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Ask Questions

Looking at your blogs, it seems that half of you are asking open questions at the end of your posts. Make sure that you ask in depth questions--a large portion of your blog grade comes from comments, so give your classmates a chance to respond to something concrete. Something other than a "yes" or "no" question is preferable.

In addition, while you guys are looking up very interesting articles and doing great research, try not to just present the facts. I mean, it's easy enough to google the difference between organic and non-organic food, but your job is to take a certain angle on it. I've found that writing blogs from an "either/or" standpoint works best. So there may be a food that is good for our bodies, but has negative effects on the environment.

I know I've stressed human behavior blogs, but for those interested in psychology, those posts work great because we cannot reach a definitive decision about what motivates each individual. We can make close estimations, but there is a constant grey area. For instance, being in college, I'm sure many of you have thought about what it means to be successful and how we can motivate ourselves to keep pushing? This triggers the question: are we more likely to be successful from fear of failing (i.e. not being able to find a job/house/marriage) or from passion for a certain activity/the need to follow that career?

Food for thought. Maybe some of you can blog about it. It's a question that has been bugging me for weeks.

Happy blogging! :)

Epic Fail or Not?

       So, your first SC200 exam was yesterday, and from the looks of it - most of you did an AWESOME job! Congrats! As for the rest of the class, maybe you didn't do so hot. . . That's totally A-Okay! Like I said in the first week of class, I didn't feel like I did very well on the exams either - but you can still do well in this class!
       So what are you going to do now? Well, for starters I strongly suggest going back through the exam (I believe Andrew will hold a review session) and look at the answers you missed. Often times if you look back through the exam, you can see why you missed the question. You may have missed it because: you didn't understand the question, didn't have notes on the topic, or were totally lost. In any case, Andrew can help you understand it & if you didn't have the notes, well then you know you need to start taking better notes in class!        
       Another helpful tip about going to these review sessions: sometimes the type of question you missed will be on another exam. So, if you go to the review session, figure out what you did wrong & understand it - you'll be much more prepared to answer that type of question the second time you see it!

       Just remember. It is not the end of the world if you didn't do as well as you would have liked on this exam! It can be tricky to adjust to exams, but just be sure to review the questions you missed, take GOOD notes & don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't fully understand a topic. Plus, you can still keep your grade up if you did not do so great on this exam: you have the blogs and extra credit opportunities! So don't stress! Keep in mind to be more prepared & review your notes thoroughly before the next exam!
I'm sure you guys will be just fine!

Have a good rest of the week & feel free to enjoy some amazing new music from Mumford & Sons:)

Crying Eyes

     So. It has been one crazy week: first my brother gets married (YAY!), then my dog dies (not so yay). As I was walking to class thinking of how I really needed to post an entry to the class blog, I couldn't help but to keep thinking of Sasha (my dog) and how terribly puffy my eyes were after crying all night. Then it hit me; why do your eyes get all swollen and puffy when you've been crying?

     Well according to this site, puffy eyes are caused by many factors, one including emotional stress and crying. They go on to say that the eye area is very sensitive and that this increase in stress or emotions causes more blood to flow to the eyes, which then leads to swollen or puffy eyes. They also state that some diets that are high in sodium (or salt) can lead to fluid retention which can cause puffy eyes.
     According to another site, there are over 70 different reasons why a person's eyes may swell, but most are due to allergies. Their suggestions on how to take the swelling out of your eyes is to apply either warm or cool compresses, keeping your head elevated, and to avoid rubbing your eyes.

    Another interesting site offered this explanation of why a person's eyelids swell when they cry, "emotional tears are more watery, they're less salty than basic tear secretions and the tissue in your eye. So, through the process of osmosis, the water moves into the saltier ocular tissues, which makes them swell up." So basically, (I think), when you cry, the tears are kind of absorbed by your eye, and that makes them swell up.

     A common treatment on all of these websites is the warm/cool compress on your eyes to help alleviate the swelling. They also suggest that just letting your eyes go (i.e. no rubbing with a Kleenex) will help the swelling decrease over time.

   So, at the end of the day, I plan to take a deep breath, stop using a Kleenex every 10 minutes, and try to focus on something better!

Below is a picture of my dog, Sasha, when she was a baby!
  1. Photo: Sasha, Princess, Peach, Baby, Monkey, Sausage . . . 
there will never be another dog like her <3 Really gonna miss her

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo!


Hello Sc200! Hopefully by now most of you have figured out this crazy thing called "blogging".

       I've been noticing that a few people have posted entries WITHOUT PICTURES OR LIVE LINKS. . . This is a big no-no! Remember to look at the syllabus for exactly what needs to be included on your initial blog post! Also, if you're having trouble putting a live link in a comment- check out the "Tech FAQ" page found on the class blog (here's the link).
There's lots of good stuff on that page, so be sure to look it over if you're having some technical difficulties!

