Monthly Archives: February 2012

One Word Texts: Why You Should Stop

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Serena Piper
Journalism major at the University of Oregon. Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Oregon. Magazine, freelance blogger, future world traveler. In her spare time, she likes to read as many books as she can, go for long drives, and peruse news websites. Hopes to one day write for National Geographic.

Am I the only person who hates one word text messages? I love texting just as much as any other college student, but I tend to worry the conversation is heading downhill as soon as the one word texts start coming in: “haha”, “ya”, “lol”, etc. Can we say annoying? What do you even say to that? I say if you’re going to bother to text “ya” to someone, you might as well write a whole sentence, otherwise it’s just not even worth it to respond.

Photo by Joi Ito

Let’s debunk the convenience of one word text messages and find out why they have so much potential to start an argument and why we should stop.

One word texting has now not only become an excuse for laziness, it also allows us to be nasty without being held accountable for our actions. We say things through texting that we might never say in person, just like we do with our computers. Before texting became so popular, everyone was forced to talk to everyone else in person or at least on the phone. Now that texting has graced us with its convenient presence, we can avoid some pretty precarious conversations. But the problem starts when the person doing the texting never sees or hears the reaction from the person on the receiving end. We are left to guess what kind of tone is behind the text, and from there our imaginations can run wild. We can’t tell the effect our words are having on the other person (which might work in your favor if you hate confrontation), but it’s not going to help anyone improve their communication skills.

For women, when a man sends a one word text, he’s subtly sending the message that the conversation has died and he doesn’t want to talk anymore. (I should know, I do the same thing.) Women are generally known to be more talkative than men, and I’ve heard from a few of my guy friends that as soon as the girl they like starts talking in one word texts (a.k.a. caveman speak), they start to think they might be boring the girl. For me the solution has always been to say to the guy, “Not very talkative today, are you?” and he gets the hint. But what if instead of playing even more guessing games with each other, we nailed down a possible solution to this frequent problem?

Texting is like that hot fudge sundae you love so much: just because it’s there, that doesn’t mean you should, um, eat (use) it. If you want to avoid unnecessary drama and minute misunderstandings, save texting for the unimportant conversations, and leave the important ones for the good old fashioned phone call.

To put it even more simply (and to modify the famous words of Dr. Seuss): say what you mean and mean what you say, but don’t say it through texting (unless it’s not important).

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January Cash for School Prize Winners

Filed under: Contests and Promotions - BookRenter Team
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Sandrea Branch
Grand Prize Winner – $2000

Sandrea, who goes by Drea amongst friends and Sandy among family, says she plans to pay off the remainder of her tuition. Her favorite class this semester is abnormal growth and behavior because she gets to learn about mental disorders, growth defects and phobias. Of all of the phobias she has learned about in that class, arachibutyrophobia is by far her favorite. This phobia is a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth (didn’t even know that existed, huh?). Sandrea is a self-described bargain hunter and says BookRenter has helped her save about $1000 so far on textbooks! Good luck with classes, Sandrea!

Tiara Simon
Keurig Winner

Even though Tiara (nickname: Tweety!) no longer needs to head on over to Starbucks, having won the Keurig coffeemaker, she says her favorite Starbucks drink is the Caramel Frappuccino Light (Good choice, Tiara!). Tiara is a biology/pre-med major and her favorite class this semester is Biology. She says “This machine will help me with my long lab days!”

Cassandra Trevino
Kindle Fire Winner

Cassandra, who goes by Cassy, says she found out about BookRenter over 2.5 years and says she has saved close to $1,000. She says, “I have loved renting with BookRenter; it’s been great so far and I always recommend my friends to use this site and start saving.” Cassy’s favorite class this semester is English Grammar because her favorite professor is teaching the course. And Cassy is a big country music fan; her favorite song is “You’re Gonna Fly” by Keith Urban. She plans to graduate with her Bachelor’s degree in December 2012.

If you want to win our Cash for School Sweepstakes, make sure to ‘Like’ BookRenter on Facebook and then enter here!

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The Academy Awards are here!

