Sasha Obama Missed Her Father's Farewell To Study For A Test
Real Talk |  Source: chicagotribune.com

Sasha Obama Missed Her Father's Farewell To Study For A Test

She's more class-disciplined than some college students.

Last night, 10 days before Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, President Barack Obama delivered his farewell address to the nation. And while it was, not surprisingly, a popular social media topic, it may have been for another reason -- his youngest daughter, Sasha, was not present.

The Internet asked away. Did she not feel like it? Was she sick? A family fallout? Some weird, long, drawn out kidnapping scenario?
All of that turned out to be untrue, as White House officials stated that Sasha Obama did not attend her dad's address, which was in Chicago, because of school.
Let me say that again. Sasha Obama, the daughter of the incumbent president and first lady, missed the farewell speech because of SCHOOL.
For those unaware, Sasha attends a noteworthy, highly-selective school in the D.C. area -- Sidwell Friends. The school is in an exam period right now, and there is an exam scheduled for this morning. The examination policies state that students are not excused for travel -- and I guess that goes if you're a member of the first family as well.
Now, there's a couple of different ways one can react to this. On one hand, you can complain and be stunned, confused and befuddled how the U.S. president's daughter was forced to miss a big moment for her dad because of a dumb school policy.
Or, you can look at it like this is something her parents had no problem with, and might have even encouraged. First Lady Michelle Obama has already stated how big of an issue education is for her, because its something she felt that empowered her.
So, since Sasha Obama couldn't get out of her test for her dad's farewell speech to the U.S., what's your next excuse going to be for your next big exam, or a project you don't want to do?
The answer: None. Sasha Obama's dedication and sacrifice to her education, going to this point, has invalidated any excuses any college student (or any student for that matter) has for not attending and caring about classes.
And you know your professors are paying attention to this as well...
It shows just how important education has been as a topic to the Obamas. As stated before, we know they have pushed the importance of education, and they're not wrong. Education is such an empowering, yet necessary tool. It allows us to learn, to understand, to grow as human beings. When you pay all this money for a private high school, or the college or university of your choice, you're investing into your future -- you want to have the best life after school possible, don't you?
There are still some valid excuses to missing classes and tests, but if you've ever chosen to not study out of pure laziness or not caring for a class you're putting money into, I hope Sasha Obama makes you feel bad now.
On a side note, I don't blame the young Obama for wanting to study more. It's a science exam, and I hate science; I was never really good at it. As a journalism grad student, I am so happy I will never have to take another science class again.
Anyways, hopefully Sasha Obama does well on her test, and hopefully the first family has shown you the value and importance of an education. So stop making excuses and hit the books!

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Real Talk |  Source: lawmagazine.bc.edu

Law Students Get Real About Law School

Considering applying to law school? Check out what real students have to say.

At every turn in college, it seems you run into pressure related to your future career. Parents and relatives are always asking, "So, what will you do with that degree?" Professors, in an attempt to be helpful, question, "what's next?" Your peers, landing internships and studying for grad school entrance tests, seem to be staring you down, as if to say, "you haven't already decided what you want to do?"

One of the most popular career considerations is law school. Perhaps this interest is born of what seems like a simplistic pathway to get to the career; you apply to law school, get in, and you're set.

On the other hand, the skills and interests commonplace in law school and as a professional practicing law are common heralded traits. You might consider yourself rational and good at developing arguments, so you think law school is right for you. These reasons, among many other, are over simplifications for testing the fit.

Law school is right for many people, but not for everyone. And as a college student it can be difficult to know that this is the right decision for your future. Choosing any graduate school is a big (and expensive) step, and you should be as certain as you can that the move is the right one. Also, if this is your decision, you should be well prepared to apply and attend.

If you are considering law school, whether you are unsure if it is the right move or how best to go about doing it- take a look at what these current law school students have to say. I spoke with Madison, who attended Cornell undergrad, and is in her final year at University of Virginia School of Law, and Danielle, currently in her first year at Georgetown Law after also completing her undergrad at Cornell. They were in your shoes not too long ago, and want to get real with you about law school and the application process.

