The Christmas Gifts You Never Wanted

We all know the excitement of holding a wrapped present during the holiday season, and then opening that gift and thinking to yourself “Why did they get me this?” It’s either something you’d never use, something you’d never wear, or something that makes you think “wtf grandma.” It’s safe to say most of us have been there before, so here’s what some Chapman students had to say about their bad gift experiences.

 

Photo courtesy of Brett Hayes.

When I was 11 me and a couple of other people went to my friends house during winter break to hang out and she said she had gifts for us. She gave my other friends gift cards and other things you would want for Christmas, but when it was my turn she gave me and one of our other friend hangers. In her defense they were nice hangers, but like who wants hangers as a Christmas gift?

– Brett Hayes ’19

 

Photo courtesy of Dylan Dahle.

When I was 15 my mom gave me condoms for Christmas. It was super awkward because you don’t really want to talk about that stuff with your mom when you’re 15, and especially when it’s Christmas.

– Dylan Dahle ’21

 

Photo by Claire Tafoya.

In my life I’ve been given around seven Bibles and I’m not really religious at all. I usually get them from my Irish side of the family, but I once got one from a friend. I don’t know what to do with them so they just sit on my bookshelf untouched with these cross necklaces I’ve been given over the years.

– Davis Anderson ’20

 

Photo by Claire Tafoya.

When I was really young a family friend got me a really expensive lip pencil but being like 8 years old I was really confused because all I wanted was toys.

– Alya Hijazi ’21

 

Photo Courtesy of Zack Morse.

My family always has Christmas dinners with two of our close family friends, and they always give really bad gifts. About two years ago one of the families gave me and my brother fake lottery tickets. We didn’t even realize they were fake until we thought we won and our dad pointed out that the back said “for entertainment purposes only.”

– Zack Morse ’19

Even though it’s fun to make jokes about how bad some gifts are, it’s important to remember the holidays are about more than just presents. Take the time over break to relax, enjoy life, surround yourself with the people you love, and put the extra mile into your gifts so you don’t end up on a list of worst gift givers.

Holiday Horror Stories: When ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ Gets Weird

Some students are excited to go home and reunite with their families for the holidays. Others…not so much. Some families are notorious for having disastrous experiences at gatherings, so certain students may have some difficulty getting excited. On the bright side, holiday horror stories provide “remember when” fodder for the next time everyone convenes!  Here are five Chapman students who have had holiday gatherings go south.

The Wannabe Elf

My mom and I were decorating the fresh Christmas tree my dad and I picked the day before. It’s our tradition to put the star on the tree together. Because this tree was so tall, my mom insisted on getting the ladder to place the star instead of standing on the couch as I usually do. I decided with star in hand to leap for the top of the tree. In what turned out to be an epic Elf move, I took the whole tree with me on my way down.

-Sarah Kaino, junior communications and theater major.

 

The Drunk Reveal

My family get-togethers have always been a little crazy, as drinking is part of it. When I was 15, my extended family on my dad’s side came for Christmas Eve. The dinner was going great until my very intoxicated uncle spilled that he secretly dated my dad’s ex after college. My uncle thought it was hilarious but my dad started yelling at him, creating a screaming match between the two of them. My mom ended up storming out of the dining room and it was just silent for a good 10 minutes.

-Melissa Olsen, sophomore strategic corporate communication major.

 

 

Canine Christmas Saboteurs

My parents bought my siblings and I baskets filled with chocolate, cookies and all that good sweet stuff. Some of the treats were baked by my grandma from Japan so those baskets were really special. On Christmas morning, we woke up to chocolate… everywhere. My four dogs murdered the baskets, the crumbs and sweets stained all the carpets. My parents were not too happy about cleaning chocolate stains on Christmas.

-Stephanie Parish, freshman history major.

 

The Wandering Geese

My family and I were going to a ski resort the week before Christmas. We trudged through snow for 20 minutes to get to our resort cabin. The door for our cabin would not budge and we pushed on it for a good five minutes. When a woman opened the door, we realized we went to the wrong cabin. The woman didn’t even flinch when she saw all of us in puffy jackets standing outside her door. She invited us in for cocoa which was super nice! But after that, we realized we went the wrong way and had to walk another 40 minutes to get back to our cabin. By then we had lost all feeling in our toes, hands, and faces.

-Riley Kendall,  junior biochemistry major.

 

Extra Brandy for the Extra Family

My aunt was making sangria for Thanksgiving. Our family likes sangria and family get-togethers are a good excuse for it. Her recipe calls for brandy and she poured in a whole jug. But the pomegranate juice disguised the taste, so people drank it like fruit juice. My family tends to let out all their problems when they’re drunk. They rambled about their childhood and blamed each other for their present problems. Oh – and I threw up.  

