Shhh!!! Super Secret Study Spot!


In need of a new study spot? 

Bored of the same old?

Search no more! 




If you are a sensory-modal, visual learner, and/or share a love for the arts,  you will love our newest Super Secret Study spot: UPENN-ICA

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Location: 118 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Phone: (215) 898-7108

Museum Hours: 

Elixir Coffee Bar: 

Admission: FREE for ALL


As soon as you walk into the ICA-UPENN, you will notice the essential Elixir Coffee Bar to your left:


Grab your favorite caffeine fuel or otherwise, gourmet pastry, and head up the stairs to your left alongside the mega glass walls to the museum’s mezzanine:


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Your long-awaited soft-landing will be a brightly-lit mezzanine area flooded in natural light from two adjacent walls:

Depending on the configuration of the space, you may find different types of table set-ups, but typically, you will have the option of at least 3 small tables with chairs on all sides, enough to support 1 person to a group of 3-4 people:



When the weather is nice outside, you can head out to the Tuttleman Terrace, and enjoy the elements:

Studying + Sunbathing = Bliss!

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So next time you find yourself needing a little pick-me-up, try a change of scenery…


  • Galleries are currently closed for installation, but the Elixir Coffee Bar and Mezzanine remain open regular hours.
  • Winter Opening Celebration: February 2, 2018.
  • Winter Exhibit:

Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show


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So grab your FREE ICA-UPENN Museum Membership, and enjoy your Super Secret Study Spot!

Secret Concept

Staff Writer: Min Derry, Learning Instructor


Starting Spring Semester Off Strong!


Welcome back to Philadelphia for the 2018 Spring Semester! We here at the Weingarten Learning Resources Center hope you had a relaxing and rejuvenating break. We also hope you remembered to bring back some warm clothes! It’s been a fairly chilly winter here so far – make sure you stay bundled up for your walks to class, work, and extra-curricular activities. With this weather, some of you may be even more encouraged to stay inside and get a jump start on your class work!

walnut walk

Whether this weather makes you want to head to the library or curl up under a blanket watching Netflix, the learning instructors at Weingarten have five steps to help make this semester the most successful and manageable one yet:

Step 1 – Reflect:

Before you dive into your new coursework, spend some time reflecting on last semester. You can simply mentally reflect, or devote some time to writing your answers down in a notebook or journal. Here are a few questions to guide your thinking:

  • How did you manage your time last semester?
  • How did you prepare for your exams and quizzes?
  • How did you approach long term projects or papers?
  • What worked for you? What didn’t work for you?
  • What would you like to be different this semester?


Step 2 – Set Goals:

Based on your reflections, set 1-3 small goals for yourself this semester. These goals should be manageable (you can achieve them in one semester), measurable (you will know when you achieved them), and reflective of what is most important for you and your studies. Write these goals down on a piece of paper and post them on your bulletin board, or place them in the first page of your planner. Put them somewhere you will see them often to remind yourself of what you are working towards.

goal setting

Step 3 – Make a Plan:

Spend some time in the beginning of the semester writing down all due dates for your exams, quizzes, papers and projects in your calendars and planners. Doing this now will save you time and prevent future headaches later. Remember time management has three components:

  1. Long term (semester) planning

  2. Weekly planner

  3. Daily To-Do Lists/Tasks & Daily Schedule

Make sure your time management plan includes all three of these components.

time to plan

Step 4 – Identify Resources You Can Use for Help:

Before you are crammed with work and crunched for time, spend an afternoon locating different resources on campuses that are here to support you. Make an appointment with a librarian so that you finally understand how to conduct research properly (it’s more than just entering search terms in Google!). Attend office hours with your professors or TAs before they become swamped with students. Make an appointment with us here at the Weingarten Resources Center. Schedule the doctor’s appointment that you have been meaning to go to. Seek out these resources now! Don’t wait until later in the semester. Here are some resources that can be useful for students:

  • The Tutoring Center

  • Weingarten Learning Resources Center

  • Marks Family Writing Center

  • Resource Librarians

  • Professor and TA Office Hours

  • CAPs, Health Center, Women’s Center

  • Campus and Community Houses (La Casa Latina, Makuu, Greenfield Intercultural Center, LGBT Center, etc.)
  • Your college major Advisors

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Step 5 – Attend a Session at the Weingarten Learning Resources Center:

To learn more about these ideas and other strategies, attend a session at the Weingarten Learning Resources Centers so that you work smarter not harder this semester!

fresh start

Whatever you need, Weingarten is here to support your academic growth! Remember we have walk-in hours every weekday from 12PM to 3PM and on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 4PM to 7PM in the Weingarten Learning Resources Center. You can also always call 215-573-9235 and schedule an appointment.

Have a great, happy, and successful spring semester!


