5 Ways to Productively Procrastinate Finals

My first semester of college, I had a mandatory class called “Foundations for Learning.” The teacher gave us study tips, taught us time management, organization and social skills, and told us that it was completely normal to not know what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives at the ripe age of 18.

I couldn’t make a list of the study tips, and I am in no position to teach anyone anything about time management and organization. But I can tell you about one thing that stuck with me from this course- the idea of “productive procrastination.” Our book described different types of procrastination in great detail, and over the past few years I have practiced productive procrastination religiously.

Basically, if you’re going to procrastinate anyway, you might as well get something else done, no matter how unrelated or unnecessary it may be. Here are a few ideas to keep you procrastinating, guilt free (almost).

1. Clean Your Room

Cleaning is awful. But studying is worse. Cleaning is the lesser of two evils, and you can justify organizing your room by saying you can’t focus with all of the clutter. You want to feng shui your space; totally understandable.

2. Make a Collage

A great way to avoid work is pretending there is none and that you’re still on the tropical family vacation you took last winter. Pick some of your favorite pictures from the trip, print them, and make a new piece of wall décor. It’s easy to get lost in photos for hours. Pictures from middle school, old vacation photos, and baby pictures are my personal favorites.

3. Take a Nap

On the surface, napping seems like a waste of time. You could get so much done in that 30 minutes (realistically, 3 hours). How is resting your brilliant brain to prepare for studying a waste of time? Riddle me that.

4. Check your Privacy

We are all guilty of cyber stalking just about everyone we know, especially when we have a million other important things to do. Next time you’re creeping on someone, check your own privacy settings and make sure that you’re information is secure. If it’s not, figure out how to fix it and get your privacy settings in place! This goes for all of your accounts…and y’know that could take forever to fix.

5. Go to the Gym

Exercise is good for your health. People are always making time to work out, so if you don’t already, now is as good a time as any to start. You can even put your notes in front of you and pretend to read them for added effect. How productive! Physical and mental health, all at once!

Be productive and be creative in your procrastination methods! There are tons of perks- you could have a clean room, sore legs, and even a collage. I will warn you though, you probably won’t end up with an A on that final exam you should be studying for.

Pick Six Takes Intramurals the Extra Mile

 

PICK SIX PICKS AWAY AT COMPETITION: UMASS INTRAMURAL FLAG FOOTBALL TEAM TAKES ON NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

By Taylor Gilmore

The field lights are on and against a sea of teams dressed in sweatpants and mismatched t-shirts, one intramural flag football team stands out. Dressed in neon uniforms labeled with their logo and individual nicknames, the boys of Pick Six huddle on the sideline and prepare to win another game.

After an undefeated season, Pick Six competed in the UMass Men’s Flag Football Championship on November 14, 2013 at McGuirk Stadium and won for the second consecutive year. They beat Zeta Beta Tau with a final score of 39-0. They scored 359 points overall this season, but had no points scored against them.

Leaders in campus recreation from colleges and universities around the country are invited to compete in a national championship series of flag football and other intramural sports every year. NIRSA, the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, offers a variety of resources and promotes leadership, fitness, teamwork, and respect in their tournaments.

Pick Six represented UMass in the regional portion of NIRSA’s national championship series in Springfield, MA on November 1-3, 2013. Winning the first round of regional games in Springfield qualified Pick Six for round two of regional competition. They played with over 40 other universities for the Regional Flag Football Championship title in College Park, MD on November 15-17, 2013.

Pick Six decided to compete in Regionals to keep their season going, but were expecting the competition to get a lot tougher. “When we pulled in that day I didn’t even think we were going to make it to playoffs but we dominated, which is kind of crazy,” said Sean Heaney.

The highlight of the trip for Ricky Silva was “being at a different university seven hours away, hanging out, with no where really to stay, having a blast.”

“The whole weekend was exciting,” added Cody Sloniecki. “It was a ball,” said Alex Porter, “my favorite part was surprising everyone, because nobody there thought we were going to win.”