Filed under: All Things Tech, College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Tiana Bouma
Tiana is a senior at University of Oregon double majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a focus in magazine. Her hometown is now Bend, OR but she graduated from high school in Danville, CA. After graduating from UO, she plans on traveling and working for National Geographic. During her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, sports and movies.

The awards season is here. We’ve already gotten a taste with the Grammys, Emmys, and Golden Globes. It’s time for the crème de la crème, the mother of all awards shows, the Academy Awards. They’ll be taking place on February 26th (7pm EST).

Photo by Loren Javier

There are lots of movies on display, probably more than you were able to see last year. So we all need a little breakdown and some predictions about the Academy Awards, right?


The Artist
The Descendants

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Prediction: The Artist
Possible Spoiler: The Help


Demian Bichir – A Better Life
George Clooney – The Descendants
Jean Dujardin –
The Artist
Gary Oldman –
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt – MoneyBall

Prediction: Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Possible Spoiler: Jean Dujardin, The Artist or George Clooney, The Descendants

Best Actress nominee Rooney Mara. Photo by Beacon Radio.


Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis – The Help
Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn

Prediction: Viola Davis, The Help
Possible Spoiler: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady


Kenneth Baranagh – My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill – Moneyball
Nick Nolte – Warrior
Christoper Plummer – Beginners
Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Prediction: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Possible Spoiler: Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


Berenice Bejo – The Artist
Jessica Chastain – The Help
Melissa McCarthy –
Janet McTeer –
Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer –
The Help

Martin Scorcese accepting the 2012 Golden Globe for Best Director. Scorcese is up for the Oscar, as well. Photo by Beacon Radio.

Prediction: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Possible Spoiler: Berenice Bejo, The Artist


The Artist – Michael Hazanavicius
The Descendants –
Alexander Payne
Hugo –
Martin Scorsese
Midnight in Paris –
Woody Allen
The Tree of Life –
Terrence Malick

Prediction: Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist
Possible Spoiler: Martin Scorsese, Hugo

So these are my predictions. Who do you think will be taking home an Oscar? Let us know!

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5 Classes That Should Be Offered in College

Filed under: College Life, Education - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Serena Piper
Journalism major at the University of Oregon. Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Oregon. Magazine, freelance blogger, future world traveler. In her spare time, she likes to read as many books as she can, go for long drives, and peruse news websites. Hopes to one day write for National Geographic.

When registering for new classes each term, do you ever come up with a list of classes you wish were offered? I know I wish my college offered Egyptology. I’ve spent the past week talking with a bunch of people about the classes they wish they could take at school. A lot of them were caught off guard by the question, but let’s face it: in between math problems, English essays, and our jobs, we don’t really have a lot of time to daydream about better and more interesting classes. It was interesting to me to hear what my friends would like to take a class on. They were great ideas and, who would’ve thought, classes I would enjoy too!

Here’s what people told me they’d like to learn about in college:

How to Catch Some Zzz’s
“A class that would teach me how to actually get eight hours of sleep each night would be so worth it,” sophomore Carly Davy said. “And if I actually got to sleep during the class, even better!”

Get Organized
Leave it to the girls to speak up about a class that teaches organizational skills. Of course, this might come in handy for the guys, too! “I would want someone to teach me how to organize my closet and my dresser so that it doesn’t look as cluttered,” Alandra Bailey said. Bailey says Pinterest has been her only inspiration to try and organize it herself. Hey, if HGTV makes money off teaching us how to organize our homes, why can’t colleges?

Fashion Trends
One student said they’d like to study fashion trends and why exactly they are a trend. In the February issue of Real Simple Magazine, one article talked about how geometric shapes is a popular trend on the runways right now. I’m all about dressing fashionably, but I don’t think anyone likes math enough to wear it! Maybe this class would teach us the dos and dont’s of fashion? Like What Not to Wear, classroom version.

Pick a country, any country. Photo by David Holt.

Pick a Country, Any Country
“I would like to take a class that assigns each student a country to study the entire term,” junior Megan Bauer said. Now this would be one fun way for the world to learn about other countries, not to mention completely easy! Who says physical fitness classes have to be the only easy classes?

