March Madness Cinderella Stories

Since March Madness is currently going on, I thought it’d be an appropriate time to highlight some of the most incredible Cinderella stories in the history of the tournament. We all like cheering for the underdog and in each of these cases, the underdog was able to achieve awesomely unexpected things and win us all over in the process.

1985 Villanova

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This was a brutal Nova team that depended a lot on their defense. They didn’t often score but they also kept their opponents from scoring as well. They were an 8 seed and they easily made it to the title game against Patrick Ewing and his favored Georgetown team. The game was pretty close, but Villanova came out on top and beat them by 2.

2011 VCU

Donald Miralie/Getty Images

This team had to win a play-in game just to make it into the tournament. That alone shows you just how much of an underdog they were. They didn’t let that slow them down, instead they came out swinging. They took out great teams such as USC, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State, and then top seeded Kansas. The Kansas game was the most famous one due to how good the Jayhawks were that year. They would eventually lose in the final four against another big underdog Butler, but that doesn’t take away from what VCU was able to accomplish.

1983 NC State

This video gives me chills and makes me cry a little bit everytime I watch it. The 6th seeded NC State was able to pull off a buzz beater in the final seconds of the championship game. This is by far the best game as far as being neck in neck in a championship game that I’ve ever seen. One Wolfpack player attempts a three-point shot that is obviously something done just on a whim and probably not going to make it. Then all of a sudden, another Wolfpack player pretty much comes out of nowhere and dunks it up to win the game. It’s so heartwarming to see coach Jimmy V run out on the court where he famously ran around looking for someone to hug after the big win.

2010 and 2011 Butler University

Nobody predicted that Butler would have the success that they did two years in a row. The first time, they beat out number one seed Syracuse in the sweet 16, then Kansas State, and then Michigan State before the team took on yet another number one seed Duke in the national championship. The game came down to the wire, but Butler lost after a heartbreaking half court shot by star Gordon Hayward hit off the backboard. Despite this, Butler still came back the next season and eventually lost to Connecticut in the championship game. Although they never won, they still made history. The team became the first team that wasn’t a one or two seed to make it to back to back Final Fours. They also became the first team to beat one and two seeds before the Final Four in consecutive years.

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TV Shows Worth Watching

These TV shows will take some time to watch. However, if you want a show that is pretty far along, these are worth watching and getting invested in.

Scandal

I’ll be surprised if you haven’t watched this one. Olivia Pope is a former White House worker and campaign manager. She’s also a professional fixer. She runs her own business called, “Pope and Associates.” Her and her crew call themselves Gladiators and they take on some tricky cases that happen among some of the most prestigious political figures there in Washington. Oh yeah, Olivia is also President Grant’s mistress. Throw in Mellie Grant, Fitzgerald Grant’s (such a Presidential name for a fake President) political hungry wife and the drama is in place. The show can get more than a little graphic and sexual for a ABC show but at least it’s never boring.

The Sopranos

This is considered one of the best TV shows of all time. The tales of Tony Soprano and his gang lasted for six extremely intense seasons. Some of the things that happened on the show just couldn’t be predicted. No one was safe, even the main characters could be killed off at any minute. Part of it’s appeal was that it always kept you guessing and just when you thought it couldn’t cross anymore lines, it’d cross yet another line. Carmela Soprano is easily one of my favorite female TV characters of all time. She’s complicated and badass, not much more could you want from a character. James Gandolfini had one of the best acting performances ever as this evil cheating mob boss. It’s a beautiful show that’s definitely worth watching.

Gossip Girl

This teen drama is obviously nothing like The Sopranos. Yet I think this show is worth watching because it’s filled with intense drama and who doesn’t love watching a bunch of rich kids fight their problems out? This show has amazing music and outfits that you can’t help but envy. Plus the love story between Chuck and Blair is by far one of my favorites. The most significant thing about the show is just how much of a part of our culture the show has become in a fairly short amount of time.

Hart of Dixie

Zoe Hart is a doctor from New York who finds out her biological father who recently died left her half of his practice in Alabama. She moves down South and finds her life changing forever. This show is silly and filled with jokes that don’t always work. Some of the storylines also fall flat. Why do I think it’s worth watching? Rachel Bilson is charming and stylish as Zoe Hart. The love story between her and country boy Wade is adorable. The show is also filled with the cutest outfits and has also introduced me to some of the best music.

Friday Night Lights

There aren’t many things as amazing as watching this TV show for the first time. It’s hard not to find yourself caught up in the characters and stories. The show focuses on high school football coach Eric Taylor who starts off the series as the new head coach for the Dillon Panthers. The football team is preparing for it’s best season yet but finds themselves unsure of what to do when the team is thrown an unexpected curveball. Prepare to fall in love with bad boy Tim Riggins, the good quiet boy Matt Saracen, nerdy Landry Clark, and the overconfident running back Smash Williams. You can’t tell me Eric and Tami aren’t the cutest couple ever.

