Tag Archive | university

Making a Movie for Everyone: Is It Possible?

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Today’s post is going to be a little different, mostly because I will be making a rather odd request. As most of you are aware, I am currently enrolled in the communications program at the University of Ottawa, studying in the hopes of one day becoming an accomplished journalist. In the meantime, however, I’m simply trying to get through all of my courses more or less unscathed, and to do that I am going to require a little bit of assistance.

One of the courses I am taking is called Audience Research, which is exactly what it sounds like. Myself, along with a group of my classmates, have been given the task of constructing a movie that will please all audience demographics, a seemingly impossible task but one which we are determined to accomplish. In order to do this, we have put together a 10 question survey which touches on all aspects of a film, the data from which will allow us to determine what the majority of the audience looks for in a movie, and apply that to our research. This is where all of you lovely booknerds come in. Below, I will provide a link to the survey, and all you have to do is take no more than 10 minutes out of your reading time to go through it and answer the questions as best you can.

Here is the link so you can get started:



As much as I would love to provide an award or some other kind of incentive, all I can give you guys is my eternal gratitude in assisting me with what will hopefully be an A+ report. Hopefully the joy which comes with committing a good deed will be enough to satisfy all of you as well. As I said, it won’t take you very long to fill it out, and I will be indebted to you all. Should you like to make any requests regarding potential blog topics, or need assistance with assignments of a similar nature, just leave a note in the comments and I will do my best to oblige.

Also, in the spirit of Halloween, I will be posting tomorrow as well. I will be sharing a snippet of a horror story I had begun to write many years ago, which I found to be so terrifying that I could not continue writing it. It’s probably not as scary as I remember it, but I would love to share it anyway, along with a quick history lesson on why it is throngs of children and adults alike will be disguising themselves as zombies, vampires and sexy nurses tomorrow night. Until then, happy reading!



How To Avoid Brain Implosion During Exams

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

If you’re like me, these are some of the things you will be experiencing for the next few weeks:

Accelerated hair loss due to an increase of self inflicted strain placed on the follicles…


Blood vessels of the sclera becoming more pronounced and numerous….


Blood pressure rising from an increase in caffeine consumption….


Inability to partake in REM sleep for more than a few hours a day….


Seeking out viable sources of procrastination….


If you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms, then just like me, you are suffering from what I like to call Exam Season Fever. There is no permanent cure for this disease, but it is possible to maintain psychological coherence by creating a balanced studying schedule. Here is a list of just some of the things you can do to stave off the worst of these systems:

1. Stress Ball: You can buy one of make it yourself, but either way a stress ball will prevent you from putting unnecessary strain on your hair.

2. Blink!: When looking at your computer screen, remember that your eyelids are there to prevent your eyeballs from drying out, and it only takes a fraction of a second to use them. Unless there are angel statues on your screen, in which case you need to keep your eyes open and call The Doctor.

3. Alternative Drinks: It’s not easy to sit still when you’re veins are pumping more caffeine than blood. Try some less caffeinated beverages, like hot chocolate or green tea if you really need a temporary energy ‘pick me up’.

4. SLEEP!: The brain cannot function properly without adequate sleep, so no matter how much you want to keep studying, repress those feelings and conk out for the night. I myself set a study limit where I don’t study past 11pm, because that’s when I become unable to retain anything I read. This is different for everyone, obviously.

5. Prioritize: It’s okay to have fun, even during exam time, but there’s a time for fun and a time for mental stimulation. Try alternating between study and other activities to fulfill your social needs and to avoid having your brain implode from the weight of all that stress.

If you have any other useful tips for studying, feel free to leave them in the comments. Otherwise, good luck with your exams everyone. I shall try to continue posting on a daily basis, but do not be alarmed if I miss a day or two or more.

That’s all for today. Keep calm, cool and collected, and as always, happy reading!



Poetry Time!

Hello All!

As I wait for my professor to resolve the technical issues that inevitably occurred this morning – I have yet to experience the entire hour and a half of this particular class – I felt compelled to write out my frustration in the hopes that I would be able to channel some of that frustration elsewhere. Now, I don’t pretend to be a poet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the art form. People sing even when they are tone deaf, or they dance even if their feet are lacking any kind of coordination. Why? Because it’s fun! It’s just one of those things that people do, usually without cause, and being able to do it well or not does not matter in the least.

