Published by the Taylor University PWR Lounge
1. Give your work “cooling time.”
Let your work sit for a while after writing it. If possible, don’t look at it for several days before coming back to proofread it. If you have a deadline limiting your “cooling time,” even a few hours will be beneficial. The important thing is to let your mind go to other things. That way, when you come back to your work, you will have a different mindset and a new pair of eyes.
2. Read it aloud.
When you have to actively read out each word in your manuscript, you will be more likely to pick up on anything written unclearly. If you still struggle to catch mistakes while reading, tools like Microsoft Word and Google Translate have features that will read text aloud. These are useful because, unlike the human brain, the computer cannot mentally fill in words that it expects to be there. You will hear exactly what you wrote!
3. Have someone else read it.
This is possibly the most valuable proofreading method. If you give it to someone else who does not already know the information you are trying to convey, they will be able to tell you what areas are unclear. Sometimes you have been staring at your writing for so long that it all just looks like a garbled mess. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarity from someone you trust.
4. Pretend it was written by someone else.
This is a great method, especially if you can’t get someone else to read it. If you pretend to be someone who knows nothing about the subject you’ve written about, you can seek out areas that are unclear. This will also help you slow down; after reading it several times, you’ll start to skim over some areas. But a first-time reader will read it more carefully because they don’t know yet what the writing says.
5. Know your most common errors.
After going through the proofreading process on several projects, you will start to see patterns in your mistakes. Once you have pinpointed these common issues, train yourself to look especially for the errors you know you struggle with. You may not be able to stop making the error, but at least you can always catch it during your proofreading!
Published by the Taylor University PWR Lounge
2. Prefer the familiar to the unfamiliar.
When choosing your words, never use a fancy word when a plain word will work just as well. For example, if someone is “loquacious”, say they are “talkative”. If something is “humongous”, call it “large”.
This may seem to contradict the previous method, but hear me out. If your nouns and verbs are strong enough, you won’t need extravagant adjectives and adverbs. In fact, the more precise your noun or verb, the fewer adjectives and adverbs you will need.
3. Vary the lengths of your sentences.
Here’s the next tip. Listen to this paragraph. The words are choppy. Everything is the same. It’s boring to read. People don’t like this.
Instead, vary the lengths of your sentences. Listen. Isn’t it beautiful? Don’t be afraid to bend the rules a little to make your words sound melodic. Let sentences flow.
4. Keep your paragraphs short.
Readers don’t like large blocks of text. They may not start reading because the length is intimidating. Start a new paragraph whenever a new topic is introduced or if a new aspect of the topic is addressed.
5. Put your keywords at the beginning or end of the sentence.
Decide which words you want to emphasize and place them strategically. Here’s an example:
“Harry sent me the story in a letter.”
“Harry sent me a letter telling the story.”
“Harry used a letter to tell the story to me.”
In the first sentence, the reader is left hanging with the word “letter”. This emphasizes that the story was not sent via email or delivered directly. Likewise, the second sentence makes sure the reader will remember that the information Harry sent was a story. The third sentence makes it clear that the story was sent to “me”, not anyone else.
6. Use active voice over passive voice.
This one can get a bit tricky. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.
Passive voice: The spell was cast by Hermione.
Active voice: Hermione cast the spell.
The sentence in active voice is much easier to read. It’s quicker and keeps the reader from slowing down in the middle of the story. Sometimes the passive voice is more effective in context, but consider whether it is really necessary before using it.
7. Cut anything that isn’t vital.
It’s easy to get caught up in writing words that we think are necessary. But as you read through your work, consider the importance of every word, sentence, paragraph, and scene. If it does not give vital information or push the action forward, cut it.
8. Avoid using lingo.
Don’t assume people know what you’re talking about. If you use shop talk or jargon specific to a certain career, community, or culture, be sure that you are publishing specifically for that audience. Don’t alienate part of your audience by using terms they are unfamiliar with.
9. Don’t marry any single punctuation mark.
If a writer uses parentheticals in every other sentence, they stop adding depth; they become distracting. If your reader starts counting the number of exclamation points you’ve used in the paragraph they’re reading, there is a problem. The best illustration of punctuation I’ve heard is this: “Punctuation is the seasoning, not the dish.”
