Thursday, April 2, 2009


finals' week is drawing nigh, and such being the case, fun in general is gradually eeking away for the time being. this being the case, i've resorted to using the homework and study loads given as my new source of fun. i'm sure that we've all used some of these methods from time to time, but i decided to share some of my favorites in hopes that it might help someone else. if you've any that i don't have here, by all means, please leave a comment.

in no particular order, ways to make your homework more fun than it will ever actually be.

#1) calculator speak. of all the calculator fun, this is my personal favorite. now, no cheating, you with graphing calculators. there are rules. the essential idea is that you write words with the screen of your standard issue calculator by using numbers and then holding your calculator upside down. i think this one was at least dabbled with by anyone who went to a public elementary school. you can seen an example to the right.

it should be noted that many of the words sixth grade boys learned to type were not exactly appropriate... so you may want to stick to "hEll.o", "B0.0", "oh", and "hohohohoh.o" in case one of your teachers walks by while you're showing your friends.

i've also heard rumors of people drawing cool pictures with the same methods... eh, i doubt it. but if you've seen it done, please prove me wrong.

#2) taking your subject matter out of context. this one is an old classic. nothing makes a subject more interesting than relating it to drift racing, elephant hunting, or dungeons and dragons. this is more of a group activity. there are two methods that make this work best.

a) decide on a topic before your study group and insist on relating it to everything, stretching topics as much as you have to to make it work. ex.--i've decided on roller rinks as my topic before going to my trigonometry study group. an example comparison could be, "think of a 30-60-90 like when you go into the orem roller rink. you're at the door, you're friend is buying some glowsticks at the stand and your other friend is playing the area fifty-one arcade. if you draw lines between you, you'd have a 30-60-90 triangle. get it?"

b) find something that a diagram, graph, or photo in your textbook or slides looks like. a real life example of this took place in anatomy a few weeks back. we were looking at a male reproductive system diagram (don't worry--i'll be vague enough in case there are children reading), and found that the various cords, veins, and anatomical bodies formed the very likeness of a gazelle (or a giraffe, as autumn argued). following this realization, everything was funnier simply because everything was now part of a gazelle. saying something like, "the dartos muscle makes the lines of the jaw!" is infinitely more entertaining than "the dartos muscle is visible here."

#3) draw in your notes. this may seem rather basic, but it's quite fun actually, and can even help your studies. the basic rule is that if you don't turn it in, you should have fun with it. i'm not saying to draw while taking your notes (though at times, this can be the case), but more so draw in them while you review them. drawing a skull and crossbones next to "acid qualities" in your chemistry notes is always satisfying. in fact, drawing most anything next to anything in your notes is satisfying. then every time you review your notes, your serious studies can be lightly interrupted with the fairy holding a crossbow you drew in earlier.

the practical side of this is that you then get a vivid mental image of your notes' pages with the pictures, making finding specific notes much easier. two birds, one drawing of a stone. however, in order for this to be the case, you need to make sure your doodles are (at least loosely) related so your mind can connect the dots.

#4) make a point of having your most awkward or difficult subject matter visible to other people. this one is for when you're studying in the library or with a group of friends (everyone individually, though). we all have a class that has things that either are or at least look remarkably difficult or remarkably uncomfortable. your goal is to have other people see what you're studying and either comment on how difficult it looks or walk away after awkwardly double taking to make sure they saw what they thought they saw.
effective tools for this are anything to do with formulas (statistics, chemistry, upper level math), being sure to increase the font size if you need to to ensure all the cosines and square roots are noticeable. if you're going for the awkward route, anything to do with bodily functions or intimacy can be pretty useful. experiment, i'm sure you'll find the subjects that work best for you. maybe even try keeping a tally. if it's not working as well as you'd like, try making audible sighs of desperation and groans of displeasure.