Best Podcasts

Podcasts are pretty much the big thing right now. Here are some of the ones that are really worth listening to. There’s thousands of podcasts but these are the ones in particular that are important and awesome. Check them out!

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Fresh Air is the first podcast that I ever really listened to. I remember being in the sixth grade listening to Terry Gross interview Dave Grohl about the new Foo Fighters album. That was also my introduction to Nirvana. Grohl told stories about his experiences as a drummer for the band and stories about the late Kurt Cobain. It was cool to listen to and has stuck with me for a long time now. I continue listening to this podcast because the guests are always so popular and the interviews always feel really genuine and they aren’t ever boring.

invisibillia

Invibilia is a podcast from NPR that’s actually pretty recent. They’ve completed their first season and it wasn’t nearly as long as I hoped it would be. However, every episode taught me about things I never have previously thought about. Every story told on this podcast is just as interesting as the last. Prepare to be enchanted with all the information this podcast provides listeners with.

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This is easily my favorite music podcast. I love All Songs Considered but I feel like this choice is under the radar and should be recognized. Each episode revolves around some kind of aspect to music. They only talk about topics they feel that no one else is. They uncover things about songs that were written in a dream to political songs to backing tracks. The episodes are fairly short so it’s easy to listen to a bunch of them at once in order to catch up.

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I couldn’t leave Serial off a post about the best podcasts. Serial is obviously the most downloaded podcast of all time for a reason. The first season of this storytelling podcast is about the true story of Adnan Syed who was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend in 2000. He was sentenced to life in prison but a family friend of his contacted Sarah Koenig about looking further into the case. Koenig discovered that there’s a lot of flaws in the case to convict Syed but if he didn’t do it then who did? The way the podcast is structured is one of it’s serious strengths. Each episode focuses on a different aspect in the case and it’s impossible to keep one opinion throughout the whole season. One episode you’ll be sure of Syed’s innocence then the next episode will make you sure that he’s guilty. If you love a good story, listen to Serial. You won’t regret it.

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Criminal is a podcast kind of similar to Serial. However, the episodes are a lot shorter and it focuses on a different criminal case each episode. The stories are all incredible and compelling. The only problem is that there’s not more episodes available. You’re bound to get hooked on the episodes that are currently released.

selected shorts

Selected Shorts is a pretty great podcast. Each episode centers around one central theme. Then famous performers, actors, and actresses read these stories in front of a live audience. The short stories are always beautiful and some of them will be familiar to you but not all of them will be. The cool thing about selected shorts is getting to hear these stories come to life by such brilliant and hilarious performers.

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I’m on a role with storytelling podcasts so why stop now? The thing different about this one from the other storytelling podcasts is that it’s true personal stories. These performers- some famous and some not, tell stories from their personal lives. It’s equally heartbreaking and heartwarming. One of my personal favorite episodes is the story actor Ethan Hawke tells. He talks about his mom’s ex husband Michael and how he was a secret influence in his life. It falls into the category of both heartbreaking and heartwarming because Hawke desperately craved for the attention of Michael and he was a straight up jerk. It makes a hilarious story though. Every episode of The Moth is different but the personal quality of it is always there.

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My brother made me check out this podcast and I don’t regret it. It’s more than just mildly offensive. The podcast is a lot about sex but it talks a lot about what’s going on in the world. KFC is always up to date and it’s always absolutely hilarious. They also had a bunch of episodes dedicated to Serial because KFC was so obsessed with it. The opinions they had about Serial was laugh out loud funny and I recommend that be your introduction to the podcast.

 

Magazines to Read

Spring break can get a little busy, especially if you’re planning on hitting the beach or something like that. These suggestions are magazines that you should read while in a long car ride or on a plane. Whatever it may be, these suggestions obviously don’t require too much of your time. Anyone can make just a little bit of time for some magazine reading! Hey, who knows, if you love it you might even subscribe to the magazine so you’re able to read more and more of it!

This magazine always has the most famous celebrities on the cover. It also is filled with a lot of pictures and wise style and relationship advice. Glamour is starting to become more like Cosmo, it has a lot of really sexual tips. But I still recommend it because the fashion and general articles are still amazing. Plus getting a subscription to Glamour is so cheap and you won’t regret it!

W magazine is filled to the brim with stunning photographs. It always has such stunning photoshoots with the models and celebrities. It also is just an incredible fashion magazine and general magazine for women. It’s hard not to love these stories and pictures.

Hey, you gotta stay educated right? Time is the biggest news magazine out there. It has so many issues and always keeps you up to date on what’s going on in the world. If you like reading in-depth articles, this is the magazine for you. I find it so interesting because it informs you about facts you may not know about. Plus so much research is spent on these stories and you can’t help but respect that.

If you just really want to read about what’s going on in the movie and television world, look no further than EW. It’s filled with so many interesting celebrity interviews and general news. It always keeps me updated on what’s going on in the entertainment world and that’s always fun to read about. It’s not too heavy but it’s always entertaining and what more can you ask for during your break?

