CU 1010 PORTFOLIO By: Sam Mallon


Inner Critic:

  • Identify: I was lying in bed trying to sleep but could not, because I could not stop thinking about how poor my shooting had been in my IM basketball game that night. I just kept telling myself that I was just a bad shot outside the paint and that’s how it was going to be. I play as a “big man” and big men aren’t supposed to be shooters anyways. It just made me angry and I felt very constrained and limited by these thoughts I was having.
  • Revise: Instead of resigning to the thought that “I can’t shoot” I should use that as motivation. I should turn “I can’t shoot” into “I need to practice my shooting.” This is a much healthier way of thinking and would be much closer to inner guide than self-defeat.

Inner Defender:

  • Identify: I was talking to one of my good friends about a class we both took last semester, however we had different teachers. We both earned a C for the semester. I told him that “if only there had not been such a big language barrier between my class and our professor then I would have easily gotten at least a B.” I did not want to blame myself for a grade that I knew I could have improved if only I had done the extra work.
  • Revise: Instead of using my professor’s language barrier as an excuse I should use it as motivation to put the extra effort in and seek outside help.

Inner Guide:

  • Identify/reflect: In ROTC we have to take our Physical Training test 3 times a semester, in which we are tested in pushups, sit-ups, and a 2-mile run. My run time was getting slower each test last semester while my pushups and sit-ups were increasing. I realized that I had not been working legs equally with my upper body. Instead of just telling myself that I am not a good runner anymore, I told myself that it just means I have to work my legs harder. I began working my legs hard 4x a week as opposed to the 1x per week before and it greatly improved the strength in my legs and improved my run time.


  • Looking back at all the times I have used these different self talk patterns, I have realized quite a few things. I rarely, if ever, find my self thinking in the way of the inner-critic. I think this is because of all the sports and clubs that I have participated in throughout my childhood. I like to think of this as a good thing because it means I don't just quit or give up on anything, however, that has gotten me into so tough situations because of it. Often times when I am embarrassed by something or know I did not do my best in an activity I find myself using the inner defender. An example of this was last semester when I didn't do as well in some classes that I know I could have done well in, I blamed it on a language barrier between the teacher and the rest of the class. This portfolio has helped me change this attitude and I have noticed I have been doing it significantly less. I have really been trying hard to use the inner guide self talk strategy when encounter a result that doesn't please me or that I am not proud of. I find it very helpful not only mentally but through physical work as well. I feel like the inner guide self talk helps so much because it forces you to think of plan to fix your issues. This alone is half the battle and all that's left is to execute that plan. I am going to keep trying to make the inner guide my main self talk pattern.


Throughout this exhibit I really tried to stay on schedule and be as on time as I could throughout the 3 days. I was often a few minutes late(probably about 3-5min) to most activities but honestly I think it made it easier to seem almost like normal everyday life. I found myself actually much more stressed because of this module. There was always a constant pressure to stay on task and to make sure I was following my schedule perfectly. I think that because of this it probably was more beneficial for other people than it was for me.

Daily Planner

Semester Plan:

I found myself having issues with the semester planner because I would not pay attention to things until they had already snuck up on me which I realized kind of defeats the purpose of it. To counteract this I started looking two weeks ahead and writing studying for these into some weeks or even my daily planner if it was very important. This helped a great deal.

Weekly plan:

I found that my weekly plan was very easy for me to follow if I took it day by day instead of looking at the week as a whole. However, if I had a lot going on in a certain week then I found myself getting stressed out by looking at all the stuff I had to do. When this happened I would only allow myself to go by my daily planner until I had calmed down which usually took about a day. The weekly plan though was very helpful, especially once I figured out how to calm myself down.