-Axl Avenue, sophomore strategic and corporate communications major.

 

 

This time, it’s PERSONAL: 10 DIY Gifts You Can Make in One Sitting

Giving gifts in holiday “Secret Santa” swaps and white elephant gift exchanges can be so unsentimental and impersonal. Here are 10 inexpensive and easy to make do-it-yourself gifts likely to make the recipient remember you long after they’ve used up the balance on the Amazon and Starbuck cards they received from less crafty gift givers.

1. Handmade Clay Dishes

These stylish bowls can be various sizes and hold more than just rings; they can be plant saucers or hold office supplies as well.  Photo by Lily Currin.

These polymer clay ring dishes look glamorous but are actually simple and cheap to make. But how? To achieve the marble effect, roll together multiple strands of colored polymer clay, flatten, shape it in an oven-safe bowl, and bake according to the clay’s instructions.  Spice it up with a simple finish and line the rims with gold acrylic paint after baked.

2. Hot Cocoa Ornaments 

Sprinkles, peppermint candies, and marshmallows add a pop of festive color to a hot cocoa ornament.  Photo via Instagram user Sprinklesomefun.

Fill a clear glass ornament with hot cocoa mix to brighten the day of any recipient. You’ll need 2 cups of confectioners sugar, 1 cup of cocoa powder, and 2 cups of powdered milk to make your own homemade hot cocoa mix. Then funnel the mixture into the ornaments and drop in your favorite toppings. Just add hot water and you’ll have hot cocoa wherever you go! If you want to hang it on your tree, the cap might need additional support for the weight, so be sure to secure the top with clear packing tape.

3. An Artful Mug

This customized mug can be personalized to match the interests of your gift recipient.  Photo by Lily Currin.

Give your friends a warm reminder that you care every morning. You can customize any dishwasher safe mug when you use paint sharpies and then bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  

4. Mystery Movie Box

Include enough snacks for two and you’ll have a built-in movie night for you and the recipient.  Photo via Instagram user Creativecarepackages.

All this gift takes is a classic DVD from the discount bin at Walmart and some appropriate snacks to throw in a fun movie themed box.  A mystery movie box is likely to appeal to any cinephile. To go the extra mile, try picking one of the recipient’s favorite films and include small trinkets or memorable treats that were enjoyed by the characters.

5. A Customized Plant 

This painted face gives personality to a miniature cactus. Photo by Lily Currin.

Make sure your gift doesn’t “succ” and give this one a try. Succulents are very trendy and don’t need much tending – a good choice for a gift to last well beyond the holidays. Customize the plant’s container by using acrylic paint to inscribe a specific face or design that is meaningful to the recipient, just make sure to paint before potting the plant!

6. Holiday Tea Bags

Adding labels to the peppermint tea bags is a simple and helpful touch. Photo by Lily Currin.

This gift could warm anyone’s heart this holiday season. These tea bags are so customizable you can make everything from hearts to tree bags.  All you need is tea filter paper, a needle and thread, and your favorite holiday blend.

7. Homemade Bath Products

Himalayan salt infused with a lavender scent can create a calming bath for stressed students. Photo by Lily Currin.

This self-care gift is so easy it doesn’t even require a trip to Lush! You can make an ordinary bath more relaxing by infusing Himalayan salt with your favorite combination of natural essential oils. Give the gift of a release from the stress of finals and provide them the relaxing break they deserve.

8. Make Their Own Gift

A watercolor set, brushes, and sketchpad is sure to be a welcomed challenge for any artist. Photo by Lily Currin.

For the artist friend, gather some supplies they may not use often so they can experiment and make their own gift. This is a perfect present if you are intimidated by the do-it-yourself aspect of the other gifts.

9. A Personalized Vase

Acrylic paint won’t run with minor exposure to water. Photo by Lily Currin.

Flowers are a classic gift, so why not go the extra step? Simply use acrylic paint and painters tape to keep lines straight before applying paint. Customizing an old glass bottle to use as a vase is an eco-correct way to match a specific décor or upgrade a holiday bouquet.

10. The Gift of Style

The Chapman University shirt was cut in a triangle shape and given a new handsewn collar with an eyelet fabric.  The “Love is Love” shirt was tie-dyed and the message was ironed on. Photo by Lily Currin.