By Staff Writer: Kelcey Grogan, Learning Fellow & Learning Instructor

Scheduling Self Care – Make Time to Go Outside

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In one of our earlier blog posts, we discussed the importance of scheduling self-care into our weeks. Especially as we retreat into the winter break, even the holiday season can be busy and hectic at times. It is important to make time to take care of your physical, emotional, and mental health.

One way to do this is to head outside!


We spend so much of our time looking at our phones and our computer screens that we can neglect to appreciate the beauty around us. Philadelphia is beautiful in all seasons! While Philadelphia and the surrounding areas have plenty of natural beauty, there are some escapes pretty close to campus. One I personally recommend is the Schuylkill River Trail! Just head down past the Palestra and on to the South Street Bridge where you can access the trail.


The trail is completely paved and is wonderful for walking, running, biking, or roller-skating. There are also plenty of grassy areas along the trail where you can stop to sit, chat, read, or relax. In Philadelphia, the trail itself is about ten miles. If you follow the trail for about 1 mile from the South Street Bridge, you run alongside the Philadelphia Art Museum. Continue further, and you can run alongside Boathouse Row. As the trail continues past Boathouse Row, it follows Kelly Drive and becomes much more tree-lined. It’s a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. For more information on the trail, check out its website:

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Written by Staff Writer: Kelcey Grogan, Learning Instructor

Tech Tuesday – The iPad Pro Pencil

If you already have an iPad Pro, the iPad pencil is a must! If you are planning on saving up for an iPad Pro, then make sure to save up for the iPad pencil too. Priced at $99, the pencil is a great addition to the iPad. It makes studying and taking notes so much easier. If you are already using apps like OneNote, EverNote, or Notability to help with your studies, the iPad pencil syncs easily to work with these applications.

kelcey tech


Annotating: Annotating and writing notes on PDFs is made much easier with the iPad Pencil. It is a much more natural feel, cleaner and easier to read than writing with your finger on the iPad screen.  This is one of my favorite ways to use the iPad pencil. I am someone who needs to write on what I read. Using the iPad Pencil allows me to still take great notes, while keeping all the PDFs organized by class (and saving a lot of paper!).

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Notetaking: With the iPad Pencil, the iPad becomes like a travelling notebook. It is much easier and more natural to take handwritten notes during classes or in other settings. These handwritten notes on your screen can transfer easily to other devices with apps like OneNote and Endnote.

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Drawing: This is one of the wonders of the iPad Pencil. Drawing and making figures on the iPad is taken to a whole new level with the iPad Pencil. This can also be useful for studying. Now you can create mind maps and concept maps right on your iPad.

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  • The pencil only works with the iPad Pro.
  • It’s $99.

Let us know if you have any other suggestions for tech products to review!

Note: This blogpost is not an ad. In our Tech Tuesday posts, we highlight technology that we think would be useful and helpful for students.


By Staff Writer: Kelcey Grogan, Learning Instructor

Senior Unease

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

     ~  William Arthur Ward


Hello, Seniors.

Welcome to the beginning of the end.
First, there’s no need to freak out.
Not that you would.
I mean, whoever heard of a Penn student freaking out over school.
I know, I know, that was a bit of a cheap shot.  So, please, allow me to beg forgiveness.
Thank you.


Now that we’re friends again, let me just say that you Senior Year Unease is typical.  It happens to lots of people.  It happened to me.


The first way Senior Unease manifested itself in me was with classic Senioritis:  ditching classes.  I messed more classes im my last semester of Senior year than all my other semesters combined.  I suddenly lost the will to stay up all night to finish a paper (okay, fine, stay up all night to start and finish a paper) and make it to 8:00 class.  And besides, the weather was really nice that spring, and I caught more than a few naps under a sugar maple on the quiet side of campus.  Those naps represent my fondest memories of my Alma Mater.


And then there was my recurring nightmare, the one where I find out at the last minute that I’m one course shy of graduation.  I got two words for you, friends:  cold sweat.


What I’m trying to get at here is that your Senior Unease is not atypical, and is not unique to your generation of soon-to-be graduates.  Change comes whether we want it to or not, whether we are ready for it or not, and change is at the heart of Senior Unease.  What is unique – what will be unique – is how you will experience it.  In other words, you probably won’t take to sleeping on campus lawns like a vagrant, or develop night terrors.  So, bonus for you.


On the other hand, there is no sense in deliberately courting Senior Unease.  So try to be mindful of a couple things.

  1. First, treat your job search like a class [UPENN CAREER SERVICES].  And get started early in first semester.  The longer you put it off, the larger it will loom in your head. If you need help working your job search into your schedule, we’re here to help in that
  2. The other thing:  Plan to have fun.  Don’t forget to enjoy your final lap.  Formals, semi-formals, Feb Club – you don’t have to do everything, but you need to allow yourself to do some things that are fun, to be with your Penn people one more time.FranklinField

So take it easy.  Change is the constant.