Daily Plan:

Above is a picture of a normal Friday for me. I found using this method to be the best way for me to stay on top of everything while also staying calm and not becoming flustered. However, in order for this to work I would have to prioritize my tasks for the day for each day of the week. The task always ranked as follows:

  1. Go to class and study/hw
  2. sleep
  3. eat
  4. workout
  5. social life

This exhibit really helped me realize that it is incredibly important to have a plan for what I am doing. I also learned that while long term plans can be helpful, the most beneficial planning system is a daily planner for me. I will be incorporating a daily planner and even a monthly planner into my everyday life from here on out.


The 3 study techniques that I have tried out are self-testing, group quizzing, and a study technique that a friend recommended which I’ll call knowledge highlighting.

1. Self-Testing: I decided to try out self-testing because I wasn’t struggling so much with the material as I was with taking the test/quizzes. I had just gotten a poor grade in my ECON2110 class when I had thought I had done very well. So to prepare for the upcoming quiz I took all the questions from her slides and wrote them down on a separate sheet of paper. I then took the makeshift quiz I had made multiple times using different strategies each time. I earned a 9/11 on the quiz the next week which I was very pleased with. This very much so improved my confidence.

2. Group quizzing: I have always been a fairly independent studier. I usually have a hard time staying focused and not being distracted or distracting the other people if I study with others. In my Intro to Political Theory class, the exams are very difficult and different than the normal testing I am used to. On the first test I earned a C+ on the test overall which I was okay with considering how difficult I had thought the test was and the grades of my peers. For the second test, I studied with a peer who had done better than me and after we had studied we began to quiz each other. I felt much more prepared for the exam and was far more comfortable with taking the test and how prepared I was.

3. Knowledge highlighting: This technique was recommended by a friend. Essentially you go through your notes and highlight the things you think you know. Then you either reread or rewrite the things you didn’t highlight. Until you have highlighted the whole thing. This method did not work for me. My grades did not improve at all from this method, however it gave me a false sense of confidence going into the quiz. The confidence helped me mentally in that I did not stress as much. This did not work well and I will not be using it again and most definitely will not be recommending it to anyone else.


I have been struggling in my ECON 2110 class this past semester periodically. Specifically I realized this after I received a 55 on a test that I thought I had gotten at least an 85 if not higher on. After that slap in the face I set up a meeting with my professor, Professor Liuna Issagholian, and went over my answers which helped but the most important thing I got out of it were the studying and test taking strategies she recommended to me. I applied these studying techniques to my next test and received a 76 on it. While the grade is still not what I want, I was very pleased with the improvement and I will most definitely be using these studying habits to prepare for the final exam and my other exams. I however did regretfully not print out the sheet to fill out when I went for the meeting so I do not have a signature...Sorry about that....However I do have a email from her in which she answers my questions for the professor interview and confirms that we met that day and that she helped me with the post test analysis. I took notes on everything that was supposed to be on the sheet in my notebook. Sorry again....

INFO: I had predicted that I would get at least an 85 on my test and received a 55. The test was worth about 20 percent of my grade. Almost every single one of the questions I got wrong was because I was careless, second guessed myself, narrowed it down to 2 similar answers and picked the wrong one. There were only 2 questions that had unfamiliar material. To prepare for this test I had started studying about 3-4 days prior to it. To study I had gone through and rewritten all the notes from the power points and went through and highlighted the important aspects of it. Obviously it was not very effective. Professor Liuna recommended that I go through the notes in a different form than I had previously taken them. For example if I wrote them the first time then I should type them when first reviewing. After this I should take the practice test and see how I do. For all the questions I get wrong I should research why I got it wrong and why the correct answer was correct either through the textbook or the internet. When I applied these to my next test I earned a 75. This is a big improvement but I would like to do much better. To do this I will start studying much earlier instead of 3-4 days prior. I hope to achieve at least a 90 on the final if I apply these studying habits correctly.

