In the past few weeks I haven't been around here as much as I would have liked because I have to study for my exams. I also don't have time for commenting and reading your posts and I hope you understand. My last exam is on the 8th of July and I'll be back then. I feel really bad for neglecting your blogs and also for neglecting my own blog. That's why I asked you all to write guest posts for me about studying/learning and some of you kindly helped me out.
I already got back results for three exams and I'm very happy to say that I was quite successful; for one I got an 8, for another 8/9 and 10 for the third one. It's good to know that my blogging abstinence is paying off.
"Education is a progressive discovery of our ignorance."
Will Durant (1885-1981) U.S. author and historian
I was that girl in school, that girl that got good grades without studying. I never learned how to study, as most kids did. I never learned how to take proper notes, highlight important passages, or make note cards. I will not apologize for being semi-brilliant. I always did well in subjects that I was interested in. Subjects I didn’t care for well those I really didn’t care how I did in anyway.
All through high school I’d have cried at the thought of bringing home anything lower than a B, unless it was in Math, in which case I was and still am, hopeless. In college I breezed through, charming teachers into good grades. I thrived on essays, oral presentations, and multiple choice questions. If you gave me an opportunity to explain why my answer was the correct one…then watch out. I could have the strictest professor tilting their head in thought, eyes darting side to side, and then eventually the nod. I am a believer in the theory, “If you say it with enough conviction people will believe you.” It was a theory that helped me through many a class, test, and out of a lot of jams.
You must be wondering then if I’m smart at all or just a really good bull shit artist who is adept at looking cute and unassuming to get what they want. Well, I ask you, wouldn’t it take somebody really smart to realize and then capitalize on this ability? ;) The truth is that I am very smart. When I put my mind to a task in school, a project, a paper, or a major (I had a couple) then nothing would stop me from excelling. That is until I found alcohol.
You don’t need to know about my downward spiral into drinking…it wasn’t pretty but it sure as shit was fun! *I am not advocating binge drinking…but when you go to an “Art for Kids” class drunk…oh it’s fun!* The end result was a GPA lower than any I’d ever had (think in the low 2’s) and I was NOT alright with it. I was determined to graduate with a 3.5 or above and I only had 2 years to do this in. For those of you who don’t understand GPA’s it’s all averages and numbers and I think I already said I’m not great at math…suffice it to say that it was not going to be easy. It meant I was going to have to…gasp…study!
I quickly discovered that you have to be taught how to study. How to decide what is relevant and what isn’t, how to actively listen and take notes, how to make charts, note cards, outlines, and that I had never learned these things! Teaching yourself how to study is not an easy thing to do. I remember crying, frustrated that my efforts weren’t paying off when it came time to see the grades. Turns out it is hard work when you can’t just float through classes. For the first time in my life my easy to come by B’s weren’t going to cut it; I had to ace every class to get that GPA up.
There were many tear filled all nighters as I struggled to understand concepts that were foreign to me. I never had a problem in my classes that were related to my major, though they required extra work they were never overly difficult to me because I was invested and interested in them; even dissecting a brain and psychology research statistics (these were NOT fun classes) were tolerable. It was the requisites, the Spanish, History, Math, Religion classes that often left me wanting to jump from the nearest roof.
I know that I was supposed to be writing about a study story but they are all kind of a blur to me. I suppose this is more the anti-study story. I am blessed that things come pretty naturally to me. I didn’t have to study much in high school or college. I did however work my butt off all the same. I am proud to say that I am a member of Psi Chi, the Psychology Honors Society, which means I had a 3.5 or above in all classes regarding psychology (a 3.8 actually). I graduated with an accumulative GPA of 3.4. It wasn’t the 3.5 or above that I was hoping for but I am still pretty proud of it and the progress I made bringing it up.
"The result of the educative process is capacity for further education."
John Dewey (1859-1952) U.S. philosopher and educator
John Dewey (1859-1952) U.S. philosopher and educator
If I had the money I would still be in school. I’d love to go for my Masters and maybe even a Doctorate. I love school, love learning, love writing papers even and there are just so many subjects that fascinate me that I would like to know more about. That being said there are times when I read blogs, tweets, or facebook status updates and see how stressed people are about their classes and think to myself, “Are you sure about that, Jewels?” To anyone who is out there bettering themselves through education, congratulations and keep up the great work! There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look up with pride at that college degree hanging on my wall…I promise you it is worth it.