Quarter vs Semester System- Cal Poly SLO

Cal Poly is the only California State University (CSU) remaining that runs on the quarter system.

The other 22 CSUs follow the semester system, which runs sixteen weeks long. Cal Poly’s schedule comprises of 10 weeks per quarter. Students are in a constant rotation of classes on the quarter system in comparison to the semester system. From this, several pros and cons in terms of how the quarter system impacts life on campus have emerged.

Amy Lan, a freshman Public Health major said the transition from the semester system at her high school to entering college on the quarter system was “fine first quarter, but really hit second quarter.”

“There was just so much work and it was very stressful … with only 10 weeks to accomplish everything. It is a lot pressure – your whole grade can be determined by one final,” Lan said.

She also said breaks would be nice, but because of the fast pace of the system, she has become more focused on spending more time working and admitted there is “less procrastinating” since there is hardly any extra time.

A downside to the quarter system, however, is that teachers tend to take longer to put in grades. There is simply less time to grade papers since there are only 10 weeks before final grades are reported. Due to this, there tends to be fewer assignments that count for more so a grade may only be based off of a few components instead of several.

On the semester system, Lan said students along with teachers have more free time so students have the ability to redeem themselves if they receive a bad grade and teachers have more time to collaborate with their students, instruct, and review their coursework.

On the quarter system, some students said there is pressure on students to perform well on every single exam and for teachers to get through material as fast as possible.

“No one really enjoys the quarter system, but it’s not too bad,” Lan said. “The fast pace of the quarter system makes you work hard and learn more.”

Agriculture business freshman Grace Pagliuso had a different take on the quarter system.

“I love the quarter system because it allows me to take more various classes throughout the school year,” Pagliuso said.

For her, she said the adjustment from high school to college was made easier due to AP classes she took that consisted of heavy work loads. The fast pace of the quarter system was not as much of a shock and Pagliuso said she finds it enjoyable.

“The quarter system makes you prioritize and it allows for constant exposure to new ideas since you are switching your classes so often, which is something I like,” environmental earth and soil sciences junior Monique Rae said.

A simple chart that better outlines the difference between the quarter and semester system was found on Quora.

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The shortness of the quarter seems to also put an intense pressure on students to manage their time well, especially if students want to fit in outside activities. Students have to squeeze in participating in clubs or sports within their fast paced study schedule.

Professors, like students, also like the quarter system on varying degrees.

“One of the things I like about the quarter system is that it moves so fast – you can do lots of different things in the span of the year, but it also prevents you from having in depth kinds of investigations of topics,”Professor Steven Ruszczycky from the College of Liberal Arts department said.

According to Ruszczycky, faculty do not have to submit grades until the Tuesday of Spring quarter so they only get four days off.

“I have to turn around and prepare to teach whole new sets of classes. Winter and Spring end up feeling like one gigantic quarter, or one gigantic term so its exhausting,” Ruszczycky said.

Prior to Cal Poly, Ruszczycky taught in New Zealand on a semester system that was 14 weeks long. Students would attend classes for six weeks at a time and then have two weeks of a break between each semester.

“It was nice to have that rest,” Ruszczycky said. “It would be nice if there was something like that institutionalized even with the quarter system.”

In terms of change, there was a survey that circulated around asking staff if they would be interested in having three day classes per week, such as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday rather than a two day class schedule. Classes would be 90 minutes rather than 110.

This is a benefit of the quarter system because teachers and students would be in the classroom for shorter periods of time. This would give everyone a breath of fresh air and slightly lessen the pressure of having to focus for such a long period of time in class and consume or teach a large chunk of information all at once.

The results of this survey distributed by the Cal Poly Administration were not available and no change has occurred after it was given.

A complete change in the system would be a tremendous amount of work due to the complex conversion of units from the quarter to semester system, because students would only take eight classes a year versus twelve.

The conversion would benefit transfer student however, because it would align their requirements or units up with several other CSU’s, making the switch a lot easier.

For now, the the Cal Poly administration is committed to to keeping the university on the quarter system.

“Cal Poly has carefully evaluated the quarter system and believes the pace and variety of courses taught by our esteemed faculty is essential to Learn by Doing and prepares students for a lifetime of learning and success,” University Spokesperson Matt Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News.

