Suni

Brain Drain

Marketing 101: How rude e-mails won’t help you get an A

Once upon a time in the 11th grade, I handed in my handwritten assignment to my English teacher, Mrs. Bilder. The first words out of her mouth were: Double space next time! Use some psychology, kid! Or maybe it was “you little monster.” I can’t remember. But that’s not the point. The point is that working hard on assignments, learning lots, and being a stellar student are all well and good. But using some psychology to…


Sprechen Sie Oops?

Once upon a time, I spoke intermediate German badly. Fast forward ten years, and my German is so rusty, the screech it makes could wake your neighbor’s dog. My second cousin’s recent visit from Switzerland was therefore a wonderful opportunity to embarrass myself every time I opened my mouth and mutilated the German tongue. She speaks English; as such, I could have avoided speaking German altogether, but I figured I could get some practice in…


Stop clowning around and start remembering what you read

What? You’ve got lots of reading to do? Well, you’d better grab some highlighters and start painting the textbook town red. Or, you know, neon orange or something. Or maybe not. We’ve all seen it before. You start reading your textbook, and the next thing you know, you’re underlining, circling, highlighting, and Post-It noting anything that looks important or moves. Your pages end up looking something like this: And your cat, who sat too close, looks like this: Note to cat: Don’t…


Big thanks to Libros AC in Santurce!

Last night was so much fun as we spread the message that “you don’t have to feel dumb!”  We chatted about the process of learning, how the brain can naturally expand its capacity to learn, and how to deal with things like distractions.  Most people were surprised to learn that the way to succeed is to set yourself up to fail.  What does that mean?  Well, if you weren’t there, get to Libros AC and ask…


Going by the numbers in Italian class

Today in my Italian class at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, we learned numbers. By “learn,” I mean we listened to how numbers worked in Italian, we nodded wisely when we realized how easy they are to make, and then we tripped over our tongues as we struggled to spit them out. Isn’t it fun how that goes? So the teacher Mr. Liguori showed us a trick. Instead of looking at a number (457, for example), he told…


Inspired by shopoholics: How store return policies give us insight into getting homework done

Do you love to shop? Do you love hauling tons of stuff that you don’t really need and then squeezing into your already limited closet space? And do you ever think you should maybe return something, but don’t, because the return policy gives you gads of time to do it? So you procrastinate and procrastinate and procrastinate some more till it’s too late or you’ve forgotten? As it turns out, the above scenario — I promise,…


Going back in time! How time travel can get you better grades

Have you ever gotten a big, fat F? Have you ever wished you could back in time and get your past self to do your homework so that your present self didn’t have to suffer shame, teachers’ and parents’ angry glares, and — quite possibly — summer school? There is nothing left to do but crawl in a corner, rock back and forth, and peruse your favorite fried worm recipes because alack and alas, time only…


Should you scream your goals to the world? BrainDrain.guru has another take

Gurus often suggest we tell someone — or better yet, as many people as possible! — about our goals so that we have accountability. I am not sure about you, but I am not a big fan of screaming my plans to all the world. Plus, I once read a contradictory tip according to which we shouldn’t tell anyone about our goals because that can reduce our chance of succeeding. Now I am completely confused and rocking…


A tongue is a terrible thing to sprain: How to learn pronunciation of even the toughest words.

Antidisestablishmentarianism, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, and taxes. These are all words people struggle with, although the last example is hard to spit out for reasons that are different from the first two. Is there a way that learning how to say these words could become much, much easier? Yes, the answer is in a trick called back-chaining, which, according to Gabriel Wyner*, is a technique singers have used for years. The language program Pimsleur also uses it. When you back-chain,…


Cómo aprender de manera efectiva (entrevista radial)

Hablo con Nilda Pérez, anfitriona del programa “Foro Económico,” acerca de mi libro “The Little Guide to Not Being Dumb.” La entrevista fue en vivo por la Cadena Radial La Roca (WBMJ AM-1190 San Juan, WGB AM-1060 Juana Díaz/Ponce, y WIVV AM-1370 Vieques / Islas Vírgenes). Mi nombre es Elise Loyacano Perl. Soy autora 100% puertorriqueña de aquí como el coquí y en esta entrevista presentamos mi libro titulado “The Little Guide to Not Being…