10. Write to be understood, not to impress.
Don’t try to use fancy words and artistic language just to make people think you’re smart. The purpose of writing is communication, not showing off. Yes, there is a time for flowery descriptions, but don’t overload your work with them.
Yes, writers have permission to break the rules every once in a while. But in order to break the rules effectively, a writer must know the rules. A good writer can make creative decisions as long as the writing is clear. Writing was invented as a form of communication. Without a connection between the message creator and the message receiver, a piece of writing means nothing. Modern readers require more clarity than ever. The best thing writers can do is consider their audiences and how to communicate most effectively with them.
13. Reading The Polar Express
14. Baking cookies
15. Decorating cookies with frosting and candies
16. Making snowballs without wearing gloves
17. Wearing earmuffs
18. Shortbread cookies
19. Singing The First Noel
20. When the Christmas lights are the only lights in the room
21. Really tacky ornaments
22. Falling off your sled into a pile of snow
23. Driving by a snowman made by kids
24. Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas
25. Fresh, untouched snow
26. When the snow looks like glitter
27. Snow angels
28. Singing Joy to the World
29. Stepping on an ice puddle so it crunches
30. ABC Family's Harry Potter marathon
31. Peppermint crumbles on cookies
32. Glass ball ornaments
33. Singing O Come, All Ye Faithful
34. Cinnamon sticks
35. Reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas
36. Sending Christmas cards
37. Singing O Holy Night
38. Flannel pajamas
39. Red velvet ribbons
40. Cheesy Christmas novels
41. Red and green M&M's
42. A child's handmade ornaments
43. Lighting candles on an advent wreath
44. Handmade stockings hanging from the mantel
45. Reindeer with jingle bells
46. Reading Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
47. Chocolate fudge
48. Lighting candles
49. Advent calendars
50. Horse-drawn carriages
51. Hanging ornaments
52. Singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas
53. Watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
54. Toy trains with metal tracks
55. Golden bells chiming
56. Silver tinsel garlands
57. Peanut butter blossoms
58. Reading Luke Chapter 2, Verses 1-20
59. Watching White Christmas
60. Pretzels with a Hershey's kiss and an M&M in the middle
61. Wreaths on door fronts
62. The smell of gingerbread
63. Singing Away in a Manger
64. Snow that lights up when it floats in front of a street light
65. Carolers wandering the streets
66. Evergreen garlands
67. Shaking a snow globe as hard as you can
68. Watching Home Alone
69. Snowflakes shining under a lamp post
70. Playing Christmas songs on the piano
71. Inflatable Christmas decorations
72. Rolling out cookie dough
73. Bows on everything
74. Singing The Twelve Days of Christmas all the way through
75. The shout-outs children add when singing Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
76. Ice skating
77. The sound of jingle bells
78. Singing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
80. Driving around and looking at the Christmas lights
81. Snow on evergreens
82. Covering yourself in blankets
83. Sitting by a fireplace
84. Flannel pajamas
85. The anticipation of Christmas Eve
86. Drawing on frosted windows
87. Chocolate-covered pretzels
88. Shortbread cookies
89. Christmas Eve candle light services
90. Singing It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
91. Tacky Santa wrapping paper
92. Silver jingle bells
93. Pine needles stuck to your coat
94. Pillsbury cookies with Christmas shapes in the middle
95. Writing "To" and "From" on a gift tag
96. Listening to Bing Crosby Christmas music
97. Frosted pinecones
98. Choosing your cookie cutters
99. Watching A Christmas Story
100 . Spending time with friends and family
1. "I swear, I left him right here." -Loki
Poor Loki. He tried.
2. "I'm made of rocks, as you can see, but don't let that intimidate you. You don't need to be afraid, unless you're made of scissors!" -Korg
This was possibly the best character introduction in MCU history.
3. "Bye bye." -Doctor Strange
I love how Loki thinks he's going to go at it with this guy, but Steve isn't even gonna deal with that.
4. "I'm not doing 'Get Help'."
I'm not sure which is funnier, the fact that they even use "Get Help" as a tactic, or the fact that Loki thought Thor would want to use it against the goddess of death.