Customized shirts are a cheap way to add some original flare to your recipient’s wardrobe. You can tie dye, cut, or iron on messages to any t-shirt you desire. It’s a way to show their personality or show some school spirit.

First-generation student is first Chapman Rhodes scholar

Chapman’s first Rhodes Scholar, senior biochemistry and molecular biology major Vidal Arroyo. Photo courtesy of Vidal Arroyo.

Vidal Arroyo was the first member of his family to go to college and is now Chapman’s first student to receive the Rhodes Scholarship. He was one of 32 students chosen for the scholarship from a pool of over 2,500 applications nationwide, according to Rhodes Trust.

Chapman joined the more than 320 American institutions who have had applicants accepted into the highly selective program. Arroyo, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, was one of two winners from District 16, the Los Angeles District, that was compiled of students from top schools such as Stanford and Berkely.

The scholarship covers full expenses for students to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom for up to four years, relieving financial issues Arroyo has considered a barrier between himself and academics throughout his academic career.

“It’s a blessing, I think it will be the first time I’ll be in an environment where I’m not battling against some barrier,” he said. “I’ll actually be on an equal playing field and feel what that feels like for the first time.”

The Rhodes Scholarship wasn’t even on Arroyo’s radar last spring when he was planning to study in Israel through the Fulbright Program, a U.S. student exchange program that provides individually designed grants. But he was encouraged to apply to other programs in the UK by Julye Bidmead, the Director of the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs.

Bidmead helps students with scholarships she believes are a good fit for them and the application processes but recommends the Rhodes Scholarship to a select few students, she said.

“It’s a really competitive scholarship,” she said. “I won’t encourage it if they don’t have the credentials.”

Bidmead has been working with Arroyo since his sophomore year and has helped him apply to seven or eight scholarships. Only two or three students from Chapman apply to the Rhodes Scholarship each year, she said.

“He’s a hard worker, self-motivated, and follows through,” Bidmead said about Arroyo. “He has a desire to help other people.”

At Oxford, Arroyo said he will be studying statistics and partnering with faculty in the department who work with genetics through machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, he said.

The past two summers Arroyo spent away from his home in Rancho Santa Margarita researching pediatric cancer at Baylor College of Medicine through funding received from the National Cancer Institute. Arroyo and his team discovered current statistical methods don’t work well with small data sets that are used for analyzing rare diseases, an issue that inspired him to pursue studying the area, he said.

“We worked designing new ways to analyze data so that we can bring the reality of personalized data not just to really common diseases, but also to rare diseases where there’s not as much data to deal with,” Arroyo explained.

After Oxford, he wants to continue pursuing his education with an M.D./Ph.D.

While Arroyo will be studying algorithms, genetics, and statistics, Rhodes scholar Jin Kyu Park plans to use the opportunity to study at Oxford to explore citizenship and membership in American society, he said in an interview with CNN.

Park, a senior at Harvard, is the first undocumented immigrant to receive the Rhodes scholarship, according to Rhodes Trust. Park’s immigration is covered by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the first year DACA recipients were eligible for the scholarship.

President Donald Trump ordered an end to DACA, first reported by The New York Timesand said he’d phase the program’s protections out on Sept. 5, 2018.

As one of the approximate 700,000 young adults who were brought to the United States illegally as children who qualify for DACA, Park is concerned about getting back into the U.S. after traveling to Oxford, he said in an interview with PRI.

“Like everybody else, he’s very deserving of the award,” Arroyo said about Park. “[The program] is going to have to work it out at some level for him.”

Almost half of this year’s winners are immigrants or first-generation Americans, and the majority of the scholars are minorities. In addition, the 21 women who received the scholarship makeup the greatest number of female recipients in a year, according to Rhodes Trust.

The other scholar selected from District 16, in addition to Arroyo, is one of those women: Madison L. Tung in the Air Force Academy. Tung is an acquaintance of Arroyo’s from high school, the two connected through wrestling.

In high school, Arroyo didn’t always have dreams of going to college, but it paid off.

“I’m thankful to have come to Chapman,” Arroyo said. “This was definitely the place for me to be.”

Tinder Barely Passes with Tinder U

Tinder U is a way for students to meet with one another from different universities. Photo by Tumisu on pixabay.

Students don’t give Tinder’s new dating platform very high marks. The much-heralded update restricts their dating options down to other college students but it turns out Chapman users prefer a wider field of selections.

“Tinder U,” launched in August, allows users to filter their dating searches down to other users who also share a university-affiliated email address.

But, students who have given the new service a whirl complain that it’s flawed—sometimes matching them with students far away at other universities and that they don’t necessarily want to be matched with someone they may have already met in their math class.