The Art of Seduction!
Americans aren’t the only ones who would be lined up to take this class.  “I think that seducing people is part of our lives, and it’s nice to be the one getting seduced,” says Pelayo Perez, a junior from Gijon, Spain. College isn’t just a time to be “serious” about your future; it’s also a time to explore your interests, as far as they may reach. I wonder how many people would enroll in a class that teaches the basics of seducing someone?

What would you like to take a class on? As always, the sky is the limit!

And check out Online College’s list of the 15 Strangest College Courses in America.

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Top 10 Free Apps That Every College Student Should Have

Filed under: All Things Tech, College Life - BookRenter Team
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By BookRenter Corporate Communications Intern, Rachel Freeman
Rachel is a graduate student at San Francisco State. She received her Bachelor’s in Communication from University of the Pacific. In addition to working at BookRenter, she coaches high school and club volleyball. In her spare time, you can find her playing with her golden retriever, Mollie, and cheering on her hometown San Francisco Giants.

Voxer – When you are around campus and need to get a hold of some friends, don’t you sometimes wish you could just walkie-talkie them? Well, Voxer is just that. Great for group chats or personal blah blahs!  Whether you are on campus, at the football game, or at the local club/bar, this is THE app you need. (iPhone & Android)

One School – Need a bus map integrated with your college campus? Trying to find out information about your courses? Then One School is definitely the app to have. With a local news features, now you won’t get stuck in the ‘College Bubble.’ (iPhone & Android)

Google Translate– Stumped? Need a translation in your Spanish class? Then say ‘adios’ to your Spanish tutor and ‘hola’ to Google Translate.  Plus it’s got more than just Spanish…we’re talking 63 different languages. And it will even read the words to you so you make sure your accent is in tip-top shape. (iPhone & Android)

8,500+ Drink Recipes– Not only does this app have over 8,500 drink recipes (as its name suggests, duh!), but you can also input the ingredients you’ve got on hand and it will tell you what drink concoctions you can make with those ingredients. Pretty soon you’ll be the most talked about party on campus! (iPhone & Android)

Evernote– Take your desktop Evernote with you! This app pretty much helps you, as a student, integrate your life. You can take notes, sync with your laptop, and even record audio files. In a group project? Share notes easily through their Facebook and Twitter integration. (iPhone & Android)

Guardly will dial your network if you need help. Photo by @gletham.

Guardly – Imagine walking across campus after spending the evening at the libs studying for tomorrow’s exam. You notice someone is following you. With one tap, you can tell a circle of family and friends where you are. If you’re really in a bind, it will even dial 911 for you. Talk about keeping you safe! (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows 7)

Alfred –Think of this app as your personal restaurant assistant (we all could use an assistant, right?). You tell Alfred what kinds of restaurants you like and Alfred suggests local places it thinks you’ll like. The more you tell Alfred about what you like, the better the recommendations. It’s got everything from cafes and coffee shops to dive bars and local eateries.  (iPhone & Android)

Free Graphing Calculator – I don’t know about you, but I remember having to fork over $80 to buy a graphing calculator in high school! Now, I don’t have to waste my money. This app is a scientific, graphing calculator that allows you to graph up to 4 equations at once, has a unit converter, and has certain equations already stored (forget about having to memorize the quadratic formula, the app has it!). (iPhone)
Bonus: Copy and paste these equations into your new graphing calculator for a cool surprise! (sqrt(cos(x))*cos(200 x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(9-x^2), -sqrt(9-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5

myHomework – Forgetting to do your homework. Showing up to class and finding out there is a test. Sounds like a nightmare, huh? This app helps you keep track of all those assignments you have to do. Plus it organizes your assignments into a color-coded calendar! (iPhone & Android)

Grocery IQ – Going shopping with your roommate? This app lets you build shopping lists quickly by simply scanning the barcode for any product or typing it in the search bar. Not only can you create lists, you can also share them. So if your roommate goes to the store without you, tell him/her what you need! And I don’t know about you, but I constantly get lost in the supermarket looking for items. This app’s got my back; it’s got an aisle organizer! (iPhone & Android)


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