#5) calculator races. another calculator pass time from elementary school days. this requires that you have two calculators (preferably of the same make and model) that are basic enough that if you type in 1, then +1, and then equals multiple times, it will continue to add one each time. participants all type in the initial 1+1 and then have a "ready set go". one-hundred always seemed a good number, but all that matters is that you agree to a number to race to. winner is the first to get to the number and put both hands in the air. alternatively, you can decide on a time and race to get the highest sum. both work.

#6) mad-lib your text book.this take the mad-libs principle and applies it to your subject matter. since the lines aren't already there for you to fill in, it'll take a little more work, but it's worth it. here's the how to:
make a listing of word's you'll be replacing. for instance, "first, third, fourth, and sixth nouns i read; second, third, and fourth verb; first, third, and last adjective; etc." then make a list of however many of each you decided on. i'll give an example from my chemistry book.
nouns:1st=shoe(s); 3rd=umbilical cord(s); 5th=breakfast(s);6th=messenger bag
verb:1st=laugh (at); 2nd=leap; 5th=devour
so, a paragraph on close the packing of spheres (randomly selected) becomes,

the shoes adopted by oversized solids are those that laugh at umbilical cords closest in contact to leap the modest forces between them. in many cases the particles that make up the breakfast are spherical or approximately so. such devours the case for messenger bags in furious solids.

and if you mess up in your counting, no loss. i certainly messed up, and it was still fun, see? learning complete rubbish is fun!

and that's what i can offer for now, but there undoubtedly many more. leave your own secrets to survival as a comment, and help another person make it through.keep up the studies.


  1. I did #4 today. Today as the girl was sitting next to me with her overly large musical instrument I was focusing on the reproductive system power points. To answer the quiz questions I had to keep the power point on a large picture of a penis diagram. It was kind of awkward because she just stared at my screen for a while.

  2. You forgot to mention blogging. You're doing it, so it must be worth something.

  3. I love Autumn's comment. I wonder if that girl knew she was staring?!

    One time in my seventh grade math class some boys were participating in activity #1. Then, they all started giggling at the same time. They wouldn't tell us (the girls) what they were laughing it/what they had typed. Then, one boy said "well, it's the complete opposite of Chaela" and then they showed us the word and it was 'boobiless.' I can't help it that I developed early, okay?! That day I was wearing a brand new shirt that I begged my mom to buy me from the Delias catalog. I was so embarrassed that I never wore it again. And it was totally awesome, too.

    okay...weird you were.

  4. bwahahhahha.
    yes... that's actually one of the words you "don't write it while you're teacher is looking" mentioned earlier. i think my sixth grade teacher walked by once when i kid was trying to read it and said it outloud... that's was more awkward than funny at the time, but still funny.

  5. 1) I need to stop being so type-A about typos because I can't delete comments gracefully.
    2) It is retarded that it says "This post has been removed by the author.

    And I digress..

    Poor Chaela. I understand. I was pretty niave in 9th grade (I'm not quite sure since my siblings) and had a locker next to all of the varsity baseball players. ... . Yikes.

    So, this isn't so kind on my part. But did y'all ever write the "eee yam sofa king stew peed" Yeah, don't say it out loud. But a class mate wrote it up on the board and I said it out loud right as my teacher walked in to class completely unaware that I had pretty much said "I am so ...... stupid.

    Anyway... I wrote that on one of my friend's notebooks at my new school and didn't realize he didn't read it immediately. He want to class and it read it out loud and the teacher just looked at him and agreed. Apparently he had just flunked a test that day. Poor Joey.

  6. yes... one of my math teachers was designated as the most annoying teacher in the school. one day i walked in and someone had written an even more elaborate version of autumn's little sentence all across the whiteboard. i was still reading aloud in my head when my teacher came in. she read it out loud the whole way through without realizing what she had been saying. she then said, "whatever. this isn't english," and erased the board.

    that was pretty funny. i'm still amazed that my class was somehow able to stifle their laughter enough that she actually read the whole thing without realizing she was falling right into her students' trap.