“Chapman is already small enough,” said Jamie Garcia, a senior psychology and integrated education studies major.

Because Tinder U narrows in on college students, it would make meeting people on campus through Tinder very “awkward,” Garcia said.

Since most Tinder users are of 18-24 years old, the app wants to craft an experience “specifically for them,” said Lauren Probyn, Director of Global Marketing & Events for Tinder.

The feature is meant to connect students to more of their peers and make it easier for users to match with those closer in their area, according to Probyn.

But, sophomore screen acting major Luca Rorh has found that, upon signing in with Tinder U, his feed is flooded with students who are well outside his set radius.

“My range is currently set for 9 miles, and yet the first person that popped up is someone from Azusa Pacific, 15 miles away,” Rorh said.

Rorh initially signed on to Tinder U to meet more Chapman students but views the newest update as a roadblock.

“I can’t just switch back to just Chapman. I don’t want to match with people from USC,” said Rorh.  

Rather than prioritizing geographic location, Rorh has found that the Tinder U feature places student profiles from far away universities before non-student users that may be closer to him.

He believes this takes the convenience out of online dating, and he’s not alone.

Junior computer science major Charlie Story confesses to being as disappointed with the mechanics of the app as Rorh.

“It actually confuses me because sometimes I’ll match with people farther out of my 15 miles that I put. Then, I’m like ‘she’s like 79 miles away’,” Story said.

In response to such complaints, Tinder U maintains that location preferences are still up to each user’s discretion.

“If someone is using Tinder U at NYU and their radius is set at 50 miles, they will see students at Hunter College, Columbia, Barnard, etc.,” said Gabrielle Aboodi, Senior Accountant Executive for Tinder.  

Per Tinder protocol, students are able to enter their location and set up a personalized radius for potential matches. But, once a user signs in as a student, the app then allows users to swipe on other students at their own college, as well as nearby schools, according to its website.

Tinder also states that a student may turn the Tinder U filter off at any time.

Tinder U is only available for students at “4-year, accredited, not-for-profit schools in the U.S. that deliver courses in traditional face-to-face learning format,” Probyn said.

If a user is not connected with Tinder U, but they have a regular Tinder account, they’ll still show up on the app of a Tinder U user, though presented much later.

Tinder has stated that they are “unable” to disclose any numbers regarding how many students are actually taking advantage of the Tinder U feature.

The overall Chapman consensus on Tinder, as a whole, is varied. Some students’ original goals for joining the online dating pool are unclear.

“Honestly, your guess is as good as mine,” said Kyler Hannah, a senior psychology and strategic & corporate communications major.

Hannah tried Tinder U, but ultimately reverted back to classic Tinder.

“I didn’t like [Tinder U]. I just feel like I don’t always want to date in the [college] community,” Hannah said.

Hannah views the basic version of Tinder as her “way to get out of” the typical circles she runs in on campus, making Tinder U inattentive to her specific needs within the app.

Junior psychology major Samantha Scherba finds Tinder U appealing, as someone who “wants to date a guy who’s well educated.” Scherba only sees  benefits in “having [Tinder] on a university level.”

Tinder U advertises these changes as a chance to organize study sessions, coffee dates, and meet new faces. However, some students disagree with what the app actually stands for and how they are using it.

Tinder U “is window shopping,” according to Story.

Contrary to what Tinder U advertises, Story believes the site promotes hookup culture and short-term flings.

Chapman Students Convert Art into Commerce

Most artistic professions are notorious for being unremunerative, but some Chapman students are already making money from their artistic creations. Noah Jacobs, Genevieve Geller, and Dane Nakama are three Chapman students who have already launched real-world businesses while juggling crazy course loads.

Noah Jacobs

Noah Jacobs is the creator and owner of the clothing company Spilt Milk, which sells shirts and accessories and can also find on Instagram.

Photo courtesy of Noah Jacobs.

 

Noah is a junior business administration major with emphasis in marketing and minor in data analytics who serves as the parliamentarian of Chapman’s professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi.

Q: How did Spilt Milk start?

A: In spring of 2017, while planning to release my work, I made the mistake of waiting until the last minute to check the trademark databases. I found out that someone had already taken the name that I wanted to use. I had to scrap everything in my portfolio. At that point, I was completely discouraged about continuing the company. I talked to my dad, who is one of my biggest mentors, and he told me not to cry over spilt milk. That really resonated with me, and I thought it was a great name for a company. I wanted to promote the “don’t cry” philosophy- accepting that failure is something we can use to motivate ourselves towards our goals in life.