She also recommended that for the difficult questions that I had been careless, second guessed, or narrowed it down to 2 answers, that I should draw a graph and try to relax and go with my first instinct. I will be using these strategies with other classes as well and hope to see improvement. This post test interview was incredibly helpful not only for my ECON 2110 class but my other classes as well


I chose to interview my ECON 2110 professor for this exhibit. My professor for this class is Professor Liuna Issagholian. She is a very good professor in that she explains the material really well and wants to see us succeed. I met with her for my post test analysis as well before my most recent exam in her class after receiving a poor grade on the prior one. She was very busy so after I got help for the upcoming test and did the post test analysis she requested that I email her my questions. I was honestly very surprised and a little inspired by her answers. I had no idea she was enrolled in school as well and she is very dedicated to her teaching all at the same time. That fact alone makes me want to be better. I also was surprised to find out that she listens podcasts of successful individuals and CEO/founders of start up company's. I had never thought of doing that before and recently listened to some talks by famous and successful individuals such as Ray Lewis, Michael Phelps, and Tim Tebow. They are incredible people and I always felt very motivated after listening to them. Reading her responses to my questions really gave me an appreciation for some of my other professors and made me realize that they all have other stuff going on in their lives just like I do. I definitely will be giving professors a little more grace from now on.


1. How long have you been teaching?

2. Why did you decide to teach?

3. What has helped you gain personal success in school as a teacher and student?

4. What motivates you to teach at the college level as opposed to teaching high school or other levels of school?

5. What do you most like to see in students?

6. Do you have any hobbies? If so what are they?

7. How long do you want to continue teaching?

8. What do you think is the most efficient way to study for students to study for your class?

9. What is the most difficult part of being a college professor?

10. What was your most difficult subject for you throughout your schooling? Why?


1. This semester is my 2nd semester. Last year, I was TAing for two classes.

2.As a PhD student, you are expected to teach the materials you’ve been learning. Hence, I was assigned by the department of economics to teach.

3.I believe the key factor for success is to not give up and keep working hard. Besides working hard, I can also add “learning new things” as another element to success. Learning is a dynamic process and I try to learn something new every day(even if it’d be a tiny piece of information).

4.I've never applied to teach other levels.

5.I believe students should learn the materials and they shouldn’t only care about their grades.

6. One of my hobbies is listening to different podcasts or talks given by successful start-up CEOs/founders. I learn a lot from such successful individuals.

7.I have two options after graduation: teaching or working for government/private sector. It’d totally depend on the job offers I get.

8. I believe students should go through the powerpoint slides before the class to get a very general idea what they’ll be taught. Then after class, they should go back to their notes and study them. Of course, solving problems is another piece which can be so helpful to understand and practice the materials.

9.To understand what topics might be hard for students. As someone who has been exposed to econ for more than a decade, I sometimes forget which topics are potentially hard for students to digest.

10. I passed really really broad topics, and if I want to sum it up in one single subject I’d say subjects which have no math or mathematical applications are the ones I really don’t enjoy.


My 10 core values were:

1. Family

2. Spirituality

3. Loving

4. Duty

5. Purpose

6. Challenge

7. Passion

8. Genuineness

9. God’s will

10. Virtue

My Top 5 most important values were (in order):

1. God’s will

2. Family

3. Passion

4. Purpose

5. Virtue

I had over thirty values originally that were important to me. Narrowing it down to twenty was difficult because of the sheer number of them. Narrowing those twenty down to only ten really made me think about not only who I was and the values that I try to have but also who I want to be and values I want to have later down the line. Narrowing it down to 5 was extremely difficult because I had a hard time dictating different levels of importance to each of the values. The only one that was easy was “God’s will.” Gods will should always be the number one value in my life and should always be the most important. I have plans for my life that I would like to happen but when it comes down to it God has a better one and that is more important than my own.

Short-term Goals:

1. Earn a cumulative GPA of at the very least a 2.0 by the end of the Spring 2017 semester.

"something to shoot for"

This goal correlates to my core value of purpose in that it gives me a goal and something to shoot for.