Still, Cal Poly welcomes a new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs this year, so the debate between the quarter and semester system continues to linger and is always very much on the table.

Coming home from college for the first time

It’s that time of the year again- college freshman are finally heading back home for the first time since starting their adventure on campus. Ahh this November break has everyone on the edge of their toes, with some wonder if they will fall victim to the dreaded turkey drop (aka break ups between high school sweethearts), or feel caged inside their homes after experiencing so much freedom at their new school. Perhaps, the fall break is music to your ears because you have been homesick the last few months and just can’t wait to see old friends and your family. Well, whatever the case may be, here’s a list of the feelings and changes you might notice once you come home the first time from college:

  1. You will notice everything that moved around in the house

That picture in your room was moved to a different spot on the wall by your mom?? You’ll notice it. A new decoration was hung in the kitchen? Your eyes will jump right to it.   The smallest changes will be made and they will feel huge to you- like a blow to the face. You no longer live in the house and it feels as if everything is moving on without you. Just realize you’re moving on from it, too.

2. Your group of friends from high school will gradually become smaller

The people that surrounded you in high school were your world- that is, until you came to college and there were fresh faces everywhere you turned. There is only so much time to see your best friends- the ones who will stay by your side through thick and thin!

3.  You may be slightly out of shape

The freshman fifteen is real guys. Going to college is a transition and often, it is hard to find time to workout in the middle of meeting so many people and trying so many new things! Honestly, give yourself a break if you haven’t done your normal trip to the treadmill. Just try to eat well and begin to set a plan for yourself that will help you stay fit- a little goes a long way. Working out will relieve stress from school and make you feel not only healthier, but happier as well!

4. Everyone got older

I came back from college and my little brother had grown so much- I couldn’t believe it!! It may be a slight shock to see people you know grow up in the time you’ve been away. It may be even more of a shock that YOU have grown up and people see you now as a young adult now. Like I still feel 16 what happened??

5. Freedom is everything

You will crave freedom. Coming back home means coming back to live under your parents’ roof- and their rules. You can no longer go to Taco Bell at 1 am. You may not be able to crack open a cold one with the boys (I mean a soda) or have a day with the girls without reporting what time you will be coming and going and where. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it may be frustrating to some. Have patience and know that it is temporary!!

6. You will appreciate everything more

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room…. Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home…. that’s right, Taylor Swift said it best! She wished she had never grown up and sometimes, you get that feeling when you come back from college. So appreciate those home cooked meals, laughing with loved ones, and going to sleep in your bed. You never know how much time you have, until it’s gone.

Fall Playlist 2018

 

At least in Southern California, the fall vibes aren’t always real evident because the sun is still shining and the leaves haven’t fully changed colors yet. With that in mind, I wanted to feel more fall-like so I put together a playlist that puts me in the spirit! Here’s a list of some songs that is just the right kind of mood for this season- it makes me think of the smell of pumpkin spice and a rainy day : )

Sunflower- Rex Orange County

Best Friend- Rex Orange County

loveee rex orange county forevaaa

PCH- Jaden Smith

My Boy- Billie Eilish 

(or any other song by her)

BTSTU- Jai Paul

Berlin- RY X

Stay- Post Malone

so hard to not sing along ahhh

Hope- XXXTENTACION

Boy- Willow

Marceline- Willow

Chanel- Frank Ocean

From The Dining Table- Harry Styles

or just listen to his whole album

Fire Escape- Foster the People

Like Real People Do- Hozier

Landslide- Smashing Pumpkins

30 Hours- Kanye West

Writer In the Dark- Lorde

any Lorde will also do

City of Angels- Miguel

Sleep on the Floor- The Lumineers

The Weekend- SZA

a bop

R.I.P SCREW- Travis Scott

Loving Someone- The 1975

White Ferrari- Frank Ocean

Lost Boy- Jaden Smith

Snaggletooth- Vance Joy

Wash.- Bon Iver

bon iver will always set the mood

Sweater Weather- The Neighbourhood

Autumn Leaves- Ed Sheeran

Everything Has Changed- Taylor Swift

a fall anthem

Red- Taylor Swift

Roslyn- Bon Iver

Holocene- Bon Iver

From the Morning- Nick Drake

Run and Hide- Sabrina Carpenter

In the Airplane Over the Sun- Neutral Milk Hotel

Cherry Wine- Hozier

sooo pretty

Lego House- Ed Sheeran

River (feat. Ed Sheeran)- Eminem

The A Team- Ed Sheeran

 

