Getting ready for prelims

I wish I were this hard working in high school. Back then I’d absolutely wing it. Every time. Except for the HSC, when I woke up at 5am (a big sacrifice back then) to ‘study’ before an 8am exam. No wonder I did the HSC twice.

This must be payback – or you know, maybe I’ve learned something. For this exam I’ve been working so hard, hating myself for not getting more done, loving myself for what I call my anal retentiveness (but my friend Mario says it just looks like good organization) and wishing I had two more weeks before the exam. I will always want two more weeks.

But this morning I know that if I had two more weeks I would fall over. It wouldn’t help.

I don’t like reading papers digitally. I’ve used an online mind mapping online tool called PearlTrees to make sure all my areas are covered, and I spent some time flipping between the different nodes and branches – it’s interesting that mindmapping this way, in an online interface, reflects the study of Social Network Analysis. Now I’m in the final stretch, I’ve dumped the mind mapping because it’s just additional work and it doesn’t talk to Evernote (that would be great Evernote – I know you’ve already done so much in this new release, and thanks for that, but could you add a visualization function to everything based on keywords? That would be COOL.) All my annotations for my bibliography as well as my free writing and condensing of ideas are in Evernote.

I have binders of papers (not women) I’ve printed and highlighted – in alphabetical order, numbered. I have talked with people who have traveled this path before me and heeded their advice. I respect their support and incredible accomplishments and am very blessed to have them to call on. I am hurrying to complete ideas, and recognizing there are things I don’t know, that I will leave to other people to be good at.

In understanding what those things are, I am better equipped to know what my things are.

My office looks like I live there. I kind of do, because even when I’m working at home, my mind is in the office. Even when I’m driving a kid to a friend’s house, or I’m doing the groceries, or I’m cleaning the toilet, or the laundry, or putting out the trash – my mind is in my office. I can’t wait to get to the office. It feels like home.

I can’t think beyond December 9. In fact, if I can make it to December 4 without hyperventilating, that would be a huge improvement on my past exam anxiety issues.

I’ve never addressed those issues before. They’ve been a crutch. But this time, I’m going to knock myself into a new, more confident space. I’ve never put as much effort into the preparation, so I am having faith that it makes the journey easier, and that the study and insight come through well. I just need to do this, and I will.

Bring it.



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