From orientation to exam day it’s been a radical experience – like, you know, radical man.
Most radical has been muscle memory – recalling this or that from the first go-around.
Like reading. Reading has its own muscle – one I must say that in my case has been very sparsely used over the past 20 years. And cramming – that’s another one; it’s 21 years since I had to do much of that – insurance courses don’t count. Paying attention in class – that’s another one; I confess that I almost nodded off once, though only once and in my defense I had a heavy cold at the time. Also, how to write an essay and cite a source – these have changed a great deal since my days at York.
Every day it’s a new project, a new milestone. There are a few big ones left, and there’s still plenty to do, and there’s a corresponding tendency to look back on what was and wonder how it could have been better. This is important because of other semesters ahead. I mean, at the end of this thing I really want my grades to be as high as possible. I have a sense that this has been something of a throw-away semester in this regard, as I have battled hard to figure out the best way to organize myself.
For example, for the first half of the semester I took notes by pen and paper, and they were terrible because I kept getting writer’s cramp; I couldn’t keep up with the free-flow of concepts, and so when I tried to type my notes up later – by way of tidying them up and reinforcing them – I had problems understanding what I’d scribbled!
Then, just after the first midterms I remembered the laptop. I type much faster than I write, I can type without looking at the keyboard, and when typing I don’t ever have to worry about running off the edge of the page. Also, instead of worrying about typing notes after the fact, when I get home I can launch right into review, re-reading, and ‘reading around’ the material. I started doing this and it became a lot easier to actually participate in class.
It has taken long enough, but now that I’ve got that figured out I can move on.