Staff Writer: Pete Kimchuk, Senior Learning Instructor

Make the Most of Your Thanksgiving Break!


It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving break is almost here! Whether you are staying on campus or traveling to be with friends or loved ones, Thanksgiving break is a wonderful time to relax, reflect, and recharge. While the Thanksgiving tradition is a willful, historical misrepresentation (that’s for another blog post), the holiday can still be a beautiful reminder to take a step back from our busy schedules to appreciate what we have and to show gratitude for those we love, something I personally know I should do more often.


            While the break can be a wonderful time, it also can feel stressful for students.

When we return from Thanksgiving break there are only two short weeks of classes left before reading days and final exams begin!

It can be difficult to figure out how to balance school demands with obligations to family and friends. So that you can feel more balanced next week, we have some tips on how you can make the most out of your time off:

  1. Before you leave for break, make sure you have written down all of your remaining assignments and exams. You don’t want any surprises when you return from break! (Use one of WLRC’s semester long calendars to help you do so)
  1. Make a study schedule or calendar! Planning backwards from your major papers and exams can help stay on track. Breaking down larger assignments into smaller chunks can help them feel less daunting. WLRC has some helpful calendars for this!Picture4
  2. Look ahead. Can you spend some extra time the week before break completing any of these assignments? Getting ahead will help make your break less stressful. Knowing that a break is coming up can be great motivation to get an assignment completed.
  3. Decide what work you must do over Thanksgiving break. If possible, don’t plan on working every day. Try to spend about three to four hours a day on Friday and Saturday either studying for exams, writing rough drafts of essays, working on math problems, or reviewing notes. Make sure you have a plan for what you are going to complete during those times so that you can be as productive as possible.
  4. Whatever you do, don’t push all your work off until Sunday! That will just make you feel more stressed and will ruin all the relaxation you got over your break.Picture5
  5. Get ahead of the game! Register to attend some of the Weingarten’s study sessions to help you succeed on your final exams.
    1. Study Hacks for Reading Days” on Wednesday, 12/6, 4:00-5:00 p.m. or Thursday, 12/7, 5:00-6:00 p.m. @ the Weingarten Center
    2. Unpack and Prepare for Finals in Math & Science” – Friday, 12/8, 12:00-1:30 p.m. @ the Weingarten Center

These are some tips to help make sure you can enjoy your break without falling behind in school! If you want to work on a study schedule for the rest of the semester, stop by the Weingarten Learning Resources Center. We have walk-in hours Monday-Friday from 12pm to 3pm and on Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 4pm to 7pm (Keep in mind- we are closing for Thanksgiving on Wednesday, November 22nd at 2pm.).

However you decide to spend your Thanksgiving break, all of us at the Weingarten Learning Resources Center hope that it’s a relaxing time with friends and loved ones!


By Staff Writer: Kelcey Grogan, Learning Instructor

Take Better Notes: The Relationship Between Time and Memory

Many students come to the Office of Learning Resources (OLR) at Weingarten (WLRC) looking for strategies and tips on how to take better notes.

While the jury is still out on whether handwritten or typed notes are better, what we do know is that what matters more than how you take notes is what you do after with your notes.

Even if you are a student who is prepared for class and takes incredibly detailed notes, within 1 day of class, our minds forget nearly 75% of what we learned:

  • See the graph below for a visual representation of Time vs. Memory:


  • If we don’t return to our notes until the week before the exam, we have already forgotten much of what we have learned. Instead of actually studying, we are stuck relearning the material.
  • The good news is that there is a simple solution to make sure you retain much of what you have learned during class:

Actively review your notes within 24-36 hours of class!


  • By taking the time to review notes for just 30 minutes within 24-36 hours of class, you can reinforce what you learned and prevent this memory loss.
  • Make sure you are actively reviewing your notes (don’t just re-read or skim your notes, it’s too easy to just glaze over what you originally wrote).


Here are some tips for how to actively review your notes:

  • Create an active recall study sheet:
    • On a blank sheet of paper, spend 5 minutes writing down everything you can from class and your readings. Then go back to your notes to fill in the gaps)
  • Annotate your notes in a different colored pen
  • Synthesize your notes into a study guide or summary
  • Use the Cornell method
  • Create a Concept Map
  • In a vocabulary-heavy class, create flashcards or a Quizlet

The hardest part of this strategy is actually fitting this review time into your schedule!

  • I recommend making this a habit by scheduling time to review your notes from the last class before you start your reading for the next class or before you begin your related homework.
  • Making this a routine will go a long way in improving your learning, strengthening your memory, and increasing your grades.


By Staff Writer: Kelcey Grogan, Learning Instructor