But once again, Pick Six walked away as winners. The boys won all seven of their games, and although they were finally scored on, no team scored on Pick Six during the second half of an elimination game. They returned to UMass with a trophy, the title of Regional Champions, a bid to nationals, and even a few medals. Joe Johnson, Kevin Pomerleau and Matthew Schell won All Tournament Awards, and Schell received the award for Most Valuable Player.

“We’re all washed up athletes with nothing better to do,” said Joe Johnson. “This is our time to shine, and we did,” Kevin Pomerleau added. Although they may be older now, the Pick Six boys have an impressive past in athletics. Many of the boys were award winners and high school captains and team members for various sports. Silva was a two year basketball captain and three year tennis captain, earning countless awards including all state and all conference in tennis and all conference and 1000 point scorer in basketball. Schell was a two year football captain and all conference winner, as well as basketball captain his senior year. Heaney was all conference in basketball, as well as captain for basketball and baseball. Sloniecki and Fung were all conference in basketball in their junior and senior years, and Matt Fung was team captain for 2 years. Sloniecki also played lacrosse and baseball. Ryan Imbriaco played volleyball and and basketball, and Ellis Casler played football basketball and baseball. At UMass, West, Fung, Imbriaco, Sloniecki, and Casler play on the Women’s Basketball scrimmage team, playing against the team at their practices.

Their background as athletes has given Pick Six a leg up on the competition, but their spirit and friendship off the field is what makes them such successful teammates on the field. “Most teams we play are teammates. We consider each other brothers. We do everything together,” said Silva. “We just happen to have really athletic friends,” explained Ryan Imbriaco.

When asked why they are so good, the unanimous response was “chemistry.” “We just have fun,” Pomerleau, said, “we went into every game looser than every other team.”

“All the other teams were on the field warming up and we were dancing on the sidelines,” added Joe Johnson.

A member of another UMass intramural flag football team, who has played against Pick Six many times over the years had a different view of the team’s pre game routine. “They do like hurdles and formation stretching that that nobody else really does. They have their headphones in, they’re getting into it. For intramurals that’s a little intense for me, but they seem like they’re ready to play,” said Tony Bolduc, a member of the intramural football team, the Blackouts. “I know from playing them that they actually are good.”

“We have a lot of people who are serious, and we also have a lot of people who just want to have fun. Us winning makes us so much better,” explained Matthew Schell.

Bolduc added, “if they started to lose they would all start screaming at each other, but that rarely happened because they outscored their opponents by like 300 points in men’s league.”

Pick Six began with seven of the current team members four years ago. Over time, the number of students affiliated with Pick Six grew. “Now we have 14 guys, and seven girls, but we have the Pick Six family that all have t-shirts. So there’s about 20 plus of us,” Silva explained.

Everyone in Pick Six has a nickname that is written on the back of their shirt, including members that don’t play on a team but are part of the “family.”  “They are all pretty random,” said Porter, “they were said once and sort of just stuck.” Nicknames range from variations of last names, to inside jokes, like “Imbri” for Ryan Imbriaco, to “Ya Boi” for Alex Porter.

Pick Six is a name that “just stuck,” too. In football, an interception is often called a “pick” and a touchdown is six points. When a player on the defense intercepts the ball and returns it for a touchdown, it is considered a pick six. “We have no personal ties to the name,” explained Sloniecki, “but because our defense is our strongest part of the team, we often force opponents to throw pick six’s.”

Pick Six is known for their flag football skills in the men’s league. “They were definitely good. They were fast. They were quick to grab their flags. They seem like they know what they’re doing better than everyone else,” said Bolduc.

The team has also had an impressive intramural record in soccer and basketball, and with their co-rec teams. The Pick Six co-rec flag football team also won the UMass Intramural Championship this year, and the men’s basketball team made it all the way to the Championship game last season. The boys who started Pick Six are still students at UMass, but this fall was their final season playing men’s flag football altogether. Competing in the National Championship would be an impressive legacy to leave behind.

Pick Six is seeking help from friends and family to compete in Nationals and continue their winning streak. NIRSA waived the tournament entry fee since Pick Six won the Regional Championship, but travel expenses, including hotels and airfare, are still a large burden on the group.