The New Yorker is definitely my personal favorite “literary” magazine. I included the quote marks because that’s not really what it is. It talks about everything and so many different topics. The New Yorker has pretty much everything stacked inside the magazine. It’s filled with pieces from some of the greatest writers. It also has detailed profiles on certain popular celebrities and it’s news stories are always on issues that are ongoing.

Despite the fact that the swimsuit cover is the most popular issue, Sports Illustrated actually has some really cool stories about sports. It keeps up with what sports on going on when. If you’re a fan of sports, this is obviously the top magazine. It profiles all the best and most popular athletes, both current and old. The stories are really in-depth looks and you can always count on them to be extremely well written.

Best Education Quotes

Quotes have always been my favorite. These quotes on the topic of education from some of the worlds greatest leaders and educators are all extremely important. Hope you like them as much as I do!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”- Nelson Mandela

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”- Mark Twain

“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”- Robert Frost

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”- Margaret Mead

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”- Malcolm X

“Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.”- Martin Luther King Jr.

“A quality education has the power to transform societies in a single generation, provide children with the protection they need from the hazards of poverty, labor exploitation and disease, and given them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to reach their full potential.”- Audrey Hepburn

“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”- John F. Kennedy

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”- Aristotle

“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”- B.B. King

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”- Henry Ford

“The secret in education lies in respecting the student.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”- Albert Einstein

“Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” – Plato

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”- Oscar Wilde

 

10 Quick Tips On Cramming

Cramming is something that chronic procrastinators are forced to do. Studying for any test in college can be overwhelming and waiting until the last minute isn’t the smartest decision. However, many of us just get busy and forget to study ahead of time. Here are some tips for those of you that are currently cramming for a big college exam.

1. Get some sleep

Prep up as much as possible before you sit down and study consistently for X number of hours. You’ll need energy if you want to study for long periods of time.

2. Make sure to eat

Try to get your energy up by eating at least a snack. Don’t skip any meals, make sure you’re getting the nutrition that you need as much as possible.

3. Highlight what you need

Make sure you single out the important points in the chapter or whatever you’re reviewing for. Don’t just study the whole chapter again and again, make sure you talk back to the text. Ask questions about what you don’t understand.

4. Make a practice exam

Read and answer the questions at the end of each chapter. Looking over these and analyzing how it’s set up is important. You can follow that before you make questions for a practice test. A practice test will help you prepare properly for the upcoming exam.

5. Type your notes

If you have handwritten notes, typing them helps. Looking over these will help you review as you type them up. Taking handwritten notes is important because it helps you retain information while you’re in class. This is a strategy I recommend trying.

6. Review graded assignments/quizzes/tests

Look over what you got wrong and do your best to see what you did wrong. Looking over this several times will help you retain this information and remember the right answers.

7. Work in the library

You need a quiet studying space and what spot is better than the library? It’s quiet and has a positive environment where you can get your work done with minimal distractions. Probably a lot better than any dorm will be.

8. Breathe!

This is an obvious yet one that we sometimes forget. When we’re under a lot of stress, we can forget to breathe. So just relax and keep on breathing as you get through this intense study session.

9. Have study buddies

Having a group to study with can be extremely effective if you stay on task. It can be fun to have someone else there to quiz you and to share ideas with. Just make sure your able to focus on studying only!

10. Use flashcards

Making your own flashcards on the particular subject your studying for is a strategy that pretty much always works. Make sure that the flashcards are filled with necessary information. You can use any other strategies to help you remember the information but this is probably the most common and effective one I can come up with. Then just keep on quizzing yourself and you’ll retain the information in no time!

Random Football Facts

It’s no secret that I’m seriously obsessed with sports, football in particular. Here are some of the most unexpected and random facts about the sport.

1. Just two years after finishing their careers, about 78% go bankrupt. 

This statistic is pretty crazy to think about! We always think football players have so much money all saved up. However, I think they must spend a lot of the money while they have it then once they retire, it all stops coming in.

2. The Steelers and the Eagles once combined and called themselves the Steagles. 

During World War II, so many football players were serving in the military that the two teams were forced to combine.

3. NFL games last three hours but only just 10 minutes and 43 seconds of actual action. 

Commercials account for about 60 minutes of the three hours.

4. The huddle was invented by Paul Hubbard. 

Hubbard was a legally deaf quarterback at Gallaudet University for the deaf and hard of hearing. He used to huddle his team together so they could see and hear him better and so the other team wouldn’t be able to read their sign language.

5. It takes 3,000 cows to make a year’s worth of footballs. 

The cows supply the NFL with leather to make the footballs. 3,000 cows for just one season alone? Man, that’s a lot of footballs.

6. Mr. Irrelevant is the name given to the last guy in the NFL draft. 

It seems like a rather harsh name to give the 487th pick in the NFL draft. The name has just stuck for many years although there are several of these guys that have gone on to do good things. Jimmy Walker was Mr. Irrelevant in 1967 even though he didn’t even play college football. That same year, he was the number one overall pick in the NBA draft and chose basketball over football.