 

Q: How much money do you typically make from Spilt Milk?

A: I’ve made a little over $2,000 off of a $2,500 total investment. I have recovered all of my initial investment in the company and the money that I make always gets reinvested. But, honestly it’s never been about the money. It’s something I’m passionate about, and being able to run the company and be creative has totally enhanced my college experience.

 

Q: As a full-time student, active member of AKPsi, and having part-time jobs, how do you fit Spilt Milk into your schedule?

A: It’s pretty difficult. There are only so many hours in a day and with school work, it’s always a challenge. Because it’s something that I am passionate about it, I leave time for it. It’s not a chore to me.

 

Q: From building your campaign, what have you learned about promotion?

A: The key to promotion isn’t just handing things out and blasting people with information. The key is taking the time to focus on every individual and make a connection between them and your company whatever you are promoting. It is so important to have a central message or theme people can really connect with. I have definitely boosted sales with pop-up shops on campus and getting that in-person contact. I’ve been a part of the House of the Arts show, Chapman’s art festival that happens every semester since Fall 2017, for the past two semesters. Being able to promote my art and being around other artists is where most of the sales come from. It’s very valuable, because customers can see the connection between the art and the artist.

 

Senior Becket Edwards modeling Spilt Milk’s Winter 17/18 “Black Outline Long Sleeve” ($24.99)

Photo Courtesy of Noah Jacobs.

Friends of Noah Jacobs and Chapman students Tiffany Orite, Grace Moon, and Becket Edwards modeling for Spilt Milk’s Winter 2018 “White and Black Outline Long Sleeve”($24.99) 

Photo courtesy of Noah Jacobs.

 

Genevieve Geller

Genevieve Geller is a junior graphic design major and runs her design and illustration business selling prints and custom art.

Photo courtesy of Genevieve Geller.

Genevieve has worked at Chapman Student Engagement as a graphic designer since spring of her freshman year and has interned at and an apparel company and design studio this summer. She also served as the creative director for the Alpha Phi sorority last year.

 

Q: How important is the Internet / social media for promotion?

A: The Internet and social media are absolutely essential for promotion of my work. Besides the initial connections I made in person when I was first starting out my design business, I have pretty much gotten all of my projects from people finding me on Instagram.

 

Q: What alliances help you to promote your work and keep your business running?

A: I definitely have strong alliances with other people in the graphic design program at Chapman. I have a core group of design friends who lift each other up by promoting each other’s work, critiquing each other, and collaborating on projects. Within the Chapman community I’ve also definitely received a lot support from House of the Arts. Their festivals have provided a place for me to sell posters and stickers, and just get my work seen.

 

Q: What inspires your artwork?

A: Many things inspire my artwork, so it’s difficult to place just a few things. I’d say my use of color is inspired by Impressionism, which was a big part of my early education. In general, I think my work is very playful, and I definitely attempt to convey my own sense of humor through my illustrations.

 

Q: What was your toughest profitability challenge and how did you overcome it?

A: My toughest profitability challenge is definitely school-work balance. I make most of my money from freelance projects, which means that at any given time, I could have multiple deadlines for work outside of school while simultaneously trying to finish projects for four different graphic design classes. I had to pull an all-nighter the night before I left to study abroad, because I had a client project due the next day. I’ve had to turn down freelance projects just to maintain my own sanity and a decent sleep schedule.

 

Q: How much do you typically make?

A: So far this year, I’ve made just over $3,550 on freelance projects and selling prints and stickers. The average per project is $100-$150, but I have had larger projects in the $300-$500 range. It all depends on who the client is and the scale of the project.

 

“I’m also very inspired by surrealist imagery – my logo, which is a fish with legs, was inspired by a work by Rene Magritte.”

Courtesy of Genevieve Geller.

 

An original digital sketch done last year and its process!  

Courtesy of Genevieve Geller.

 

Dane Nakama

Dane is featured here with his floral logo and runs his business selling stickers, prints, and clothing on his website and Instagram.

Photo Courtesy of Dane Nakama.

 

Dana Nakama is a sophomore studio art major and minor in VR and AR.  He is also the president of Chapman University’s Art Club (CUAC) and juggles being an on-campus gallery and studio lab assistant.

 

Q: What inspired you to hand-sew?

A: My line of fashion and merchandise is primarily based on my artwork, and in my artwork, the medium of embroidery lent itself to my practice. The expressive power of lines is a reoccurring attribute in my work. I place an emphasis on intention, and embroidery asks me to consider every little detail. Unlike painting or drawing, I can’t simply cover it up or erase it.