On Facebook and Twitter they have been advertising their cause, posting messages with a link to their donation page, hoping to receive some funding from their supporters. They have also reached out to media organizations in the area to help spread the word.

“We are all hard-working college students who are looking to accomplish something amazing and represent our school in the meantime,” they wrote on their gofundme page, “every cent matters and we thank you in advance for your support.”

So far, the donation page has been shared 139 times, and they have raised $2,359 of their $5,000 goal. Many of the bids are accompanied by words of encouragement and best wishes. Only time will tell how successful their funding efforts will be, but if they reach their goal, UMass could have National Flag Football Champions on their roster. ###

Pick Six Seeks Funding For Nationals

The New Year is right around the corner, which means NIRSA’s National Flag Football Tournament is approaching fast. After covering the costs of their trip to Maryland themselves, the boys of Pick Six are looking to family and friends to help them afford to compete in Nationals. NIRSA waived the tournament entry fee since Pick Six won the Regional Championship, but travel expenses, including hotels and airfare, are still a large burden on a group of college students.

On Facebook and Twitter the boys have been advertising their cause. They have posted messages like these, along with a link to their donation page, hoping to receive some funding from their supporters.

“Recently my flag football team, Pick Six, won the regional tournament down in Maryland to send us to nationals in Florida. After winning, the University of Maryland funded us 500 dollars for the trip down. With a team of 10, that 500 does help us too much and without any guaranteed funding from UMass, we need to rely on the help of family and friends to support us. We are not asking for massive donations, because that would be unreasonable, but at the end of the day every $5 donation means a lot to us. As poor college students the cost of driving down to Florida, never mind flying, is out of our budget. Then when you include a place to stay and food to eat, it all starts to add up. Once again thank you for your support, hopefully we will be able to come home, national champions.” –Alexander West

“Family and friends, My flag football team PickSix recently won a regional tournament at the University of Maryland that gave us a bid for the Flag Football National Championships in Florida over winter break. Winning the regional tourney covers the nationals entry fee but we still have a lot to cover like travel expenses and hospitality while we are there. Any amount of money is really helpful towards reaching our goal. This is a once in a lifetime experience for many of us so we really appreciate the support. Thank you very much and Go PickSix!!!” –Cody Sloniecki

The official message on the donation site reads:

“picksix is a flag football team from the university of massachusetts amherst. we recently won a regional tournament at the university of maryland that gave us a bid for nationals. the national championships are located at the university of west florida in pensacola. the tournament dates are january 3rd-january 5th. winning the regional tournament in maryland allows us to play in the nationals without an entry fee. we are starting this donation page because we still need to cover travel expenses as well as paying for a hotel for us to stay in while we are down there. we are all hard-working college students who are looking to accomplish something amazing and represent our school in the meantime. every cent matters and we thank you in advance for your support towards our team throughout the season and into the national championships. thank you very much, the boys of picksix”

So far, the link has been shared 23 times, and $180.00 of their $3,000 dollar goal has been raised. Most of the bids have been five and ten dollars, but two people gave donations of $100 and $50 dollars with good luck messages. Only time will tell how successful their funding efforts will be, but if they reach their goal, UMass could have National Champions on their roster.

Pick Six Takes Maryland By Storm

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Pick Six walked away from NIRSA’s intramural competition in  College Park, Maryland, as Regional Flag Football Champions this past weekend. “Honestly when we talked about Maryland 2 weeks ago I didn’t even think we were going to go, let alone compete. Then we got there and saw some of the teams and were like damn these teams are really good and next thing I know we’re in the final game,” said Joe Johnson.  Sean Heaney shared a similar feeling of surprise about their weekend performance. “When we pulled in that day I didn’t even think we were going to make it to playoffs but we dominated which is kind of crazy,” he said. “Three members of the team won all tourney awards, I was one of them. I also won MVP of the tournament,” said Matthew Schell.

How does Pick Six do it? “Chemistry,” explains Ricky Silva, “most teams we play are teammates. We consider each other brothers. We do everything together.” “We just have fun,” Kevin Pomerleau said, “we went into every game looser than every other team.” Johnson has another explanation for the team’s success. “Rick inspires a competitive attitude out of everybody, to be honest, because if he loses its just a bad day for everyone. We’re all washed up athletes with nothing better to do” he said. “This is our time to shine, and we did,” Pomerleau added.