5. "But Hulk like real fire. Like... raging fire. Thor like smoldering fire." -Hulk
At first I wasn't sure how I felt about Hulk's sudden speech ability. But now I fully appreciate it.
6. "Well, I tried to start a revolution, but I didn't print enough pamphlets..." -Korg
Poor Korg. I mean, he doesn't exactly an imposing personality, though.
7. "I have been falling for thirty minutes!" -Loki
Salty Loki is the Loki we've all been waiting for.
8. "No, I won. Easily." -Thor
Bruce: That doesn't sound right...
Thor: Well, it's true!
9 "Hey man, I'm Korg. We're gonna get out of here. Wanna come?" -Korg
Totally the chilliest revolution ever.
10. "Welcome, Strongest Avenger." -Quinjet Computer
Thor's continual denial of Hulk's dominance is quite entertaining.
11. "YES! That's what it feels like!" -Loki
Sometimes karma tastes sweet. Especially if you've been Hulk-smashed.
12. "He's a friend from work!" -Thor
Followed by: "You're embarrassing me! I told them we're friends!"
13. "I call them Des and Troy. When they're together, they destroy." -Skurge
It was the pun I should have been expecting.
14. "I have to get off this planet." -Loki
The last time poor Loki saw the Hulk, he was smashed into the floor.
15. "Yeah, it's called the... Revengers!" -Thor
Thor is so creative.
16. "Please, kind sir. Please don't cut my hair." -Thor
How to make Thor whimper like a puppy: give Stan Lee giant spinning scissors and allow him to cut Thor's hair.
17. "Goodbye, New Doug!" -Korg
I quite enjoy watching Thor get taken down a notch by everyone's lack of confidence in him.
18. "There was one time my brother transformed himself into a snake because he knows how much I like snakes, and so I picked the snake up to admire it, but then he turned back and went 'AAHH! It's me!' And then he stabbed me." -Thor
I laugh because this is absolutely something Loki would have done.
19. "No, I don't have a phone but you could have sent me an electronic letter. It's called an email." -Thor
Doctor Strange: Yeah. Do you have a computer?
Thor: No. What for?
20. Because that's what heroes do." -Thor
It's so Thor: he sounds like total jock, but he knows everyone loves him anyway.
Transitioning into college can be really emotionally difficult. Know what else is emotionally difficult? Realizing that Hogwarts is a fictional school that you will never actually be able to attend. Luckily, there are a few ways to make both of these hard situations a little less grim. Making college feel like Hogwarts can help you ease into college life (and have a little fun with it).
1. Find cool places at your school.
A great way to settle in at school is to find places where you feel comfortable. Maybe the science building has a really old staircase that looks like it leads to Gryffindor tower. A Hufflepuff may want see if their school has a greenhouse that looks like the Herbology classroom. Explore some places you wouldn’t usually go. Little personal nooks, especially ones that aren’t frequently occupied by other people, can feel comfortable and familiar when they make you feel like a Hogwarts student.
2. Write with a cool pen.
You might get some weird looks if you bring a quill and inkwell to class. But even a cool, old-timey pen can make your schoolwork feel like charms and spells. And hey, if you aren’t worried about judgement from your roommate, buy a fancy quill for when you write homework in your dorm!
3. Play pretend.
Yes, you’re an adult. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play pretend in your head. As you work on Chemistry homework, imagine it as a Potions project. If you have a long, boring essay to write, pretend it’s for Defense Against the Dark Arts. If you use your imagination, you may be able to muster up some motivation to do your assignments.
4. Bring your merch.
If you want to feel like you’re at Hogwarts, bring things that remind you of it. The dorm room is yours to decorate. Pack your wand, your Hogwarts blanket, your figurines, your stuffed animals, and whatever other Harry Potter merchandise you love. (Just don’t freak your roommate out too much.)
5. Check out the literature classes.
If you love Harry Potter, there’s a good chance you’ll love at least one of your school’s literature classes. Some universities have modern fiction classes, fantasy studies, or even Harry Potter classes. With courses like these, you’ll get to enjoy the comfort of a good book (and get credit for it!) You may even discover a story you enjoy just as much as the Harry Potter series.