 

Q: How much money do you make on average from your line?

A: It depends. I can’t gauge my pay off of an hourly wage like most people, but within a day of good sales at an event or fair, I can make an average of $700-$900. During the summer season, if I’m taking orders, I make around the same amount over the course of a couple of weeks.

 

Q: Do you hope to continue your clothing line after college?

A: I definitely hope to sell clothing and merchandise after college, but not as a priority. My main focus is the artwork. The clothing, prints, and stickers I sell are to make my artwork more affordable and accessible to a wider audience.

 

Q: What alliances do you have to keep your business running?

A: I manage all the merchandise I sell, including clothing. I have worked with local companies in the past to mass produce items such as stickers and printed shirts, but I produce all of the handmade products such as embroidered fashion and prints. However, I truly would not have been able to do as much without the support of my friends and customers. Not only have my friends volunteered to help man my sales booths and model for my clothing line, but also they have provided positive feedback and constant encouragement.

 

Q: What was your biggest profitability challenge and how did you overcome it?

A: Working in any creative field is difficult for one main reason: you have to trust your own creativity and gut to produce items that will sell. Profiting from your own creative ability is anything but clean cut. My main sales demographic is primarily high school and college students, so I want to keep my items affordable but also be able to compensate myself for the time and money I’ve invested. After purchasing materials and accounting for efforts, there is very little room for a large profit – but maybe that’s just because I am bad with numbers *haha*. There is a reason not many people choose to do their own business: It takes a lot of work, and you really have to have a love for what you do.

 


Dre Durisic, friend of Dane’s and non-Chapman student, modeling “Rippled Reflections” ($85).

 

Aki Shigeyama, sophomore business major, modeling “Bloom Collared Shirt” ($30).

Loriann Bilal, sophomore strategic and corporate communications major, modeling “Bloom Dress” ($90).

Jon Le, sophomore business administration and data analytics major, modeling “Flower Shirt (black)” ($20).

Photos by NativeFour and queenbsart, courtesy of Dane Nakama.

 

 

 

 

 

Six tips from honors students on how to ace your finals

Prowl interviewed some University Honors Program students with the highest GPAs at Chapman to get some helpful tips on establishing better study habits, such as using the Pomodoro Technique, working with other people to get multiple perspectives on a topic and how to find the best study spot.

 

1. Try the Pomodoro Technique

Would you rather take three hours to get one thing done, or  an hour and 20 minutes to get four things done? The Pomodoro Technique, created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, provides a framework to help you get more done in less time. The main premise behind the Pomodoro Technique is to work in blocks of time, typically 25 minutes long, followed by a five minute break. These intervals are named pomodoros, the English plural of the Italian word “pomodoro,” which translates to  tomato, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Citrillo used as a college student. Each Pomodoro session demands your full attention on one task, and every break requires you to step away from your work to rest.

Here’s how to implement the Pomodoro Technique:

Make a to-do list of the assignments you absolutely need to do that day and set time frames for each task. For example:

  • 25 minutes – HON 498
  • 25 minutes – Portfolio
  • Five minute break
  • 25 minutes – IES 492
  • 25 minutes – Presentation
  • Five minute break

The result is improved productivity and satisfaction with your work, as well as decreased boredom.

Download the “Focus Keeper Free: work & Study Timer” app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/focus-keeper-free-work-study-timer/id867374917

2. Get a planner

Even if you think that all of your assignments and reminders can be stored in your head, top students find  reminder apps, calendars, and planners to be extremely helpful in getting tasks done and remembering everything that you need to accomplish and when. The apps below allow you to set aside time for studying and set reminders to get your assignments in on time.

Recommended apps: Blackboard, Google Tasks

Photo by Marissa Dunn

 

3. Treat yo self!

As it turns out, giving yourself a small reward after a long study session is a good practice. Treating yourself can be as simple as watching a show or enjoying a nice meal. Try to make it less about expecting a reward and more about doing something to take care of your mind and body after a long day of work. Work-life balance is important, even in college! Of course, it’s also necessary to recognize that even if you didn’t finish reading the entire textbook before bed,you are still allowed to rest. Being kind to yourself and treating yourself  is a good rule of thumb.

4. Know when to work alone versus when to work with people

Working with people or in groups is only a great idea if you are struggling with the content on a conceptual level. Having a fellow student explain their take on a subject rather than a professor  can sometimes be effective and better for memory, as your peers may be able to explain concepts in simplified terms, which is easier to comprehend and remember than the more complex academic versions discussed in class. In the group setting, you get to hear multiple perspectives and work through your confusion with individuals in your group who understand the subject matter more fully. However, when it comes to memorizing and writing, it’s best to go solo. For example, study by yourself for test preparation, and then do a partner or group review the day before a big exam.

