English Journal Entry

Thursday, 11 March, 2010

The English course I am taking, a 101 hybrid-learning course, has a very interesting professor.  Professor Meyers likes us to keep up our writing by doing six journal entries per bi-weekly module.  I think this is a splendid idea, myself, and I have written a couple interesting ones.

I don’t know what ever possessed me to post a homework assignment, but here is one I rather like, it’s a journal entry on test taking:

When tackling big issues, I am someone who doesn’t have a problem.  Given the correct preparation, which usually includes time I need to think about how to tackle said problem, I can usually jump right into it.  Though it might take a couple false-starts (like trial and error, I suppose) I can usually succeed in taking care of whatever it is.

Taking an in-class exam, though, is a bit of an issue for me.  Sure, I can look at it as a big problem that has to be tackled.  I can take all the same steps I would normally take when trying to solve something else.  Where my problem lies is preparation which, in the case of an exam, usually means studying.

I am not trying to say that I don’t study, I do.  I can sit down with a text or with notes and read them to my heart’s delight.  I can recite the notes backward and forward by the time I am done studying them as well.  In all accounts, I should know any answer that is thrown my way on the test.

The minute the blank test paper is there on my desk, however, I run into my problem.  I can’t remember a thing that I studied! The time comes to recall the information, and it seems to have deserted my brain, leaving me high and dry.  Though I like to think of it more as the fact that the information is there, it’s just hiding away.  I don’t know what to attribute this problem to.  I just call myself a terrible test-taker, if anyone asks.

I can work around this problem, but it might sound just a bit silly.  I read through the test questions slowly, and try to intuit the answers.  This is especially helpful when the test is multiple-choice.  A slow read through of each question usually coaxes some of the answers out of their hiding spaces, wherever those spaces may be.

If intuition fails, the best I can do is make a sort of educated guess.  Some questions allow you a way to derive the answers, based upon how the question itself is worded.  If I am not faced with that kind of question, I just answer with the answer that seems to fit the best.

What if the test I am taking isn’t multiple-choice, you ask.  Well, I haven’t run across many short-answer questions in my college career.  At least, I haven’t yet.  I think I may have a few on the test I am about to take.  I guess I will have an answer after that.  I certainly can’t intuit one.


Spring Break! YEAH!

Tuesday, 9 March, 2010

I am a little too excited for Spring Break.  I mean, it’s not even technically here yet.  I guess I am just looking forward to some planned time off.  Not unplanned like my grandmother’s recent passing.  I know, I know, death is an unforeseeable event but it does knock you for a loop.  I am finally caught up on everything I missed in class.

I am looking forward to some quite time at home, or with other family.  It was great that everyone got together when Grandma died (and I mean I saw some people that I haven’t seen in soooo many years), but it was almost too much family, if you know what I mean.  I wouldn’t have minded so much, had it been other circumstances, I suppose.

No, I am looking for some time to just chill.  Not running here and there, not having to partake in anything, unless I really want to.  Cool-down time.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!  Time to be away from school, and school work.  Though my online English class will still be there, staring me in the face.  Luckily, that work doesn’t have to be done until after our return from Spring Break.  Of course I will be working on it, to stay caught up.

I have a test tomorrow in Biology.  A Math class and an Art quiz and mid-term on Thursday, and I am done!  At least for ten days, or so!  I have only made one concrete plan for that time, and it involves going with my sister to a doctor’s appointment in Saratoga.  Other than that, I want to spend time outside, weather permitting.

Now, all I can think about is sleep.  Might as well act on it.

SCHOOL! A mid-semester-ish blog.

Friday, 12 February, 2010

I have been neglecting everything lately, and I apologize.  This blog will fill you in on the reason for this neglecting that has been happening.  It’s a good thing, actually, and I am fairly excited to talk about it.

I’s three weeks (more or less) into my first semester at college.  I don’t actually count that first week, because school started on a Thursday (January 21st) and I only had two classes tha day.  I had nothing until the following Monday, so I consider that week a full week.  I use full rather objectively, but you understand.

The online class I am taking is an English 101 hybrid course–we meet on campus once a month for timed-writing exercises–is going rather swimmingly.  The assignments are fun and, so far, fairly easy to do.  As you all may know, I do enjoy writing, so I am biased towards this class, if just a little.  The professor is a very funny guy, and though I only got to meet him one time (at least for now) I really like him.

Algebra (and this one isn’t even college level…ugh!) is going alright.  I am terrible at Math, but the instructor’s style really helps!  The homework is fairly easy, but when it comes to test-taking, I am not so good.  The instructor even pulls questions DIRECTLY off the homework we did, but when quizzes roll around (every Tuesday), I seem to have forgotten the questions and how to do them correctly.

I am also taking an Art class.  It is an introduction to the Arts, which actually taked you through all the humanities, not jus painting and sculpture.  We also look at literature, film, dance, etc.  The course teaches you about looking at art with a critical eye, and to let go of your Dionysian response (that’s the emotional one), and use your Appolonian response (that’s the more structured one).  Reading about this in the text, though, is dry and rather boring.  Listening to a lecture is so much better!

There are a few credits that must be alotted to the Sciences.  I chose Biology.  I am not going to like, this one is TOUGH!  It’s extremely homework-intensive (especially when compared to my other courses).  The lectures, and I am really just talking about the two most recent, were monstrous!  We were taught (I hesitate to saywe learned, because I am not sure how much I’ve retained just yet) an entire semester of Chemistry in one two hour forty-five minute setting.  I seriously had a headache, and thought my brain was about to explode.  The following week, the professor boiled down two semesters–this time Organic- and BioChemistry–into just over two hours.  Other than those hideous lectures, and the homework!!!, I enjoy the class.  The actual lab work is fun AND interesting.

All-in-all, I really am enjoying being a student again.  It’s been so many years (11, this year!!) since I was a student last, that it’s all so new to me.  And kind of fun!  I am doing things a bit differently since high school, too!  I  have joined a club, which I really didn’t do much of in school before.  I joined the International Club, and look forward to our first meeting on Monday.  It might even be something I will write about.