1. What is the best piece of advice you have for taking the LSAT? And for applying to schools?
Madison
I found it helpful to set aside two hours per day to turn my phone off and study. It makes a big difference. For the six weeks or so leading up to the exam, it was also helpful to take a full length practice test on Saturday mornings. It helped me get used to the stamina required for taking the test and waking up for it.

Danielle
Two pieces of advice for taking the LSAT:

1. Take an LSAT course! I used Kaplan and boosted my score about 15 points from my diagnostic. The courses are full of tricks that help you master the question types, improve your timing, and boost your confidence. There are a lot of free study materials online, but the courses provide a regimented study schedule which helps keep you on track if and when you start to lose your motivation;

2. Plan to take the LSAT twice. The LSAT is offered four times a year: June, September, December and February. The ideal plan is to begin studying for the LSAT in March, write the LSAT in June, and if you think you can improve then write the LSAT again in September, and be ready to apply to law schools as soon as they start accepting applications around October or November.

For the rest of your application, you will need two to three letters of recommendation, an official transcript, a personal statement, and depending on the school you may be asked to complete a supplemental essay or optional diversity statement. It is good to write these well in advance and have several people proof read them. I believe a personal statement can really make or break an application.

2. What is something you wish you knew about law school before applying? Before attending?
Madison
Before applying to law school, I found out that applying early in the admissions cycle benefits applicants. I had friends who applied later in the process that were less successful with similar scores.

Make sure you look at the statistics of any law school to which you apply! If the job numbers do not look good to you, it is probably not worth it to apply.

Before attending law school, I think it would have been helpful to know that success in law school is largely correlated with time management skills. People who can use their study time wisely (rather than surfing the internet) seem to be the most successful.

Danielle
I wish I knew exactly what kind of lawyer I wanted to be before attending law school. Not every law student knows, and even the ones who think they know may end up changing their minds, but the ones who have strong convictions about what type of law they want to practice seem to be more focused and driven.

3. What is the biggest misconception you had about law school before actually going?
Madison
I thought that I would not have any "work-life balance" while in law school. I assumed I would spend most of my time in the library. However, I have found law school to be as much about the people as it is about my schoolwork. My classmates are not only the heart of my legal network, but also a source of diverse perspectives in a focused academic environment.

Danielle
My biggest misconception about law school was about the exams; they are nothing like exams in undergrad where you have to regurgitate information you have been taught. Law school exams really demand that you think on your feet, present both sides of an issue, and make an argument. There is no right answer which feels extremely weird, but is pretty reflective of what practicing law is like.

4. What is something you love about law school? Something you hate?
Madison
I love that law school is an intense academic experience. Not only do you learn about the law through casebooks, etc., but conversations with professors and classmates have been among my favorite aspects of school. I do not like the amount of time I spend reading, but I still find most of the reading interesting.

Danielle
I love the relevance of what I am learning in law school. From understanding healthcare reform laws to executive orders on immigration, I am so much better able to grasp the significance of what I read in the news now that I have learned a little about how laws are made and executed.

I also love the passion that people bring to this profession. Whether you are advocating to abolish the death penalty, to protect the environment, to put college campus rapists behind bars, there is so much at stake in the legal profession, and many law students are sharpening their intellects as weapons to effect positive change. I hate the competition in law school and the pressure created by the curve and the huge emphasis on first year grades.

5. What is the best piece of advice for deciding if law school is right for you?
Madison
Talk to lawyers about what their practice looks like. Unless you go into academia, law school doesn't teach you about being a lawyer.

Danielle
This isn't very helpful advice, but I'm not sure you can ever be certain law school is "right" for you. If you love reading, interpreting texts, debating, persuasive writing, philosophy, grappling with hard questions, taking a stand, giving others a voice, negotiating, those are all good signs. You don't have to love all of those things though.