6. Go to the library.
For book lovers, all libraries feel like home. Many university libraries have entire sections of old books that will make you feel like you’re in the Hogwarts library. If nothing else, being surrounded by books can be comforting and may lead you to discover a new book to become engrossed in.
7. Make some great friends.
The most magical things about Hogwarts aren’t the wands or the castle. What makes Hogwarts feel like home is the friendship you have developed with the characters. So join some clubs and teams. (Bonus points if they’re Harry Potter related!) Finding a really great group of friends is the key to bringing Hogwarts magic into your life.
I mean, it’s not surprising that nobody knows Taylor exists. It’s basically in the middle of a cornfield. Usually people just awkwardly smile, nod, and say, “Oh, that’s nice.”
2. “Where’s that?”
Some people at least acknowledge that they have no idea what you’re talking about. But when they ask where Taylor is, saying it’s in Upland doesn’t exactly help. It’s safest to just explain that it’s between Muncie and Marion.
3. “Is that like a Christian thing?”
These are the people who have a vague memory of hearing the name before, but really don’t know what it is. But since no one ever talks about it, it must be a private Christian school, right?
4. “Isn’t there that ice cream place?”
Some people have visited Taylor, but the most memorable thing about the university was its proximity to Ivanhoe’s. No one really knows what that’s called either, but at least they know it’s a staple of Upland.
5. “Taylor is great! You’ll love this year.”
The few that actually know of Taylor know it well. Those who have friends or family have attended have heard great things about it. And alumni hold Taylor in a special place in their hearts. Once Taylor becomes a part of you, you treasure it forever.
Published by The Echo News
Pick-a-dates. Are they dates? Are they hangouts? They’re an age-old Taylor tradition, yet still no one knows. Pick-a-dates are possibly the most ambiguous events that take place at Taylor, and things can get awkward. Fast.
If you ask someone of a different gender, that sends out all kinds of signals. What if people on your floor think you’re dating? Will your date think you like them? Being asked on a pick-a-date sparks similar questions. Should you dress up, or is it casual? If they didn’t ask you to the Jumping Bean first, is it really a date? And if you ask someone of the same gender, you may feel self-conscious. Will the people on your floor think you’re incapable of finding a date?
I found myself in this conundrum my freshman year. I didn’t understand what a “date” exactly meant. Little did I know, the upperclassmen didn’t have a clue either. Some people said pick-a-dates are completely platonic. Others refused to go with anyone they were not seriously considering dating. And still others liked the idea of pick-a-dates, but didn’t go because their significant others at different colleges didn’t understand the concept. Does anyone really understand pick-a-dates, even at Taylor?
A pick-a-date can say a lot, or very little. Perhaps “pick-a-pal” fixes some of the ambiguity.
That’s when I heard about a movement called “pick-a-pal.” Some students have started to prefer calling their date a “pal” to make everything a little less awkward. When you ask a “pal,” it isn’t tacky if you choose a chick-pick or a . . . different kind of pick. If someone cute asks you to hang out with their floor, you don’t come back to the dorm that night wondering where your relationship now stands.
While pick-a-pal is a tempting option when you’re nervous to branch out, it can also lead to many missed opportunities. Pick-a-pal makes it easy to simply ask your roommate to hang out. This discourages Taylor’s beloved intentional community. So, I would recommend, if you’re hosting your floor’s first “pick-a-pal,” encourage everyone to ask someone living elsewhere. Of course you can’t force anyone to choose an “acceptable” date, but these events were designed to get to know new people. When each person brings a new face along, everyone benefits. Of course you (probably) know your date/pal, but the group setting connects all sorts of people. If one person brings a friend from their major, another brings a friend from their club and another brings some guy that was standing in line for a burger at the Dining Commons, six people are brought together who might never have otherwise met. Each of these people will have had a college experience within Taylor, and the new friends can share their uniqueness with each other.
Whether it’s a “pick-a-date” or a “pick-a-pal,” what matters is that we continue to encourage interactions throughout our entire community. No matter how many jokes we make about it, intentional community is something to treasure at Taylor. Let’s nurture our community so that it may, to quote Jeff Cramer, “flourish.” And let’s start with one of Taylor’s most awkward traditions.
Copyright © 2017 Megan Alms. All rights reserved.
