the creative process. When it gets hard, don’t stress! It’s a good thing. “Creative insight comes to us after we go through a certain amount of frustration,” Bane said. “The fact that you are wrestling with it and struggling with your work is actually a good sign, so relax into that. Trust yourself, trust the creative process, make those commitments to writing for short periods of time, and then backing away from it. It continues to work on it while you go off and do something else for a while.”

In the end though, it’s whatever helps you get the job done. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and write!

Rosanne Bane is a creativity coach, teaching artist of more than 20 years at the Loft Literary Center, University of St. Thomas, University of Minnesota, StoryStudio Literary Center, and more. She is the author of Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance and Dancing in the Dragon’s Den: Rekindling the Creative Fire in Your Shadow. Rosanne also publishes the BaneOfYourResistance blog, which was named one of the 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2016 by the Write Life.

You can find more information on Rosanne Bane and her work on her website www.RosanneBane.com.