How to Pset the Rye-t Way

Some things are just facts of life: the sun rises in the yeast, 1998 OH is the butter asteroid, and psets are difficult (dough some tips will certainly make it easier). So here’s a step-by-step guide for how to correctly pset. Crust me everything 😉

1. This is the most important step: ask yourself, is the pset due today? If not, come back to this guide later. 

2. Log into Canvas 10 minutes before the first Learning Block starts. Click the 178201 links it takes to get to the assignment page and download the pset pdf. Then, go check the modules page, and sigh with relief when you realize that there wasn’t any pre-learning that needed to be done before the Learning Block today. If there was, hope that your high school math + physics class covered the material (hint: it didn’t). 

3. In the break between the first Learning Block and social hour, don’t take a break. Read over the pset questions, realize that you don’t understand any of the words, close out of the pdf, and pretend you never read that. Not knowing where to start on the pset is a problem for future you, after the learning blocks end. Enjoy your last peaceful hours for the day. Except it’s not peaceful because it’s a learning block. 

4. During the learning blocks, type puns in the chat. I promise you your psets will magically become 1000% easier if you do this step. 

5. After the learning blocks end, ask yourself, when was the last time I went outside? If the answer is less than 3 days, stay home and work on the psets. If the answer is more than 3 days, please go outside and take a walk. But wait, if you go on a walk, make sure to ask a SSPeer in the discord to send you screenshots of the questions, so you can start thinking about them while you walk (shoutout to Jay!). 

6. During the 3-hour break, make sure to eat some good food, preferably some bread. Work on the questions by yourself, and when you first see a term you don’t recognize (it’ll usually be in the first sentence of the pset), download all the pdfs of the Learning Block lectures. If you don’t have at least 6 files open, you’re doing something wrong. The minimum number of tabs needed to be open is 21 in order to consider yourself productive.

7. If you don’t know how to start on a problem, make sure to join the discord call to ask your SSPeers for help. When you join, the first thing you’ll hear is them asking YOU for help. Sing the parallelogram song when you realize that no one knows what they’re doing. It won’t increase your knowledge (unless you want to learn about parallelograms), but it’s therapeutic. 

8. But as you start talking with everyone, something beautiful happens. Your ideas build off of each other, and you start with diagrams, which turn into equations, which turn into more equations, which turns into a final answer. Enjoy the 20 seconds of happiness after you box your answer until you realize that you forgot to convert degrees into radians in the second step. 

9. Join the Zoom meeting for the work-play block. When you go into your breakout room, ask everyone how their day was. Complement them, tell a joke, or do whatever to set a positive mood 🙂

10. When you realize you truly don’t know how to do a problem, ask the TAs to come into your breakout room to help. If Katie comes, pull up the parallelogram song, ask to share your screen…you know the rest.  

11. This step is NOT optional: Poke fun at your team members who use LaTeX to write their psets. If they pronounce it lah-tech, poke fun at them even more. If they pronounce it latex, ask Dr. R to send them to BioChem. 

12. Wonder when the “play” aspect of the work-play block happens. 

13. Have an existential crisis after thinking about the guest lectures of the week. Does the universe not exist, or am I just tired? 

14. No, don’t close that tab. You won’t need it later, but it’ll give you the peace of mind to keep it open. 

15. Look at the results of the question of the day, and wonder why Michael is running a social experiment at SSP. 

16. If Tristan comes into your room, ask him to show off his T-shirt! Also ask him if there are lightning bugs near him today. 

17. If Abby comes into your room, ask her about integrals (that being said, derivatives > integrals) 

18. When the work-play block ends, finish your pset in the discord call. Know that your SSPeers always have your back, and that there is always someone willing to help. 

19. It may be 11 o’clock at night, but you’re finally done. Scan your document (because writing on paper is the superior method), upload it onto Canvas after clicking another 178201 links to get to the assignment upload page, submit your document, and relish in the dopamine that the confetti gives you. 

20. Be proud of yourself of how much you learn and grow every day. 

21. Go to bread. 

Hi! I’m Bread Sheeran. I enjoy hiking, baking, and learning about astrophysics! I also love bread (especially baguettes) and puns 😀