Thursday, August 30, 2007

7 Strategies to Raise Your GPA this Semester

This is for all the peeps going back to school next month


7 Strategies to Raise Your GPA this Semester

by John Wesley · 22 Comments

stack of booksGetting straight A’s won’t guarantee success, but it sure doesn’t hurt. A high GPA will help you make more money, pursue further education, or change career paths. If you’re going to spend many thousands of dollars on a college education, you might as well make the most of it. Right?

Being smart will help you get good grades, but it isn’t required. Neither is studying nonstop. The key to academic success is being disciplined and efficient in your study habits. These 7 strategies will help you raise your GPA while minimizing stress and overall study time.

1. Go to class - I know this one is mind-numbingly obvious but it’s important. Many professors lecture directly from PowerPoint and post the slides to the internet. This makes it tempting to skip class, download the lecture notes, and learn the material on your own. Although you can probably get away with this in easy courses, you’ll face problems in challenging ones. By skipping class, you miss out on a few important things:

  • Detailed verbal explanations that are key to understanding the material
  • The chance to ask questions and listen to the Q&A of other students
  • Special announcements
  • Opportunities for extra credit

It’s also important to consider how skipping class affects your reputation. In most classes, grades are somewhat subjective. This means that the grader’s perception of you can make or break your grade. If you frequently miss class, you’ll be perceived as someone who lacks respect for the professor and the subject matter. Why should they give you the benefit of the doubt or round that B+ up to an A-?

2. Sit in the front row - Not only will sitting in the front row build self confidence, it will automatically engage you in the lecture. You’ll appear to be an eager student and highly visible to the teacher. This will help your academic reputation and make it more likely you’ll develop a relationship with the professor. You’ll have a much easier time maintaining focus and will feel more like a participant than a passive observer.

3. Take notes by hand
- Another unfortunate side effect of the PowerPoint revolution is that it discourages students from taking notes. Taking notes by hand will improve your grades because a) it forces you to pay attention, and b) the physical act of writing aids memorization. If you take notes, you’ll find it much easier to stay engaged. Your notes also provide a point of reference that will help you build a mental link between a written concept and the professor’s verbal explanation. This is key for efficient studying.

4. Do a weekly review
- A common problem students encounter is trying to learn an enormous amount of material right before the midterm or final exam. This is practically impossible. You’ll find it much easier if you take a gradual approach to studying. At least once a week, review your notes starting from the beginning of the course. This only needs to take 15 or 20 minutes, just enough time to build familiarity with the material.

By doing a weekly review you’ll gradually memorize everything and will better understand how one concept builds on the next. Putting in small amounts of effort on a consistent basis will drastically reduce the amount of studying you need to do right before the test.

5. Go to office hours - Professors and TA’s usually make themselves available at regular times during the week for students to ask questions about assignments. Do yourself a favor by taking advantage of this opportunity. First, attending office hours will motivate you to get ahead on your work and prepare questions to ask. This will give you a huge edge in understanding problems that aren’t clearly explained in the lectures. Second, it will build your reputation as a high-effort student who deserves high grades.

6. Find smart people to work with
- In courses that involve group work, this is essential. No one wants to get stuck with a bunch slackers, have to do all the work themselves, and end up with a poor grade to show for it. The quality of the your learning experience is directly related to the attitudes of the people you work with. Working with smart people will facilitate discussion. The best way to understand an idea is talking about it with other intelligent people.

Who you work with also affects your academic reputation. If you associate with students that aren’t interested in learning, teachers and graders will assume you feel the same way. It’s also a great way to connect with people who have similar interests and ambitions.

7. Avoid all-nighters
- Generally, having to pull an all-nighter means that you slacked off all semester and need to fit 3 months of learning into one day. If you use a gradual study strategy this will never be necessary. All-nighters don’t work! Yes, it might be possible to get a good grade if the course is easy, but it’s much more likely that your grade will be significantly lower. All-nighters harm performance because they make you tired and stressed. You’ll also forget most of what you learn right after the test, decreasing the practical value of your education.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hip-hop history class @ SDSU


When you think of history class, you think of the American Revolution, not the hip-hop revolution.

But for San Diego State students, history classes can cover the movement of hip-hop from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast as well as the United States expansion from east to west.

For the first time ever, SDSU will offer the History and Culture of Hip Hop during the fall semester. The goal of the course is for students to be able to critically analyze hip-hop as well as understand its beginnings and culture.

The class, which is being offered by the Africana Studies Department, is the first of its kind among San Diego colleges.

"Hip-hop is a culture, it's something you live," class professor Jahsun Edmonds said. "Hip-hop is an extension of black existence, at least after the civil rights era. I grew up in the hip-hop era and studied hip-hop from people who live it."

Edmonds said that there are five elements of hip-hop, which include: emceeing, deejay-ing, B-boying (the dancing aspect), graffiti and knowledge.

Edmonds said that he wants his students to learn accurate history about the culture of hip-hop, and that students should not expect him to fabricate details or background information.

Africana studies junior Dorienda Cooper said she's expecting to learn about where hip-hop emerged from and where it is today and is interested in the struggles hip-hop has faced. Pre-journalism freshman Hayden Prante said that he thinks it will be a different kind of class that should discuss what is good about hip-hop today.

The class will also prominently feature guest speakers throughout the semester, including original San Diego dancers and other hip-hop artists.

One of the highlights of the program will be Dennis Newsome, a master of Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian dance.