Published by The Rabbit Hole
Being in the most overlooked Hogwarts house isn’t always easy. Hufflepuffs aren’t recognized enough for their contributions to the wizarding world. And there are certain struggles that only Hufflepuffs will understand. So whether you’re a proud Puff or a friend of one, this list of seven Hufflepuff struggles will help you understand the difficulties.
Being a Hufflepuff can be difficult. They tend to go all-in, even when it costs them. And their underrepresentation makes them easily misunderstood. But there are struggles in everything, and being in the house of Helga Hufflepuff is worth the struggle. Ask any Hufflepuff; they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Copyright © 2017 Megan Alms. All rights reserved.
Published in The Echo News
When two love-struck students are torn apart by attending different schools, it can certainly put an end to a lot of things. It’s the end of regular face-to-face conversations; it’s the end of studying together, spending weeknights together and making your friends the third wheel. But long-distance relationships can also begin a new chapter: a strengthened relationship that can withstand all kinds of setbacks.
Though couples struggle with living far away from a significant other, it doesn’t necessarily have to hurt the relationship. Sophomore Kelley Hershberger, a Taylor student with a boyfriend who attends Purdue University, experiences both struggles and successes of long-distance dating. Sophomore Joe Dickman and senior Diana Romeos face similar situations—Dickman’s girlfriend goes to school in Wisconsin and Romeos’s fiancé lives in Greece.
“I think it’s a good experience. You’re able to grow individually and as a couple,” Hershberger said. “You learn to trust each other a lot more.”
She said that a long-distance relationship can show couples how to release their partners to experience life without them. Since long-distance couples can’t be together all the time, they need to learn how to appreciate their significant other’s life independent of them. Hershberger advised other long-distance couples to embrace the separation through independence.
One daunting obstacle of a long-distance relationship is communication, according to Dickman. “Communication is essential,” he said. Dickman’s girlfriend attends Richland Center High School in Wisconsin. “The better your communication, the stronger the long-distance relationship will be.” Since face-to-face conversation isn’t always an option, long-distance couples find more creative ways to communicate. “(We mostly communicate) through text, but I always make sure that I call every two days,” Dickman said.
Hershberger schedules regular video chat sessions with her boyfriend. “We don’t text very much,” Hershberger said, “but we FaceTime or call every day.”
After dating for four years, Romeos and her fiancé, 24-year-old Kostas Tassos, became engaged this past January and are well-acquainted with navigating a long-distance relationship. Romeos emphasized communicating the little details of her schedule with her significant other. “I keep him informed of what’s going on in my life, whether it’s small, like something in class, or big, like a huge event coming up,” she said.
Along with the updates, the couple makes sure they each maintain a schedule so the other knows what’s going on their life, despite the seven hour time difference. They keep in contacting by sharing meals over Skype—she eats a quick lunch around 1 p.m. while he gets dinner around 8 p.m.
Another challenge of long-distance relationships is knowing that each partner is experiencing a completely different environment than the other. Hershberger and her boyfriend have to be very open about everything in their conversations so they feel involved in each other’s lives.
According to Hershberger, the Taylor community can help relieve the stress of separation. “The community at Taylor is so supportive. It can provide a friend group to get connected with when you can’t be with your best friend,” Hershberger said.
Taylor’s community can help those in long-distance relationships in a practical way too. Dickman appreciated the small acts of kindness that are common at Taylor: “They can ease the problems inherent in a long-distance relationship,” Dickman said.
Romeos attributes the success of her relationship to the trust she and her fiancé share. “If you really are going to work out, you need to trust each other,” Romeos said. “We had to learn that at first.”
She and Tassos don’t believe their long-distance relationship is easy, but they do believe it’s worth all it’s ups and downs. “It’s not worth it if you don’t have an end goal to it… (but) it’s really worth it if you give it time and are patient, leaving out jealousy,” said Romeos.
Through all of the setbacks and obstacles, all three students agreed that long-distance relationships are feasible and even beneficial. Maintaining a positive relationship when you can’t see each other often can be an opportunity for growth rather than a means of separation.
Copyright © 2017 Megan Alms. All rights reserved. Coauthored by The Echo's editor.