The well-loved ballet The Nutcracker originated with a short story by E. T. A. Hoffman, "Nutcracker and the King of Mice," a much darker fairy tale than the familiar ballet. A lighter, more child-friendly version was adapted by Alexandre Dumas and was the inspiration for the original Tchaikovsky ballet in 1892. In 1983, children's author and illustrator Maurice Sendak designed the sets and costumes for the Pacific Northcoast Ballet's version of the ballet, which was performed for over thirty years. Click the picture below for a glimpse at Sendak's vision of the ballet:
To read the original E. T. A. Hoffman story, as well as some of his other works, check out The Best Tales of Hoffman at the Ong Library.
your Energy Levels High. Although
it is important to leave a reasonable amount of time to study, I believe it is
more important to have the energy necessary for optimizing your studies. You
will do better on the tests if you sleep 7-9 hours a day. In order to achieve
this, it is important to use your available study time more efficiently.
Rule. I learned this
tactic two years ago and it has worked very well for me. The basis of it is to
study 50 minutes of every hour, and keep the last 10 minutes to clear your
mind. The idea is that you should focus 100% during those 50 minutes and use
the remaining to relax yourself. Create an alarm notification on your phone so
it rings whenever those 50 minutes are over. Stick to that alarm; it will be
a Calendar. In this calendar
you should add not only the time period of each exam, but also try to separate
the hours that you wish to dedicate to each subject. Leave time, as I said, to
free your mind. The purpose is that while you are in front of the books or the computer,
you spend 100% of your attention on it (zero distractions). Google Calendars
can be your best friend during this week.
Study Guides One Week Before the Final. Many times, creating study guides are the most
time-consuming part of studying. One thing I would recommend is to create these
outlines or guides one week prior to the tests so you can just read the
organized material and be able to answer the questions quickly and effectively.
in Groups Only if it Benefits You. Certainly there are many cases where studying in groups
can be beneficial, since many minds working together can help explain concepts
better that you perhaps did not understand. However, a study group only works
well if you are concentrated and serious. If not, conversations, jokes, and
distractions can take control of the study sessions.
Your Time. It is important
to spend an adequate amount of time and energy to study. Recall that final
exams usually last from an hour and a half to three hours and it can be
difficult (if we are not prepared) to handle the concentration level for such a
long period of time. Be prepared; practice.
Your Practice Problems. Whenever
you find yourself practicing your math problems or something of this sort,
don’t give up on them. Finish the problem completely so you can understand them
better for the exam and leave no place for doubt. If you have questions on
those practice problems, check your notes or talk to a classmate who can help.
Be sure to work the problem because, more often than not, the ones you don’t
understand are the ones that end up in the test.
8.Relax. Keep your stress levels low. It’s good
that you worry about your finals, but don’t let stress and anxiety take over
you. Complete all your work and try and finish it all up early. The better you
distribute your tasks during the weeks before final exams, the better you will
understand the material.
a practice quiz. Ask
your parents or your brothers and sisters to quiz you about the material you
are studying. Create a “home-made” quiz with all relevant information you need
to know and review it two hours after you create it (or just after studying).
This can help to keep your goals aligned.
and eat healthy. Exercise and
good nutrition cannot only help control your stress levels, but it can also
maintain your emotions stable. Exercise helps keep your blood pressure low and
it can help raise your energy levels so you can continue to study more
effectively. Remember, the focus and the concentration (not necessarily the
time) you spend while studying for a final exam is more important than
Gerald is Co-Founder and Chief Publisher of The Social U. He is
currently a Business Development Associate at the Corporate Executive Board,
after graduating from The University of Dayton studying Entrepreneurship and
Political Science. Gerald spent the 2013 summer interning for Meridian International
Center in Washington, D.C., and his 2012 summer interning for Active
Development, an entrepreneurial consulting firm in Barcelona, Spain.