The class is offered at 7 p.m. on Mondays in Storm Hall room 351. The class is still open and accepting students. For more information, look up the Fall 2007 class schedule at

Monday, August 27, 2007

Labor Day Weekend Party

Common feat. Lily Allen - Drivin' Me Wild

Hip Hop is Dead (for you)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Brand New Heavies @ 4th and B

The Brand New Heavies @ House of Blues (San Diego)


The Brand New Heavies

Amber Ojeda @ Temple Bar

Amber Ojeda @ Temple Bar


Amber Ojeda @ Temple Bar

Liquid @ Riley's ft Off Brand, DeadBeats and Free Minds

DJ WhO? Mixtape: Summer 07


DJ WhO? takes you on a unique musical ride through Hip Hop, R&B, Rock and House.

Track Listing:

1. DJ WhO? Intro Ft Rell Dirt
2. Swiss Beats - Its Me B*tchs [remix]
3. Mimz - Like This
4. Kinfolk - So Krispy
5. Redman - Put It Down
6. The Lovemakers - Shake That 50 Cent [Mashup]
7. Red Hot Chilli Peppers VS Tom Petty - Dani Cali
8. 50 cent ft JD,Fab - Have a party [remix]
9. Bay area Tribute
10. Gwen Stefani ft Damian Marley - Now that you got [remix]
11. Chaka Khan - Aint nobody
12. KC & Sunshine - I get Lifted
13. James Brown vs Prince - Sex Kiss Machine [remix]
14. Fat Boy Slim - Praise you
15. Run DMC - Walk this way
16. Steppen Wolf - Magic carpet ride [Mashup Fresh one]
17. Steve Perry VS Pitbull - BO Sherrie [Mashup]
18. Daft Punk Vs Queen - Another one bites Funk [Mashups]
19. DJ Khaled - We takin over
20. Jay Z - Nine inch Encore [Mashup]
21. Timbaland - Give it to me [remix]
22. Justin Timberlake - Sexy back party break
23. De La Soul - Saturday
24. Higher Minds - Who's your daddy
25. Thompson Twins - Promises Promises
26. Steve Winwood - Valerie
27. Maroon 5 - Makes me wonder
28. The Rapture - Get myself into it
29. Timbaland - Way I Am [party break]
30. Pitbull - Shake [remix]
31. Sean Paul VS Yaz - We Be Burning Situations [Mashup]
32. Old School Tribute break
33. Matthew Wilder - Break my Stride
34. Gwen Stefani VS Frank - Franks Escape [Mashup]
35. Journey VS Michael - Journey with Jean [Mashup]
36. The Outfield - Loose Your Love [B-more]
37. Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You
38. Mylo Vs Michael
39. Justice - We Are Friends [B-more]
40. Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks
41. Lyod - Get Shorty [B-more]
42. Sean Kingston - Beautiful Girl [House remix]
43. Paul Johnson - Get Get Down
44. Eurythmics VS Omarion - Ice Box Dreams [Mashup]
45. Daft Punk - Robot Club Rock [B-more]
46. Da Shop Boyz - Party like a Rock star
47. Manfred Man VS Lil Scrappy - Blinded By The Show [remix]
48. J-Kwon VS Classic - Dont dream [Mashup]

Who Says Hip Hop Is Dead? (QN5 Megashow 2007 Intro)

New Pictures: Rock The Bells/Paid Dues Tour San Diego 2007


Rock the Bells/Paid Dues Tour San Diego 2007

ft Wu-tang Clan, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Pharoah Monch, Immortal Technique, The Grouch and Elight, Mr. Lif, brother Ali, Sage Francis, Cage and Living Legends

Friday, August 24, 2007

New Pictures: Mic Check ft The Cor and Dubie @ Faces Nightclub


Mic Check ft the Cor and Dubie

Mic Check ft the Cor and Dubie

Sunday, August 19, 2007

New Pictures: Audio Graffiti August 2007 ft Jimmi Handtricks and Mickey Mo


Mikey Mo, Daniel Dap and Jimmy Handtrix

Upcoming Events: 2nd II None @ Faces Nightclub



Mic Check and The New West Movement by Big Daddy of Westcoast Fabricali and Phat Dok and Guero G of Da New Network

New Pictures: Get Live - Talib Kweli Listening Party @ Kava Lounge


Talib Kweli Listening Party

Amber Ojeda Live!

Boondocks Season 2 Preview

Sunday, August 12, 2007

New Pictures: Mic Check ft Jayo Felony @ Faces Nightclub


Mic Check ft Jayo Felony


Mic Check ft Jayo Felony

Mic Check ft Jayo Felony

Saturday, August 11, 2007

New Music: Keith Murray - Hustle On

New Music: Kat de Luna ft Elephant Man - Whine Up

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Upcoming Event: Audio Graffiti ft Planet Asia@ Kava Lounge

Audio Graffiti ft Jimmy Handtrix @ Kava Lounge
Thursday, August 2nd


Upcoming Event: Mic Check ft The Cor and Dubie @ Club Faces

Mic Check ft The Cor and Dubie @ Club Faces
Thursday, August 16th


Mic Check and The New West Movement by Big Daddy of Westcoast Fabricali and Phat Dok and Guero G of Da New Network

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Chamillionaire Videos

Hip Hop Police ft Slick Rick

Evening News

New Video: Eve ft Sean Paul - Give It To Me

New Video: 50 Cent ft Justin Timberlake - Ayo Technology

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Movie Screening: Superbad


New Pictures: Mic Check ft Cuzzin Ice and Royal Crown @ Faces Nightclub

Mic Check ft Cuzzin Ice and Royal Crown
Mic Check ft Cuzzin Ice and Royal Crown