So, using my grade twelve English poetry skills, I present to you a poetic tale of a university student who tries desperately not to make a scene.

State of Flux

I sit here, butt sore from a hard chair, eyes blinded by a blue screen.I wait … and wait … and wait …

Chatter, clatter, and a vibrating phone in my pocket.

 I continue to wait … and wait … and wait a little more …

The teacher speaks, and I look up in expectancy … only to face the disappointing glow of the blue screen.

To my great displeasure, I am forced to wait yet again …

The lecture flashes briefly on the screen, igniting hope that it will finally commence!                                                                          

The moment arrives, and passes just as quickly, replaced by that glaring blue screen.

Should I continue to wait?

Apologies and excuses, after a mind numbing 30 minutes, and a slowly numbing butt.

Can I continue to wait?

The screen goes from blue, to green, to blue once more.

I’m not waiting anymore.

I open my mouth, frustration and fatigue controlling my cognitive functions.

As I prepare to protest … Oh, she has begun the lecture.

I sit back and stew in a metaphorical puddle of my unreleased anger.

I detest being in such a state of flux.

I hope that was able to give you at least a little bit of an idea of how I felt this morning. I’m the kind of person who actually smiles at the prospect of going to school everyday, so experiencing this level of frustration is a rarity in my case.

That’s all for today, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers 🙂

Back to Hitting the Books

Hello All!

The holidays always seem to pass by much too quickly for my taste, but as Chaucer put it, “all good things must come to an end”. Now I must face the music, or more accurately, the books. I’m not exactly enthusiastic about the prospect of spending over a hundred dollars on a book that I’m only going to read once, but I have found ways to make even the most grueling and mind numbing book into an enjoyable experience.

TextbooksGetting the Most out of Academic Readings

    1. Find Interest in the Topic

    A lot of information is contained within the pages of a textbook, and sometimes just thinking about how much you’re going to have to read and remember afterwards can be daunting. What I look to do is pick one thing that the course covers that I find to be the most interesting and easiest to remember, and then find a way to tie everything else back to that topic. I know this seems like you would be creating more work for yourself, but it will be helpful come exam time. I usually like to find something in my own life, and then direct or indirect links between that and what I’m reading.

2. Application of Imagination

   I’m sure I’m not the only person who has done this, but I like to create a visual story in my mind as I read. I usually take characters from my favourite books or TV shows, and I set them in specific roles. Then, as I read, I can see them acting out or applying the concepts that I am studying. It’s kind of like writing a better version of the book you’re reading, or perhaps a series of short stories. Just be sure to imagine something that you will remember later, otherwise you just end up distracting yourself from what you’re reading.

3. Who’s Narrating?

    This is yet another guilty practice of mine. When I’m reading, I like to replace my own mental reading voice with someone else’s, preferably someone who I would enjoy listening to as they talked about nature of human existence or why certain elements of foreshadowing were used in a story. I usually fall back onto the voice of Patrick Stewart, occasionally sneaking in some of his memorable catch phrases from his role as a star ship captain. Not that it has to be the voice of a celebrity, but they do tend to have the perfect voices for narration.

4. Don’t bite off more than you can chew

    It’s best to only read a little bit of the textbook each day, otherwise you’ll just end up overwhelming yourself with too much information. I like to use little sticky notes, and mark off a certain number of pages for each day, or week depending on the size of the book. This way, you know exactly what you need to read, and you can set it for an amount that you feel the most comfortable with. It’s not a race, so take your time and get the most out of it that you can.


    It’s a terrible habit, and many people do it, but in the end, highlighting everything does nothing to boost how much you remember. If you are planning on highlighting, only pick out those pieces of information that you know are important, or have something to do with the lecture. This is why I like to read the chapter after the class, so that I know what the critical concepts are. Not everything that is covered in the textbook is covered in the class, so you need to be careful to not highlight things that will not be covered on the exams. It also helps to highlight in different colors, depending on whether it’s a specific definition or just a random fact that may help in understanding that concept.

There are many ways to get the most out of textbook readings, but these are the ones I have picked up after being in university for two and a half years. As always, leave any of your comments, questions or concerns in the comments below, and if you have any other reading tips, feel free to share them. And, as always, happy reading!

Cheers 🙂