Finances are a huge part of the decision. If you are going to come out of law school with a lot of debt and get sucked into an unexciting corporate job working insanely long hours just because you need to pay off your debt, when you'd rather be out in the world defending asylum seekers or being a public defender, you might want to rethink your options. Some people really love corporate law though, and are happy to make good money doing it.

6. What is the best piece of advice for surviving law school?
Madison
Work on time management.

Danielle
Make friends, don't take yourself too seriously, go to office hours, join a study group, participate in class, get over your inhibitions (you won't always be right), do the readings so when you get cold-called you don't look like an idiot, join some clubs, try to see the bigger picture and enjoy what you are learning.

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Real Talk | 

Mic Drop in English Class With These Five Words

Canned tuna is just an allegory for our S&M relationship with Corporate America.

1. An allegory is basically an extended metaphor. It can be in the form of a story, poem, or image and can be interpreted to reveal some sort of hidden meaning, often moral or political. The Allegory of the Cave in Plato's Republic is a classic example.
2. Bildungsroman is a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood (known as the classic "coming-of-age" tale). The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Catcher in the Rye both fall into this category. This word I pass on as a sort of legacy: I was told by my high school English teacher that it's a word I should know for college, and he was right.
3. Deus ex machina, though technically more than one word, is a way to end a story with the out-of-nowhere appearance of a new character who--poof!--makes it all better. It originates from ancient Greek theater, where gods would appear off-stage to fix things if a play was going on for too long. It's essentially a literary cop-out.
4. Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a term for part of something refers to the whole, or vice-versa. Examples: shirts versus skins; all hands on deck; he kicked your ass. It may not be the easiest word to casually pepper into conversations, but if you can pull it off, you'll sound Matt-Damon-in-Good-Will-Hunting kind of smart.
5. Structuralism is the theory that elements of human culture have to be interpreted based on their relationship to a larger, all-inclusive system. This is for when you're trying to sound deep when everyone's already brought up all the points you planned to. It's your moment to really embrace your reductive side and ask whether anything anyone said means anything at all since it's all relative anyway and there's nothing new under the sun and the protagonist's love for canned tuna is just an allegory for our S&M relationship with Corporate America, which is just an allegory for the even more complicated relationship we have with life and death. Cool, right!?

Word to your flocker.

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Real Talk | 

What Happens on the SAT Vocab Test, Stays on the SAT Vocab Test

Don't be a showoff.

You probably spent hours upon hours studying for the SAT vocab test. Flashcards. Tutors. Group study sessions. Mom writing words on the fridge for you to remember. Gahhh.

The SAT vocab test might be the last thing you want to remember about high school--and guess what? That's great. Because what happens on the SAT vocab test, should stay on the SAT vocab test.

All those grandiose terms on the SAT do not have to be part of your quotidian vocabulary. (Hah!) That terminology is too hyperbolic and pretentious for most pieces you will write in college and after graduation.

At this point in your writing career, you should focus on building your ability to write simply, and with power. Take a look at this snippet from President Obama's 2008 election victory speech.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."

Every word is simple. The construction of the sentence is simple. Yet it packs a serious punch. And that's coming from one of the world's most influential people.

On the other hand, overly long words just get in the way of communicating and often lead to convoluted sentences. Imagine if President Obama said this:

Should there be a human soul amidst the assemblage who impugns that America is the land where all things are tenable, who conjectures if the contemplations of our founders thrives in our present time; who catechizes the ascendency of our democracy, tonight is your elucidation.

Um, come again? Most audience members would not understand what Obama meant, engage with the speech, or want to hear more. That's the opposite of good writing's purpose.

Simple words are often more powerful than complex ones. So keep it simple, smarty. As Mark Twain said, "Don't use a five-dollar word when a 50-cent word will do." (We're all broke anyway.)

Word to your flocker.

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Real Talk |  Source: FlockU, media.glamour.com

Katy Perry Slammed On Twitter For Obama Joke

Is she woke or just crazy?