Photo by Marissa Dunn

5. Find your work space

Having a set place and time to study can make all the difference. Every honors student suggested establishing a work space far from distractions. Libraries are a good place to study because they are usually filled with people who are also working, reinforcing the notion that you are there to work – not to chit chat or surf the net.

Photo by Hannah Harp

6. Review as you go

Even if a test isn’t on the horizon, the act of reviewing material briefly helps store that information in your long-term memory, so you’ll already have it memorized when the test day arrives. One  activity that helps some students retain information is studying with a friend and verbally reviewing the material. By talking it out, especially the concepts that are the most difficult, some students find that they remember the conversation better on the test day and even find that explaining the information to a friend solidifies their understanding of the information. Plus, you get to hear your friend’s thoughts on the concept as well. It’s a win-win!

These students contributed to tips for this story:

  • Sofya Bochkareva
  • Brittney Bringuez
  • Taylor Killefer
  • Kylie Miller

 

 

 

Chapman Alumnus Embarks on European Tour

Cameron Lew, who graduated from Chapman this spring with a major in film production, doubles as lead singer and pianist for a powerful soulful trio: Ginger Root. Lew describes his sound as “aggressive elevator soul.” Ginger Root started making music in 2015 and are now on their first European tour, opening for Texan rock-duo Khruangbin. Lew sat down with Prowl to talk about Ginger Root and how he is preparing for his first tour abroad.

Cameron, Matt, and Dylan play their instruments in a still from Mahjong Room. Photo courtesy of Cameron Lew.

Ginger Root’s Mahjong Room captures youthful expression through multiple mediums, including dance, song, and film. Mahjong Room was directed by Ginger Roots own frontman, Lew. Everyone who worked on this video is a Chapman student. 

Prowl talked to Lew, who graduated in 2018 and is now headed on a European Tour. 

How did you come up with the name for the band?

Ginger Root came from a video of Vulfpeck I was watching late at night. There was this bit about “ginger root” in the video that made me laugh so hard that that phrase got stuck in my head for the next week. Then when it was time to figure out a name for the band, all I could come up with was ‘Ginger Root.’

When did you start Ginger Root?

I’ve been playing music for awhile in various groups, but Ginger Root started two years ago.

How did you all meet?

We all met in high school. There was an after school arts program that we were all a part of, and I had just started making music under the name Ginger Root and had already put out an album. I needed people to help me play these songs live and Matt Carney, who plays drums, and Dylan Hovis, who plays bass helped me out. They’re all quite a bit younger than me, they were freshman when I was a senior in high school, but we all crossed paths and now we’re best buds.

Where can we find your music online?

There are two albums out on streaming services (Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp). I just put out an album this past June, which is all over the internet. My first album is all cover songs, and I actually recorded the entire album in my car. In between classes I would go to Hart Park and record a cover. Sometimes a car would pull up next to me and I would have to stop so people wouldn’t see me drumming in my car. The first cover song I did was on top of the DMAC (Digital Media Arts Center) parking structure, and the cops got called on me for a noise complaint.

What type of covers do you do?

It’s a mix of old and new stuff, but a lot of the old stuff is Motown, The Beatles, or soul. I am a huge Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye fan and any of that stuff is really cool and a great amount of soul for me.

Call It Home reminisces through vintage motown sounds like Stevie Wonder, while also infusing new elements of funk and soul.

How would you describe your sound?

We describe our sound as: aggressive elevator soul. Take that as how you will, if people listen to the music after hearing that description then hopefully they say “oh that sounds about right.”

Matt, Cameron, and Dylan pose in their merch. Photo courtesy of Cameron Lew.

Do you guys have any shows coming up?

We will be leaving for our first European tour this October, where we are opening up for Khruangbin. We start off in England, then Paris. Then we drive up to Brussels , Belgium, Copenhagen , Denmark, and Berlin. This is the start of it, and the shows are sold out so we are trying not to freak out. We do not get a lot of money, but this opportunity is amazing for exposure and the experience is priceless.We are using every opportunity to learn from this first run.

Khruangbin infuses elements of soul and psychedelia with Como Te Quiero, and tells it through a visually striking animation.

Do you have a dream venue/person you would want to play with?

I would love to play a show with Japanese Breakfast, Tennis, or White Denim. My dream venue would be the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles.

