12 December 2007

I should be studying, but instead I'm blogging.

I have my first exam in three hours, and that's a problem. Not because it'll be difficult: it's my French as a Second Language exam so I'm not expecting it to be hard in the slightest.
It's a problem because I'm fighting with myself over my exam philosophy. See, the logical part of my brain thinks that I should be studying for the exam. The rest of my brain thinks it doesn't matter.
Besides, procrastination is fun.

My philosophy on exams is as follows: exams are tests that are used to demonstrate how much you have learned. That's in the past tense. They're not meant to show how much you reminded yourself of at two in the morning the night before the test. Therefore, if you study too much, in a way it's like cheating, because you're demonstrating knowledge that you haven't really internalized. Doing practice problems in math is acceptable studying, skimming through notes is okay studying, but quizzing yourself and rereading lots of things is, in my procrastinator's brain, unfair. Studying for foreign language exams, in my opinion, is wrong. If I get a B on an exam (which has been known to happen once in a while) then I know that I acquired a B-level of knowledge from the course. If I were to get a C, I would be disappointed in myself for not learning as much as I should have. It's about learning, not about memorizing.

But I'm in France, and they grade harder here, and what would be my usual A-work at home might get me a C here. And I do not get C's. So I should be studying, right? Even if it's just French for Foreigners?

So I decided to study. So far, I have pulled out my notes and decided which pages I should reread. That's step one, and maybe I'll actually read them once I'm done watching the Abduction of Figaro and playing Scrabble. And if I don't get around to it, it doesn't bother me too much.


Kristen said...

I love how we can be on different continents, not talking as often as we'd like about our philosophies, and still have them parallel.

SERIOUSLY. This entire semester, my attitude has been, "If I didn't learn it properly, I don't deserve a better grade." I've skimmed material ALL SEMESTER, and that's been about it. Until I read your post, I thought I just had senioritis and was a horrible procrastinator. Now I'm realizing that I'm just fed up with a system that doesn't actually do what it's supposed to do - students. My experiences throughout my college career have shown me that all professors care about is a measure of KNOWLEDGE (temporary or otherwise, since their exams don't differentiate), not of learning, and PERSONALLY I'm more concerned with the latter.

So they can shove it. And, for the record, I've kept my stupid 4.0, but it has ZERO meaning - it just shows me what a sham higher education is right now in a lot of ways.

Did I mention that I'm ready to be done with school? Tomorrow is my last day of undergraduate exams, and then I'm done with my zoology degree. I'm glad.

Jakob said...

Yeah, my first final is tonight as well. Good for you for not stressing about grades. I don't do so nearly as much as I used to, but still more than I should.

Kristen said...

Can you find the random word that I forgot to delete in the previous post? Whoops...

Kristen said...

HI JAKOB! We posted at the same time. Creepy.

Jakob said...


I win!

Jakob said...

This is amusing

Kel Miller said...

This page: blog comments.
AIM: chat.
They're different :)
Kristen-- CONGRATS!!!!! on finishing your degree!! Now come to Europe. (And reply to my e-mail about possible co-travel plans, please.)
Both of you-- we rock for being good students though by our own very high standards we're slackers. We have to remember though, that other students who actually put a whole lot of effort into studying didn't put nearly as much effort into learning all the way. So in reality, we just did all the work ahead of time, actually during the semester. Go us.