    Now for some light entertainment. Please tell me you guys have seen this girl?! Seriously. This is too funny!

Happy Blogging :)
Hello ladies and gents! Welcome back to PSU for yet another fantastic semester. I hope you all had enjoyable summers and are back into the swing-of-things in Happy Valley.

My name is Rachel Tedesco and, as you should know, I am one of your TA's for SC200 this semester.

I figured that I would start out by giving you a little info about me and then I'll give you some tips for success this semester.

Fun Facts About Me:
  • I'm only 5'1" tall.
  • I'm a 3rd generation Penn Stater.
  • My favorite color is yellow.
  • I chose my major (Public Relations) because it didn't require me to take Chemistry or Calculus.
  • I absolutely love THON. I'm a THON Chair for Oriana Singers and Glee Club THON. From my work with THON, I decided I wanted to work with non-profits after I graduate.
  • My favorite food is peanut butter (in any variety). 
  • I took this class because I had to fulfill science credits. I HATED science in general when I began the course. I came out of the class with-- if nothing else-- a real appreciation for science and how it impacts our lives (though we still aren't exactly BFFs).
  • I'm a Lion Ambassador, so let me know if you have any Penn State questions!

Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions. You can reach me at my PSU email,, or my personal email, I'm super small and not intimidating at all so don't worry, we will get through this semester together.

Now, for the stuff that you really care about... How to do well in Science 200. 

  • Show Up and Take Notes: The only way to succeed in this class is to be present. You have to go to class. Take notes in whatever way works best for you. I'm a visual learner so I wrote down my notes in lots of different colors. If you are better with just listening, take some notes and listen intently.
  • Don't Over-Think: Andrew is probably the most fair professor I've had. He does not try to trick you and he absolutely wants you to succeed. Take your time on the exams and don't psych yourself out. Use your notes and use your common sense and you will do great.
  • Be Creative!: One of the reasons I was successful in SC200 was because I write with my own voice and my own (strong) opinions. Should your blogs have some structure, be logical, be free of errors? YES! But there is nothing wrong with writing in the way that you feel most comfortable. For me, as you can probably tell, I have a more conversational writing style and it worked for these blogs. BUT! Let me caution you... you must have structure and a clear thought-out body to your blogs. Be consistent. Be creative.
  • Write About What You Love: Do you have a dog? Do you ever wonder why he wags his tail when he sees you? Have you ever had a concussion? What exactly happens when you get a concussion? Do you love playing around with makeup? What exactly makes make-up work? Pick topics you are interested in! This is such simple advice but it will get you a long way.
  • Be Responsible: For many of you, this is your first semester of college. You must learn to time manage. Don't wait until the last minute to do your blogs. Don't wait until the last minute to take the exams. THAT is how you will fail this class.

I hope you all are as excited about this semester as Andrew, Beth and I are! Please let me know if you have any questions about SC200, PSU or just life in general. I'd be more than happy to help!

See you Thursday!

Rachel Tedesco

"Easy" A


Above is a picture of myself (the frog) and my cousin (the otter) at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta - it was amazing!!

Hello Everyone! I hope everybody had an awesome summer! I know mine went by way too fast & I was definitely not ready to head back to school, reading, and homework! But oh well.

As I'm sure you've heard, I am one of your TA's for SC200! There are a few pointers I'd like to share with all of you as you get started with this class.

  1. Go to class! I cannot tell you how important it is to not only go to class, but pay attention. You will learn so much just by being in class, and taking notes on what is going on will definitely help you when exams come up.

  2. Don't procrastinate on your blogs! Writing a blog can seem like a daunting assignment. But I promise, if you start writing them early and put some thought into what you are writing about, you will be fine. Blogs are a big part of your overall grade, so don't brush them off until the last minute. Just remember to be thoughtful about what you're writing & of course don't forget to comment!

  3. Be sure to speak up in class! This was one thing that I didn't catch on to until later in the semester, but interacting in class can really help you understand better what Andrew is saying. Even if you're not confused, stating opinions or giving your thoughts on a certain topic will help you to more fully understand and relate to what Andrew has to say. This will definitely be useful in the future for exams!

  4. Don't be afraid to talk to us! And that goes for any of us. I promise, if you have a question there is going to be at least one other person who was thinking or wondering the same thing. So don't be afraid to email the TA's, or approach Andrew (he's really not scary at all... I promise!)
    On a side note, I definitely encourage taking Andrew up on the "free" lunch offer from Eberly College of Science. It was a great chance for him to get to know me & it was nice to talk with him outside of the regular classroom... plus it's free food :)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! We're here to help you, but keep in mind you have to work for the grade that you want. So if you put in the time & effort, you will be fine! I can't wait to start working with this class & I know you guys will really enjoy this class! See you on Thursday :-)

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