My Interview at Tilly’s

Heyyy sooo I recently got hired to work at Tilly’s! I love this store and I’m super excited to have this job : )

The interview process was pretty interesting. I found out about the job first by going into the store and asking the manager if he was hiring, which he was! I actually filled out the application the day of, went back to the store, and then did a mini one-on-one interview.

I came back the following Monday for a second interview, this time with a group of other potential employees. An employee asked us general questions about why we love Tilly’s, what activities we are involved in, and why we would be a good fit to work at Tilly’s. It was very relaxed and my nerves went away pretty quickly.

Then, it got really fun and kinda intense. The employee asked us to walk around the store and pick out an outfit that a girl would wear to a party. When we had all our items, we then had to pretend to sell the products we picked out! After the simulation, the employee asked me and two other people to stay at the store because something was wrong with our resumes. I was scared when she said that haha because I didn’t want that to effect my chances. Anywaysss it turns out that nothing was wrong with our resumes and instead, we were chosen to be hired!

Overall, it was a pretty fun and quirky process and I’m sooo glad I get to work at Tilly’s. They have super cute clothes and everyone there is so sweet! If you have any specific questions about the process or just any retail questions in general, feel free to ask!

Coffee & Matcha Run

Hey everyone!

Today I was with my friend who I have known since PRESCHOOL (and through softball) and we decided to go check out Communal Coffee (Coffee + Flowers) and Holy Matcha. Both places are pretty well known because of their aesthetics and we thought it would be fun to go and see if it was all really worth the hype. Turns out, it was!

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I got a lavender honey latte and Jen got a vanilla latte

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The coffee tasted actually really good and the menu was very unique so it was fun to  order something I’d never even heard of before.

Next, we went to Holy Matcha because we had some time on our hands to explore the area (both shops are located on the same street!).

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strawberry lavender matcha drink w/ Cda

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my strawberry vanilla donut… yummm

It was such a great day and I’ll miss roaming around SD when I move to SLO! I guess I’ll have to find some more coffee & tea places there…

Anyways, let me know if you have any  suggestions on new places to try out!

 

 

Cat Eye Sunglasses

 

Okay but I love black, cat eye sunglasses! I reallyyy want to invest in a pair this summer. They have such a classic, stylish look to them and go with literally ANYTHING. I love this trend and if you have a heart shaped face like me then the cat eye shape also fits your features really well. I think Forever21, H&M, and Urban Outfitters have some good ones so I’ll probably look there. In the meantime, I’ll try and find a pic of a cute pair so I could post it down below and maybe give you some inspiration.

My Trip To Maui

It’s finally summer… and what better way to spend it than in Hawaii?!

Two weeks ago, I flew to the Kahului Airport in Maui. I spent ten days living the island life, which mostly included me hiking, exploring Maui’s waterfalls, lounging by the pool, going to the beach, and of course eating a TON of good food. I stayed in two hotels- the Westin and the Ka’anapali Beach Club. It was such a fun trip and I never wanted to leave the island!

A few highlights from my trip…

 

Black Rock Beach, Kaanapali

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The photo above is a little blurry, but that’s because it is a screenshot of a video of me jumping of the rock! That’s right, at Black Rock you can cliff jump on both sides. It’s pretty slippery to get up to the top and you have to watch out for sea urchins (a guy nearby me stepped on one), but overall, the feeling you get when you jump makes it worth it.

 

Road to Hana

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This is one of Maui’s most popular activities and for good reason, too. The road to Hana start on the Hana highway and ventures onto a windy, narrow road. The drive was harrowing (so many one way bridges) and an all day tour but it was absolutely beautiful. The road has a ton of places to stop so my family had to pick and choose what places we wanted to stop and look it. A good tip for if you ever do the road to Hana is that there is an app for it. It’s complete with a tour guide, audio, background of Maui’s history, a map, and tells you all the spots on the road, even saying what places are a “must see.”

