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.

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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.