Jeanie captures a nostalgic and romantic feeling through somber chords and unchained melodies. The accompanying video takes a fresh and original look at what it means to be in a 21st century relationship. Photo by Cameron Lew.

You can find all of Ginger Root’s music on YouTube, Spotify, and Soundcloud. You can follow Ginger Root on Facebook, Instagram, and on gingerrootmusic.com. Their merchandise is available here

 

Pros and cons of Chapman housing options

Which of the five prisons – err, we mean “residence halls” – you wind up in at Chapman has a lot to do with your major, undeclared included, as students are often placed with others who share their major.

Group living is always the same in some ways (sharing bathrooms, negotiating noise levels and visitors) but yet, each dorm also has its own unique culture as created by the people living in it. Here is a handy reference guide that lists the pros and cons of every Chapman residence hall.

 

Henley Hall

Pros:

– Known as the “Trap House”

– Has EVERYTHING

– Fully-functional laundry room

-Tiny 5-by-5 square-foot gym

-Pool table that also functions as a prime napping location

 

Cons:

-Known as the “Trap House”

-Laundry room never has an open dryer

-Cockroaches!

-Loud af on the first floor

 

Removable graffiti in the Henley laundry room.

Henley 1st floor repping Stranger Things.

Is it performance art? Versatile pool table in the Henley basement conscripted into other purposes. Photos by Julia Ha.

 

Pralle-Sodaro Hall

Pros:

-”Walk-in” closet

-That’s your only pro

 

Cons:

-You have to share a bathroom with five other, usually messy, people

-Lounges smell weird and are usually trashed

-Underdeveloped version of Henley

 

The disappointing Pralle basement.

Pralle residents recreate iconic vine with Post-it notes Photos by Julia Ha.

 

Glass Hall

Pros:

-Has hotel ~vibes~

-Pool view

-New (ish)

-Easy access to Jim Miller Parking Structure

 

Cons:

-Fun times dealing with clogged showers and sinks!

 

Seve Silvestre, freshman Health Science major and Glass resident, making a “professional ‘ phone call in Glass community room Photo by Julia Ha.

Glass residents getting frustrated with their bathrooms Picture via Twitter: @Pakiiinextdoor

 

Morlan Hall

Pros:

-Only one roommate = only one person to drive you nuts

-The existence of the Morlan bunny

-Community kitchen where students bake their stress away during finals week

 

Cons:

-Furthest away campus

-Printer that constantly prints photo of Taylor Swift

-Black goo from shower heads

-Building is haunted

Morlan residents’ reactions to their spooky daily occurrences. Picture via Twitter: @nocontextpawnee

The haunted sitting areas of Morlan. Photo by Julia Ha.

 

Sandhu Residence Center

Pros:

-Cute jail cell vibes

-Sandhu dance room is the size of your dorm!

-Some rooms have windows directly to the caf for easy sneak-in access

 

Cons:

-Quiet as solitary confinement

-Nothing cool happens

-Definitely will break your bank

 

The sad and empty hallways of Sandhu. Photo by Julia Ha.

Sandhu residents’ bank account.

 

Davis Apartments

Pros:

-Living representation of Chili’s

-Top on-campus housing option

-Cheap

 

Cons:

-You’ll most likely never get it because so many other students want it

 

A nice “Welcome to Chili’s” Poster on Davis. Photo by Julia Ha.

Accurate representation of students who did not get Davis. Picture via Twitter: @ParisHilton

 

Panther Village

Pros:

-A living meme among Chapman housing

-Always police cars across Panther Village arresting people

-Super cute old floral curtains that spice up your room!

-Loft is kinda fun

-Swimming pool that no one ever uses

 

Cons:

-Occasional eye contact with possums, racoons and homeless people

-Your shuttle is not always on time

-Never any parking

-Decorated like your grandma’s house

Police cars parked across from Panther Village at midnight. Photo by Ammar Khan.

Chrissy Teigen’s facial expression representing Panther Village residents. Picture via Twitter: @SoonSun_

 

 Chapman Grand

Pros:

– Your own bedroom, bathroom, closet, washer, dryer, etc.

-The pleasure of being envied

-A swimming pool that is actually swimmable

-Reassuring to know that they weren’t thousands of people before you who used the toilet seat

 

Cons:

-Maze Runner 2.0

-You will most likely get lost in building trying to find your way out

-Will frequently miss your shuttle

-Will frequently lose mail too

Chapman Grand residents enjoying their grand life. Picture via Maggy Vaneijk from BuzzFeed

Students waiting and falling sleeping as they wait for their shuttles. Photo by Julia Ha