 

Black Sand Beach, Hana

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The first “must see” place that I recommend everyone who does the road to Hana should stop at was this gorgeous, inlet beach. The sand has a rich, black pigment to it from all the black rock there and it makes the beach unique. The water has a slight rip current and I got there in the morning so there wasn’t too many people there yet.

 

Ke’anae Arboretum

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This arboretum is a good stop if you want to see the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees (pictured above) up close. There’s a good amount of parking at this spot and it’s just a short hike off the road where you can learn about the different plants that grow in Hana. There’s also the Garden of Eden, which is another pretty arboretum, but you have to pay to get in.

 

Wailua Falls, Hana

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Wailua Falls is located near the end of the road to Hana and it ended up being one of my favorite stops. You can see the falls off the side of the road from a one lane bridge and there’s not a lot of places to stop so I would try and get there early. What makes this place so special is that I found a hidden trail, located at the front of the bridge, that leads down towards the waterfall. I followed the rugged path and ended up sitting on these rocks, right above the waterfall!

 

THE BANANA BREAD (anywhere on the road to Hana)

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The banana bread is AMAZING in Hana. There are endless cute shops along the road to stop at where you can buy the bread. I wanted to stop at Halfway to Hana- a well known shop along the road- but it was unfortunately closed so I went elsewhere to buy the bread and it did not disappoint! Other good things along the road include Hana coffee, beef kabobs, and chocolate, but this is BY FAR the best thing you can buy (and a must in my opinion).

 

Pipiwai Trail & Waimoku Falls (end of the road to Hana)

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Napili Beach & Kapalua Bay, Kapalua

 

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Napili Beach and Kapalua bay are located almost next to each, with one or two hotels and restaurants in between. Napili Beach is more secluded and less crowded but the beach itself has slowly gotten smaller over the years and there isn’t a whole lot of sand there anymore. Kapalua Bay is bigger, more crowded, slightly rocky, better for snorkeling, and has a bigger beach. The water is calm, clear, and feels like a bathtub in both places and the scenery was exquisite.

Ululani’s Shave Ice (scattered around Maui)

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mmmm to put it simply, I have never had a better shave ice in my entire life. They crush the ice to a smooth, snowlike powder that melts in your mouth. There are a variety of flavor- from your average cherry, blue raspberry, and orange all to the way to flavors like green tea, wedding cake, and tamarind. I found myself at Ululani’s in Lahaina and Hana.

Make sure to let me know what summer trips you are going to be taking!

Why I Chose Cal Poly Slo

Next year, I will be a freshman at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo! While it is bittersweet to move away, I’m really looking forward to the new year and I feel more than ready for the change. emilydalybl

My close friends and family (and now you after reading this) know that before I chose Cal Poly, I was committed to play softball at a private university in Washington. It was a really brutal decision, but I decided I no longer wanted to devote my time at college to the sport I love and instead, explore other interests of mine- such as music, writing, and public speaking. Still, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to play softball at the collegiate level and I learned so much from the recruiting process. Actually, I will probably write an article in the future for advice on how to get recruited if you do want to be an athlete in college.

Anyways, I applied to Cal Poly SLO last year and if I am being honest, I didn’t think much of the school at first. I had driven by the school a few years prior and it looked nice but being an English major and all, the whole “tech” vibe of the school threw me off. I still thought playing softball in college was the path I would be taking and so I didn’t bother to actually stop and walk onto the campus.

Flash forward to the college acceptance (and rejection) letters! I soon had it narrowed down to four colleges- my top two being the school I had my softball scholarship at and Cal Poly. I then went to the Cal Poly Open House weekend for admitted freshman and it really opened my eyes to how the school would be a great fit for me!

First of all, Cal Poly SLO’s teaching method is “learn by doing.” I’m really drawn to this because I want to go into the fields of either law or journalism in my future and experience/internships will help me gain insight on what career I could have in the future. In terms of campus size, the school is pretty big but class numbers are small to average so you are really getting the best of both worlds. Also, despite the school being known for Engineering and Agriculture, the English department is a hidden gem and has some of the best teachers on campus that have won several standout awards.