Long-term Goals:

1. Within the next 10 years to get married to a woman I love, become a father and provide for my family.

"Ohana means family"

I think this goal correlates with my core value of family because it my goal is all about creating and sustaining a healthy loving family.



I know this question sounds ridiculous when you first read it but give me a moment to explain. It is a commonly held belief(one that I agree with) that what you are wearing when you take a test or quiz can effect how well you do on said assessment. Now, assuming this is correct, couldn't the clothes you wear when you study also influence the quality of your studying?

Hypothesis: I believe that,while it may not effect you as much as if you are taking a test/quiz, if you wear nicer clothes when you study you will study much more effectively than if you were to wear more comfort clothes such as sweats or athletic clothes.

Testing: To test this I will go study in the same environment(the library) but will be wearing varying degrees of niceness of clothes. I will wear sweats and a crappy t-shirt the first night, normal clothes such as the ones I might wear to class the next day, and a button up with khakis the last day.I will judge how effective my studying was by paying attention to this such as my focus and attitude during the study session.

Results: Throughout this analysis I noticed a noticeable difference in my levels of focus which led to either an increase or decrease in the quality of my studying, depending on whether I was more or less focused. The day I wore sweats and a crappy t-shirt, I found myself distracted about every 15 min whether it would be from my phone or just my own thoughts. The day I wore my normal clothes(t-shirt/tank top with khaki shorts and flip flops or tennis shoes) I found myself staying focused for about 45 min periods without being distracted by anything. The day I "dressed up" I was significantly more focused and was able to focus for about an hour and 15 min if not more. I believe that the reason I wasn't able to focus as easily in the other clothes is because the sweats are the clothes I wear when I am trying to relax. The normal clothes I believe allowed me to focus slightly more because they are the kind of clothes I wear to class where I am usually required to pay attention for about 45min periods.

Conclusion:I found that the easier it was for me to focus the more and better work I was able to do in the time period that I had laid out for myself. I will most definitely be studying for my test next semester and the upcoming finals in nice clothes.



Yes, obviously location matters a ton to how well you study. This question is more geared towards finding the best place for me to study around campus and which places for me to avoid. This will also include the type of people I am around in these environments. This test will be very beneficial, especially with finals looming over our heads in the coming weeks.

Hypothesis: I believe that the if I study indoors around people I don't know that then I will be the most productive.

Testing: Throughout the week I will study in multiple different places varying from indoors and outdoors. I will also be around different types of people during these as in my friends and strangers. I will record how productive I was and the focus I had after each of these study sessions. The places I will study are as follows, the library, bowman field, the amphitheater, the core Starbucks, and the core dining hall.

Results: Studying in the library is an activity that I often will do with friends so I started there. I found myself getting a decent amount of work done only if I needed it done or was in a time crunch. If this wasn't the case then I would get distracted by the social aspect of it. However, I found that if I studied in the library alone without friends there was not much difference. I would get distracted by strangers or the thoughts in my head. Studying on bowman field or in the amphitheater with friends yielded fairly similar results however I found it easier to study by myself outside than I did in the library or any of the other places. Studying in the core dining hall with friends was more effective than studying with friends in the library or in the Starbucks. I believe this is because if I am eating it lets my hands stay busy and counts as enough of a distraction that I will not be distracted by anything else but will still be focused enough to study well. However, the most effective studying I had throughout the week was when I only studied with one of my friends who also had to get work done. This allowed me to still be comfortable but stay focused on my work because I would not want to bother them and they wouldn't want to bother me.

Conclusion: I am most effective at studying in a large group is most effective in the core dining hall or library(if I bring a snack). I am most effective at studying individually if I am on bowman field. Lastly,the most effective way for me to study is for me to study in the library with only one other person who also needs to stay focused.


Created with images by hectorir - "Clemson Cheerleaders" • Ajale - "target holes bow"

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