Well, this time around I am doing my usual end-of-the-school-year-organization in my room different. I got the (hopefully) brilliant idea to actually do things backwards this year and see how it goes. By “things” I mean that while everything is still fresh in my brain, I am now making a school list of what I need for next year right now. My main motivations behind this is:
A) I’m bored.
B) I really don’t want to have to dig everything out of their boxes in August and go through everything when I start getting stuff together to go back to school.
I figured I should document this because like I mentioned in a previous post, every year I typically forget how I handled stuff last year, so I end up trying new things every year to come up with a efficient school system. The only problem I have so far with this new approach is that my room now looks like a tornado has gone through it.
While that may be hard to read occasionally, I think its still possible to read that. However, I’m just going to mention a few things that aren’t blatantly on there.
1) The Crapbook-the most important book for all of my Inorganic Chemistry lab pre-labs and write ups. I used my Crapbook to pretty much write anything I thought should be included in a lab write up. This was very important for me because I change my mind a lot and because of that, my lab reports used to generally include a LOT of scratched out words…AKA it was very messy. So the Crapbook was a good way of…somewhat helping me to figure out what I wanted to talk about in a lab report (then again, I would change my mind about exactly what I wanted to say, so it was still messy, but not AS messy as my first couple of lab reports).
ie/ page from the Crapbook
Always cite sources as you come across them. I created a crap ton of bookmark folders on my laptop according to what experiment I was doing and renamed everything I bookmarked to be like “Footnote 1, Footnote 2…etc. This saves you so much time when you’re writing up a References list.
2) Duotangs– If you’re like me and love to travel light because you’re running around campus in order to get to your classes, duotangs are GREAT. Just throw a bunch of loose leaf in your duotang and off you go! (they’re also great if you’re like me and forget to charge your laptop for classes). However, if your prof is awesome enough to send you the powerpoint version of their notes, I highly recommend this thing:
I used this because even though my I chem prof sent out the notes, there was like two extra pages of notes to every slide that she had. (I know that I mention I chem a lot, and yes, that class did cause me to screw around with my learning style A LOT). I think this duotang/notepad thing is my #1 love of this year’s school supply.
3) Good binders (and pens)– I really loved the duotang thing, but I think good binders are my #3 love of this year’s school supplies. (#2 love is good pens/markers. Personally, I recommend Staples Optiflow pens. My box says that they are “needle point liquid ink rollerball pens”. All I know is that I barely have to apply any pressure when I write. However, never use these for lab write ups if you use a special lab notebook that has a carbon copy paper like system. Always use ye ol’ faithful ball point pens because the Optiflow pens don’t allow the paper to make a good transfer of carbon or whatever the paper is using.
Back to binders. If you get good binders, you will save money. In high school I had bought some of those fabric binders for my “heavy duty” subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math and History. I think I was either in grade 10 or 11 and I still have those same binders, so they’ve lasted me 4-5 years. However, if you want to go for a bit of a lighter binder, I also recommend these binders:
I’ve had these binders for a little under a year and they haven’t busted what-so-ever, so I’m pretty happy with them.
4) Coloured markers– I mentioned these in a previous post. THESE ARE LIFE SAVERS FOR ME. Throughout the school year, I only really used like 3-4 markers in my notes and outlines, and they pretty much lasted me the entire school year. These were included in my #2 love of this year’s school supply. Unfortunately, like the Optiflow pens, these are kind of expensive for markers…I think these were $16…or somewhere in that neighborhood.
I think that is all I really need wanted to say. As you can probably tell, shopping for school supplies is my favorite August activity, and I sort of get picky about certain things (ie/ pens. NOTHING compares to those Optiflow pens. I tried one once and I have almost never gone back to ballpoint pens. I only go back because of my weird carbon-copy-like lab notebooks. Actually, if you are someone who chews on their pens and you’re in Biology or Chemistry, I HIGHLY recommend either separating your lab pens from normal pens by either keeping them in different places or buying two different kinds of pens. Ingesting nasty chemicals is obviously bad.)