Another plus of Cal Poly SLO is that there’s an endless amount of activities at and around the college. It has an amazing choir and well put together newspaper which I am hoping to join in the fall, as well as ASI (the student body/council) that interests me. There is Morro bay, Pismo beach, and Avila beach to explore and endless amounts of hiking trails in the area. There’s a bubblegum wall, the SLO-DO-CO donut shop, and a really cute downtown. It has a college town feel and all the students that I have met so far are friendly and have made SLO already feel like my new home.

I can’t wait to make the move in September and I’ll keep you all posted when I do! I’ll soon be able to share my new life and all its adventures with you. I wish you luck if you are going to college next year as well and feel free to ask me any questions you may have about SLO, college, or really anything else. In the meantime… go mustangs! : )

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On the left is me and I’m next to my best friends, Sebastian (middle), and Grace (right)

 

Open Letter to High School Seniors- Choosing a College and Major

As a senior in high school, it seems like the only conversations I have with friends and family members these days is about college. They ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

When I was little, I always had an answer to that question. Some years it was an author, others it was a teacher, for a year I wanted be Nancy Drew, and for a few months after an interesting appointment, I found myself wanting to be a dentist. However, things change. Now, I feel stuck. As high school comes to a close, how is one supposed to suddenly figure their life out?

My hardest decision at the moment is deciding on what colleges I want to apply to and attend. There are so many different colleges- large or small, private or public- in so many different places. I don’t know whether or not I want to continue playing sports in college. Do I want to pursue a sport I’ve played since I was four years old or branch out and cater to other activities I am passionate about? So many choices, with so little time, and with such a great cost. Deciding on a college could decide my fate in terms of who I become friends with, how happy I am, where I may live in the future, and what my future job may be.

From deciding on what college I go to all the way to figuring out a major for a potential future career, I keep telling myself that everything happens for a reason and I need to just make a decision that feels right in my heart. I need to let be what may be and everything will turn out the way it’s supposed to in my life. At the end of the day, I will be right where I belong. If you are feeling down because you are indecisive about something or scared of choosing the wrong path for your future, the key is to remember that “everything happens for a reason.” So smile, breathe, and listen to your heart.

Back To School Tips

It’s that time of the year again… back to school! Silently, I count the days I have left of summer and realize it’s all coming to a close. Senior year is around the corner and I just want my schedule NOW, but the counselors unfortunately are making sure that won’t happen for a couple days. The summer assignment that has been sitting on my desk abandoned for two months is finally finished and I’ve found time to workout and shop to better myself and style for the year. However, there are still a list of things that need to get done in the final days before school starts so just for you all, I made a list:

Re-stock on necessary supplies: This one is pretty straight forward but hey, it’s time to go to the nearest Target or Staples and grab all the necessities. Pencils, pens, highlighters, a binder, eraser, or maybe a new backpack (you know the drill)

Don’t forget to re-pack your backpack: What I usually do before the first day of school is I empty everything from my backpack that I haven’t touched in two months and throw it in the washer machine. Once it’s dry, I’ll evaluate everything I had in it before and pick out the things I’ll absolutely need this year. Pro Tip: A backpack usually a day to dry naturally (I wouldn’t put it in the dryer because it can shrink)

Make sure you have all summer assignments or books in your bag: This is super important because on the first day, you want to make a good impression in class to make your life easier the rest of the year. However, if you forget that one summer assignment that’s due or a book you had to read, not only will your grade drop immediately, but the teacher will view you as a student who is unprepared to take their class.

Pick out an outfit the night before: To make it easier for yourself to get up early, have a vision of your outfit or set it outside your closet on a hangar the night before so that you don’t have to think too hard in the morning. It also allows you to have less stress and not be late on the very first day. Tip: Don’t forget to set your alarm!

Eat a good breakfast and pack your favorite food: I love food and I hope you all get just as excited about eating as I do every day. For breakfast on the first day, have pancakes, waffles, a smoothie, or whatever makes you happy and motivated to get out the door. You can add some protein or drink some coffee to get you more energized. Also, pack food that you enjoy for snacks or lunchtime. It always makes the day better if you’re eating good. You can also do this the night before to save time.

Hope you consider these tips and won’t screw up on the first day! Haha jk good luck and have a good school year : )