7 things you should know about 7 things:

Alumni, staff and students offer their expertise

What are the most commonly misused words?

Meloney Simpson '09 is an English major.

  • It's/its. Although apostrophes generally show possession, it's is a contraction of it is, and its shows possession. The words would be used in this way: It's expensive because of its quality.
  • Affect/effect. Affect is a verb, as in: Pollution affects the environment. Effect is a noun, as in: The effect of pollution on the environment is evident.
  • They're/their/there. They're is a contraction of they are, as in: They're right. Their shows possession, as in: Their room is clean. There shows direction: Go over there.
  • Principle/principal. Principle is a noun meaning an ethical standard or basic truth. Or, in a financial context, it refers to a sum of money. Principal, used as a noun, refers to a person. Think of the hint: your principal is your pal. Used as an adjective, principal means "chief" or "leading," as in the principal organizer of the event.
  • Few/less. Few is used only with objects you can count: in a grocery store, the faster checkout lanes are labeled "10 items or fewer." Less, on the other hand, is used with objects you can't count: there is less sand in the forest than at the beach.
  • Who's/whose. Who's is a contraction for who is, while whose shows possession. There fore, you can say: Who's your father? Is he the one whose hat is turned backward?
  • Than/then. Than is used in comparison: Airplanes are safer than cars. Then shows succession; it is used to say: In a triathlon you swim, then you bike, then you run.

What makes a good coach?

Rob Sanicola '99 coaches the Saint Joseph's College Monks basketball team and is the assistant athletic director. He also is willing to advise alumni about coaching; if you have any questions, call him at 207-893-6673.

  • Discipline yourself. In order for your program to reach its potential, everyone must be willing to sacrifice individual egos for the good of the team. A coach must exemplify discipline by putting the program ahead of his or her own needs.
  • Communicate. You cannot communicate with all your athletes the same way, because every student is motivated by something different. Pay attention to important aspects of communication, including body language, eye contact, silence and listening.
  • Be accessible. The schedule can be very hectic: maintaining relationships with friends, family, and the community are important, but take away time from players. Coaches must always find time for athletes in their program.
  • Have integrity. Don't play players because they have potential or are talented, if they do not hustle, work hard and listen.
  • Preparation. Bobby Knight says it best: "If you are prepared correctly, your team plays well." In any aspect of life, at your job, in the classroom, or on the court, the best-prepared person creates advantages that help him or her be the most successful.
  • Give no excuse, accept no excuse. Coaches know the excuses are coming, but if they accept them, their programs will suffer. The coaching staff should not entertain excuses and should constantly remind the athletes not to use them on or off the court.
  • Take full responsibility, but have fun. Being responsible can sometimes mean making unpopular decisions and admitting your mistakes. Sports can offer many life lessons, but at the end of the day, it's still a game. Don't forget to have fun.

How do you improve your PC's performance?

Katy Zore '05 is on staff in the Information Systems department on campus.

  • Clean out your Internet cookies and temp files. Cookies and temp files are usually text files stored on your hard drive to be retrieved later. While they enable you to load a document or web site faster, they take up space on your hard drive and will eventually slow down your computer.
  • Defragment your hard drive. Your hard drive is literally several disks stacked on top of each other. There is an ‘arm' that moves across these disks and writes down data. Unfortunately, the arm occasionally ‘skips,' and a file becomes fragmented into different sections on your hard drive. Defragmenting your drive regroups these files.
  • Don't install more than one antivirus program on your computer. Two antivirus programs will actually fight each other and cause your computer to become frustratingly slow.
  • Scan your computer with your antivirus on a regular basis. Don't rely on your antivirus to alert you automatically. Make sure to run the program yourself.
  • Use anti-spyware along with your antivirus. Anti-spyware prevents spyware programs from accessing personal information on your computer. Use it to block threats, but also to detect and remove spyware that has already been installed.
  • Check and run Windows updates, antivirus updates, etc., on a regular basis. This will ensure your anti-virus program and operating system are up-to-date and working properly.
  • Run disk cleanup on a regular basis. Disk cleanup is a Microsoft tool developed to help you free up space on your hard drive.

How to have fun with young children -without toys

Rosemary Barsalow '02, owner of the Log Cabin Montessori School in Windham, Maine.

  • Paint rocks with water.
  • Do some yoga.
  • Play in the dirt, mud or grass.
  • Splash in mud puddles (or any body of water).
  • Read or write a book.
  • Make playdough with this simple recipe: 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 2 Tbsp. cream of tartar, 2 cups of water, 2 Tbsp. of oil, add food coloring or flavoring. Combine these ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture is the consistency of mashed potatoes. Turn onto surface and knead several times. Let cool before handling.
  • Go for a nature walk - look at, listen to, and feel the world around you.

What are seven engaging magazines?

The Marketing & Public Relations office weighs in on a few favorites.

  • Wired - Smorgasbord of pop news and science written in a light and humorous manner.
  • Backpacker - Trusted and engaging information about backcountry adventures in North America.
  • Lenswork - Fine art black & white photography in squarish, attractively designed "book."
  • Smithsonian - Chronicles the arts, history, sciences and popular culture of the times. Created for well-rounded people with diverse interests.
  • Fast Company - Tag line is "Join the business conversation." Articles, blogs, conversations about wide-ranging business topics.
  • Discover - Accessible articles on science, technology and the future.
  • Family Fun - Disney publication with ideas on recipes, travel, crafts, advice, you name it. Most are simple and don't require a fat bankroll.

Try these seven great web sites

Travis Soule is the graphic designer in the Marketing & Public Relations department on campus

  • Muxtape http://muxtape.com
    Create and share mixtapes! Listen to other people's musical compilations or create your own 12-song mix-tapes.
  • Instructables www.instructables.com
    Advertised as "The World's Biggest Show & Tell," Instructables contains thousands of how-to's for kids and adults. With constantly updated categories including crafts, food, games, photography, and technology, this web site never gets boring!
  • Post Secret www.postsecret.com
    Post Secret is an ongoing community art project where people from all over the world mail in their secrets anonymously on a postcard. Updated every Sunday, this web site is always adding new and interesting secrets.
  • OpenSecrets.org is a nonpartisan guide to money's influence on U.S. elections and public policy. Whether you're a voter, journalist, activist, student or interested citizen, use this site to shine light on your government.
  • Yahoo Music www.launch.com
    With unlimited free music via virtually commercial-free radio stations of all genres, Launch is a great place to listen to music. The site also recommends similar artists based on your music taste to expand your listening repertoire!
  • MAKE Magazine www.makezine.com
    MAKE is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of your technology at home and away from home. The MAKEblog has "weekend projects" with both audio and video instructions.
  • Young Adult Library Services Association lists top books and films for teens and young adults. Includes "teen choice" list, where teens choose their favorite books of the previous year. www.ala.org/yalsa.