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Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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This Week in Wellness: Finals time


By Eva Hill

With finals week approaching, it seems illogical not to address the stress that nearly every student faces at this time of year. So, I’ve decided to devote this edition of This Week in Wellness to a review of the topics I’ve covered in the past.

My first column discussed mindfulness meditation, an extremely relevant topic at this time of year. Whether you meditate regularly or just when you can, or even if you’ve never tried it before, mindfulness can be an incredibly useful strategy for destressing when you don’t have much time. A three-to-five minute meditation could fit into your walk between classes or immediately before going to sleep. You can also meditate to music, timing breaths to the rhythm of a song. Classical music is especially good for this; this week’s music recommendation is one of my favorites to use as a meditation soundtrack.

I’ve also covered sleep and supplement use, which I’m grouping together only because prescription stimulants, which are occasionally used by students in the hopes that they will enhance studying or test-taking, have a negative effect on sleep. In fact, not only do these drugs not work as academic performance enhancers, they disrupt the sleep cycle, making it even more difficult to focus and form long-term memories.

More recently, I’ve discussed self-care, another important thing to keep in mind during finals prep. Self-care involves taking time for yourself to do things that make you feel better and keep you healthy: for example, taking a nap (either no longer than 20 or approximately 90 minutes long is best) or making yourself some food (see below for a simple hot snack).

This is my final column for this semester, so, before I sign off, good luck and be well.



This week’s book:

As a read to unwind with after a long study session, Agatha Christie’s The Mystery of the Blue Train does its job very well. The story involves, among other things, contested inheritances, jewel theft, mistaken identity and French trains — everything, in other words, that one could want in a vacation read. Christie’s mildly sardonic style gives the book an old-fashioned, if slightly dated, charm and her characters are, as always, over-the-top in a mostly enjoyable way.

This week’s music:

If you’re looking for an introduction to the world of Baroque classical music, try Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major as an accessible, energetic piece with plenty of variety and a good combination of both vocals and instrumentals. There are nearly countless recordings of this work, but my favorite in terms of sound quality and performance is the 2001 version recorded by John Eliot Gardner and the Monteverdi Choir, although the choir of King’s College Cambridge also have a great recording from 2002. I’d recommend listening to the full 12 movements to get a feel for the piece as a whole, but in terms of individual movements, my favorites are Gloria in Excelsis Deo, for the powerful vocals and liquid string accompaniment and Laudamus Te, a joyful soprano-mezzo-soprano duet with beautiful harmonic and rhythmic intersection between the soloists.

This week’s recipe:

Fried potatoes

These are one of my favorite dishes to make if I wake up before the dining hall opens for Sunday brunch. All quantities are pretty much subjective and depend on the size of the pan and how many potatoes you’re using. The most important thing on this recipe is to get the browning of the potatoes just right; they have to be cooked through, but if they stay on the heat too long they can get dry or scorched.


Potatoes (any, larger work better)


Olive or canola oil

Peel the potatoes and slice them crosswise into discs approximately 1/4 inch wide. Pour oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat. The oil expands and thins a little as it heats, but make sure it covers the whole pan. When the oil starts to form bubbles, add the potato slices. Be careful not to drop them from too high up to avoid oil splashes. They should be in a single layer on the bottom of the pan (not layered on top of each other). Cook the potatoes until they are brown around the edges, then flip them over. When both sides are browned and potatoes are tender, remove from pan and shake off oil if necessary. Salt to taste and serve immediately.

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