Big Surprise: Finals time was stressful. Couple that with the other assignments that have been looming at the end of the syllabus and everyone can tell you the time is overwhelming. For a while though I thought I had it beat. Every semester I get better at finishing assignments earlier. This semester I was doing very well, albeit not talking to many people, and sitting in exhaustion at the circulation desk at my library job about to fall asleep.
I had thought long and hard about the phrase “Idle hands make sin;” about how in high school I had 7 classes and a great deal of other activities to engage in and I seemed to have so much more time. I did recognize that at my high school there was almost no homework (and by oxy standards no homework at all.) At oxy though, I serve on a couple committees, work, and volunteer with a few clubs. Compared to high school I’m not doing anything, and I have very little free time to be spontaneous. So I signed up for a fifth class hoping that my self-regulating academic capabilities could help me through.
They did, but since I can’t focus on work for more than 45 minutes to an hour without some irresistible compulsion to move or walk around, I ended up staying in the library until 5 in the morning quite often. But my studying this semester was revolutionized, especially for Econ and German. I was saved by some advice from my German instructor. Two words: Flash Cards! For just about forever I’ve been stubborn about flash cards. When I was a reading mentor for younger students years ago, I was supposed to use flash cards to help the kids. The kids never responded positively to them and I had grown a sort of dread and hatred myself towards what appeared to useless little pieces of paper that taunted the poor children who didn’t have parents that taught them to read when they were younger. Reading books with them I always thought was much more effective. Also flash cards just mean memorization, and I’ve never been good at that or found it particularly useful.
Anyway, don’t let biases keep you from doing something that can help you. For me, it was the simple act of writing the information down onto the flash cards that I found so helpful. It ended up making this an A- semester and made Christmas break all the more sweeter, until I got this flu that has lasted literally a week. I should write a post about how much I get sick. Thankfully, I’ve got this over the break, because it would have been a disaster during the school year.