The Weekly Word: May 8th, 2012

It’s the cap’n of crunch times – the best of times, the Shmoopiest of times. It’s crunch-crunch-crunch time!

As seasoned (light garlic and onion) test takers who still have the occasional midnight encounter with the Ghosts of Standardized Tests Past,* we managed to fish some of our favorite strategies for surviving AP season out of the Shmoop Vault of Secrets.

  1. Get some sleep. Yes we are actually insulting your intelligence here. Sorry. A ton of worthy test takers blow it by not taking sleep seriously. Get a little bit every night, the way actual people do.**
  2. Eat real food. While eating your feelings in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Mountain Dew might temporarily soothe the psychic pain of a marathon study session for AP Physics B, you’ll emerge from the first half of May a bloated, fluorescent wreck of your former self. Also, you only get so many bathroom breaks during the exam, and you don’t want to be distracted by the feeling of a full bladder.
  3. Take a break. We know it’s tempting to Hulk out on last-minute prep as though you’ll be able to destroy those puny exams with nothing but your giant green fists, but even the Hulk takes a break once in a while. Go outside. Climb a tree.

Good luck with the next two weeks, Shmoopvengers. We’ll be with you every step of the way, like a friendly version of Big Brother.

Featured Shmoop: AP Exams

Featured Shmoop: Apple Education Pricing

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Shmoop Shout Out: Teachers’ Day May 8, 2012

We love teachers. Sure, sometimes they assign “projects” and “homework” that can cut into video game and texting time, but every teacher has dedicated his or her life to educating and inspiring young people. There isn’t a career much nobler than that, and we here at Shmoop HQ appreciate all the hard work they do.***

Thanks again for being awesome! P.S. If you’re a teacher looking for more firepower in the classroom, we’ve got some awesome guides for you here. Reach out to us through this week, and we’ll give you 15% off any teacher resource you’d like.

Shmoop Shout Out 2.0: Avengers’ Box Office Smash

All of us at Shmoop have been waiting patiently for this day since the cast was announced at Comic-Con 2010. Do superheroes plus Joss Whedon equal best movie ever? You’ll have to make up your own mind, because there’s no way we’re spoiling you for this one.

However, if you’ve already been to a midnight showing or two, check out this article on the movie’s utter theatrical domination.

Birthday: Richard Feynman Born, May 11, 1918

If you’ve never heard of Richard Feynman—surely you’re joking!—it may be because he dealt with some of the more complex theories known to man. You know, like quantum electrodynamics (QED for short), the properties of superfluidity,**** and particle physics…just to name a few.

The talented Mr. Feynman was widely recognized for both his brilliance and his ability to explain things in a simple and approachable way. Ever wonder why a train stays on the tracks? Though he passed away in 1988, much of his work lives on in the world of physics. Happy birthday, Dick!

Shmoop Shout Out 3.0: Maurice Sendak

Did you think Where the Wild Things Are was just a 2009 indie movie? Well, guess again, because the story’s beautifully simple arc involving a boy who lives among the Wild Things was crafted by Maurice Sendak, a master of children’s lit. Maurice passed away this week, and the world lost the wonderfully rich imagination that gave us stories like In the Night Kitchen. We’ll miss you Mr. Sendak!


*Along with the Ghost of the Improperly Distributed Burrito and the Ghosts of Sandwiches We Have Eaten and Loved.

**Artistic though they may be, hallucinatory ramblings rarely score top marks on the free response section.

***Including Mrs. Norton in 4th grade…even though that macaroni-and-construction-paper collage was totally worth an “A.”

****No, Mountain Dew isn’t a superfluid.

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