“The whole weekend was exciting besides driving down that was pretty boring. We got there and saw everyone with all their gear and everything, it was kind of funny because we were just wearing our t-shirts,” said Cody Sloniecki. “All the other teams were on the field warming up and we were dancing on the sidelines,” said Johnson. “Highlight of the trip? Just being on a different university seven hours away, hanging out, with no where really to stay, having a blast. It’s just something I never thought I’d be doing,” said Silva.

The boys have more surprising games ahead in Florida this January, as they compete to be National Flag Football Champs.

Q&A with QB1, Ricky Silva

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Senior Quarterback Ricky Silva poses for a photo at the Men’s Flag Football Championship Game at McGuirk Stadium on November 14, 2013.

When did Pick Six start?

My freshman year. So four years ago.

Who is involved with Pick Six?

We started with just seven of us. Now we have 14 guys and seven girls. But we have the pick six family that all have tshirts. So there’s 20+ of us. We have pick six nicknames on the back of our jerseys. It’s turned us all into brothers, really.

 

How many of team members have played football before?

Half of us played football in high school I would say.

What position do you play?

I’m QB1. (the quarterback)

What is your favorite thing about playing intramural flag football?

The strategy involved. How much time and practice it actually takes to be good. It’s more about out thinking than it is about being fast and athletic.

As a team, what intramural sports do you play?

We play men’s and co rec flag football, men’s basketball, and co-rec soccer.

What championships have you won?

Men’s basketball we lost in the championship game last year. We have won the flag football championship twice now. We won the co-rec league this year too.

What’s your record for men’s flag football?

Haven’t lost a game in over two years. We had a score differential of 359 to 0 this year in intramurals. So we scored 359 points and gave up 0 while winning the championship. We have scored in the 70s before, that’s probably our highest amount.

What makes Pick Six so good?

Chemistry. Most teams we play are teammates. We consider each other brothers. We do everything together. We run a dual quarterback system, which would kind of be our strategy. Not many teams can do it because it takes a lot of communication and knowing where each other is going to be.

What comes next for Pick Six?

Well we play in the NIRSA intercollegiate tournaments. Regional games are in both Springfield and Maryland for a chance to qualify for nationals in Florida. Last weekend we drove to College Park, Maryland to compete with over 40 other universities.

 

UMass Intramural Men’s Flag Football Championship Game

Pick Six played back to back games on November 14, 2013 at McGuirk Stadium in the fight to be intramural champions. They won the UMass Men’s Flag Football Championship for the second consecutive year. They beat Zeta Beta Tau with a final score of 39-0. The Pick Six Co-Ed Flag Football Team also won the championship this year against the Little Giants, 20-6.

Enjoy these pictures of the Pick Six at the men’s championship game.

Pick Six Plays Flag Football in National Tournament

NIRSA, the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, promotes leadership, fitness, teamwork, and respect in its many programs and services. NIRSA is a leader in campus recreation and offers a variety opportunities and resources for intramural sports and recreation students and staff.  Each year, leaders in campus recreation from colleges and universities around the country are invited to compete in a national championship series of an intramural sport.

From UMass, the intramural flag football team Pick Six has taken on the challenge to compete in the 2013 NIRSA tournament. While the team was working towards the intramural flag football championship at UMass, they were also competing in games November 1-3 in Springfield as part of the regional NIRSA competition. If they had lost a game in Springfield, they would not move on in the tournament, but after winning all of their games, they moved on to the University of Maryland for the final round of regional competition. If this winning streak continues, they will proceed to the national and final round of flag football competition at the University of West Florida on January 3-5.

To be eligible to play, team members must be taking the credit hours of a full time student at a college or university for at least 45 days before the start of the tournament. Players are not allowed to appear on a NIRSA roster for any sport more than six times, or on the roster of a varsity sport that is the same or related to the sport they are playing in the tournament. No professional athletes are allowed to compete, and co-ed teams can not be entered.