When it comes to celebrities making ill-timed and insensitive jokes, you need look no further than California Gurl Katy Perry. While she presented herself as an involved activist for this past election cycle, even performing at Hillary's Democratic Nomination, she completely shot herself in the foot yesterday on Snapchat when she joked about responding back to a fan hating on her new hair.

After sporting her new bleach blonde crop in her video with Migos, fans everywhere were begging for her to go back to black. And in KP fashion, she wasn't about to put up with the whining and responded via Snapchat, saying "Oh really? Do you miss Obama as well? OK, times have changed. Bye."

Swerve, What was that KP? People immediately took to Twitter to show their disgust and shock at the singer's mocking comment.

To be fair, it's not really clear what she was trying to say with the joke, but considering the turmoil that America is experiencing with the Trump presidency, it's not really the smartest of times to be joking about Obama being out of office. Especially when she was very much anti-Trump and again, publicly considered herself to be an activist earlier last year.

I get that it must be really difficult to be a celebrity facing constant criticism, but having to be smart with your responses just comes with the territory. If you want to maintain your fandom and continue to top the charts, you have to be a little more careful when it comes to what you do and say on social media. Show some more respect KP, and maybe you too can become a Grammy winner like Barack Obama!

Oh, the irony of it all...

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Real Talk |  Source: democracynow.org

What You Need to Know About the DNC

Philly is blue af.

The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia comes to a close today and there is a lot to be said about the divide in the party, as well as the plea for unity. Here is the lowdown on all three days of the convention to keep you an informed college voter.

Day One

The DNC kicked off with Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz getting booed off stage and announcing she would be taking a backseat for the rest of the convention. She made this decision in order to "make sure we can start the Democratic Convention on a high note."

Shit went down with Schultz when it surfaced that the Democratic Party had favored Clinton during the primaries. Ouch. This angered everyone across America, and Schultz offered a formal apology to Sanders in hopes to smooth the whole thing over. She announced Sunday that she will be stepping down.

Bernie Sanders took the stage at the DNC and pleaded to all of his supporters that they cast their vote for Hillary Clinton. Bernie supporters booed him following his statement.. probably not the reaction Bernie was hoping for.

Michelle Obama also took the stage during day one, making a groundbreaking speech endorsing Hillary Clinton, with the focus being on her daughters addressing the fact that they are America's future. She also honed in on the fact that the outcome of this election has the potential to be very damaging to America's youth.

Day Two

It was formally announced that Hillary is the Democratic Presidential Nominee.

Former president Bill Clinton gave a speech in support of his wife, stating that Hillary is ready to make changes for our country going forward. He and his wife tried to rid the public of the traditional view of "crooked Hillary", and instead perceive her as someone willing to do whats right for this country through reforms.

The other big discussion this day was Donald Trump's friendliness with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Terry McAuliffe, governor of Virginia argued that giving a man power who's friendly with (basically) a dictator and has access to US nuclear weapons is a horrendous, possibly devastating plan. It was also stated that Putin is in support of Trump winning... yikes.

Day Three

Obama, Biden, and VP nominee Tim Kaine took the stage for day three. Obama offered support for Hillary in his speech, which was optimistic. He urged the public to realize how dangerous electing Trump would be. He stated that Hillary has a similar view for the future of the country as he does, and that Democrats should band together and support her. See a common theme?

Tim Kaine, Hillary's running mate, who is fairly moderate and has experience in the political ring, took the stage and tried to address Republicans who were dissatisfied with the shape of the current party.

Current Vice President Joe Biden also gave a speech, and tried to gain support from the middle class of America. He argued that Trump is absolutely unfit to lead a nation through the world at this time. People love Joe, which isn't too hard to understand.

*Biden lowers hand*

Overall, the DNC can be deemed a success because with the amount of scandals in the Democratic Party surrounding this election, anything less than a riot is a success. This election is definitely about to make history - for better or for worse.