Sleeping on it. One of the topics discussed over dinner is how study habits have changed. In my undergraduate years, I found myself easily running study marathons well into the morning. In particular, I remember my Forest Entomology ENT 380 midterm, where I had to memorize the tree species, tissue layer, season time, year, extent of damage, developmental stages, time in each stage, beetle species identification characteristics…..you get the picture. Multiply that by 30 species and you have about 30 percent of the material for the midterm. An overall very rough exam, which ended up testing only one species (still angry over that), it was one of the more taxing assessments in my undergraduate life (even more so than much harder courses such as Astrophysics because I felt a certain pride for Entomology, vs. the OMG I JUST WANT A FRICKEN B in Astro 320). Anyways I am losing the point- that I spent all night, right till 5:30AM, slept for half an hour, showered, headed to school, slammed a couch in SUB with more studying, slept for twenty minutes and headed to my exam at 11 AM. I ended up destroying that exam (which I recall being very nice, with my prof providing a wonderful spread of hot drinks and baked delicacies). But I didn’t sleep at all.
What is my point? In Monitor on Psychology, the Vol. 106, No. 25 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describes how researchers at the University of California found that participants who underwent REM (rapid eye movement AKA super awesome deep sleep) between testing periods improved their creativity performance by 40 percent as opposed to the zilch performance gain for those who did not get REM sleep. I think it would be wise to heed this for exams that require that deeper thinking, that higher level of thinking in Bloom’s taxonomy. Recently, I have found myself being very much different than my undergraduate years, often sleeping ASAP, despite an obvious lack of confidence in complete mastery of material. Thus far it seems to be working well. Of course there’s a difference in assessment gains, and the testing I have been undergoing has largely been that requiring a little more synthesis and a little less regurgitation. Meaning that I can get away with being lazy. For now.
I find myself listening to some sick beats from Electric Six, rocking my Oakley Sideways (yes its indoors, its dark and they are sunglasses), sipping on semi cold apple beer (a recent holiday cheer dropped off which may or may not explain the Corey Hart behavior) and not really wanting to hit the sack at all. Sunday promises to be one of the funner days this week and could potentially lead to some sick gossip times. I am in a damn good mood. I need to get up early to workout before service. I don’t want to sleep. I lead a life of conflict.