Panic to Commence in 3…2…

01 Oct

Ha ha! Twitch!

This Thursday (that would be tomorrow) I have my History class Mid-Term exam. I’ve never had a Mid-Term exam before. And I don’t exactly have what you might refer to as “brilliant study habits,” although to be sure, I AM sitting here and giving it my full attention. Most of the exam’s score will be gathered from the Essay questions. That’s a relief. I’m much better at essays than anything else.

But still.

Compare and contrast Pericles presentation of Athens and Polybius’ assessment of the Roman constitution. What elements in each society does each author claim to be the greatest?

Is one of the sample essay questions. I can find it in the book. I can read it. I can look at my notes. I can try to figure out answers to all this various essay questions, to that tomorrow when I am presented with two at random, I can answer them…

…but it doesn’t feel like I’m retaining anything in myne braine. And it doesn’t get rid of the general feeling of utter terror that I’m goign to fail every question and be escorted from the campus (I generally have this fear as a low-level fugue thus far in my academic career…).


Right. Enough gibber. Back to reading notes and writing fake essays…


Posted by on October 1, 2008 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “Panic to Commence in 3…2…

  1. Pete Tzinski

    October 1, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Here is my theory.

    (Why are you talking to yourself, Pete? Because I’ve been a nervous wreck about this history thing for a week now, and I AM working on my studying…but this is the typing equivalent of nervous pacing).

    My theory is this: I have had no proper experience going to college. And frankly, my school education was weirdly enough shaped (although very valuable) that I don’t actually have very many useful going-to-school tools. This is very nearly the only time I’ve studied. Certainly, the first time I’ve had a Mid-Term Exam of any sort.

    I’m getting better as the semester goes on. First few weeks, I felt guilty because everyone was taking diligent notes, and I wasn’t. I couldn’t see anything to write down. I’m getting better at that.

    So my theory is this: All I need to do is PASS my classes this semester. I don’t need to excel. I don’t need to get 100% in every class (although I’d quite like to, and certainly intend to try). Because by the mere act of getting through this semester, then NEXT semester, I’ll find myself better equipped to handle stuff, like note-taking, and mid-terms, when they come up. This is my crashing semester.

    And this is just me being a bunch of nerves. You watch. I’ll do fine on the history thing and spend two days afterward STILL obsessing over one inane question that I missed. I am going to be gray-haired, if I’m not bald, by the time I’m done with school.

    Second pot of tea made. Back into ancient Greece.

  2. tjwriter

    October 2, 2008 at 8:23 am

    “I am supposed to know everything, dammit.”

    I know that feeling well. It’s all supposed to be absorbed by your brain completely with no lingering issues if you’ve studied that long.

    When stuff doesn’t stick, I figure I must be too stressed and find something relaxing to do. Otherwise I tend to take in information well.

    Good luck on the test!

  3. Pete Tzinski

    October 2, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Test done. All of the questions/essays were the bits I already KNEW, so that helps. I still don’t feel like I did especially well. I alternated between panicking because around me, students were getting up and handing theirs in (“Agh! I’m going too slow and thick!”) to panicking when I got up and handed mine in, and others were still writing essays in microscopic handwriting (“Agh! I slopped off!”)

    I think it’s best if I sit on a bench, read a book, and enjoy the beautiful fall air. And just try not to think about it anymore. 🙂

    I retain some information really well. Other stuff slips out. I retain anything I’m interested in, quickly and easily, if I’m really passionate about it. But even then, I pretty rarely manage to retain dates or mechanical details (I can tell you about the Black Hole jellyfish in detail, but I can’t tell you at what depth it lives or how long it is or when it was discovered, or…)

    Ah well.

    It occurred to me that if, while reading books for learnin’ purposes (for pleasure, and for school) if I took more rambling essay-like notes, I bet I’d retain it better. It’s what I do for fiction notes. So we’ll see.

    It is so gorgeous outside here. Oh man. It’s Bradbury season, October Country. I love it.

  4. tjwriter

    October 3, 2008 at 10:20 am

    We always seemed to get a lot of short answer and multiple choice tests, which meant I was the first person to turn in my test a LOT of times, especially in high school and middle school. I either knew the material or I didn’t, so I took my best guess and moved on.

    On essay tests, I wasn’t always first. If I was unsure about a question, I’d write down everything I could think of, and as I got older, worked on my wording so it was purposely vague in the bits I was unsure of and focused on what I knew that I knew.

    I’m so looking forward to my week of vacation. I plan on enjoying the fall weather. It’s been so nice lately.

  5. Pete Tzinski

    October 3, 2008 at 11:23 am

    She was a bit contradictory, sort of; she kept pointing out that she wasn’t keen on specific dates, or many specifics, but she wrote all over the test that we should BE SPECIFIC.

    So I was very specific about all the bits I knew. And the bits where I would have been vague and passive, I just left it out. It seemed wiser. And I think my essays were a little shorter because, having read the book a billion times AND written sample essays, I had my answers pretty tightly down. So I chalk up being done early to being such a wonderful writer. 🙂

    I may as well.

    And since this has turned into an interesting story (er, for me, I don’t know that anyone else finds A TEST to be riveting reading) I’ll report back what score I wound up getting too.

    As for the week off, take walks, if you can! Go eat an apple outside! Yesterday, walking across campus, I went the whole way on the lawns and scuffled through leaves the whole way, delighting in it. And getting weird looks from other students, now and then. But so what. THEY aren’t hip-deep in Bradbury Country like I am (like I always am this time of year).

    (Which reminds me. I have a ghost story to write…one of these days…)


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