Really learning. When to buckle down, when to quit. Pt 1.

This last week has been pretty tough for me. I’ve been flip flopping between two extremes. A few months ago I made (another) life changing decision. I wasn’t going to treat school like ‘whatever’ anymore. I was going to swallow my pride, I was going to sit down and shut up and learn.

And in the beginning it seemed like it was working, I was spending entire days just reading textbooks, I was doing my homework weeks if not months ahead of time. In class I was encyclopedic, I had already read the chapter and taken extensive notes even though I didn’t need to! I thought that if I kept this up, I should just keep taking courses and keep overloading and try to cram in as much knowledge as I can. Makes sense on paper right?

Well not exactly. It turns out that (well perhaps not surprisingly for many of you) this process ended up damaging me in some ways. I mean I literally was guilt tripping myself for even THINKING about playing videogames. (This in addition to guilt tripping myself for THINKING about candybars, not a good combination). I was in pretty bad distress. But I was still pushing through. But then something really bad happened, and really surprising for me.

I snapped. Sitting there staring at my ‘Principles of Management’ Case Study. I was trying to reconcile the instructions of the professor, with the instructions of the paper, with the instructions of the Case Study. Doing this paper a week ahead of schedule mind you! (I know a month or two months would be better, but I’m usually the day before kind of guy!) So here is a play-by-play of me snapping.

1. I get to my room, excited to get my paper out of the way (I honestly was!)

2. I sit down and begin to compare the notes of instructions I typed in class from the prof with the syllabus and the case study itself.

3. Okay so… I need an introduction and a body and a conclusion blah blah blah… Prof says, “Answer the whole question, and nothing but the question, not a word more or a word less.” Wait. What? Isn’t that kind of a contradiction?

4. Hmmm… what is the first question anyway? “What good decision making has led (Insert corporation) to development or otherwise?” Or otherwise. Or otherwise. Or otherwise. Otherwise implies regression.. regression isn’t a result of good decision making. THEREFORE THIS QUESTION IS ILLOGICAL. Or at the very least not something I can answer precisely with not a word more or a word less! And on top of that in the syllabus it says a ‘A’ grade on the case study is a paper in which the student doesn’t just demonstrate that they did research and understand it, but is able to make logical predictions about the future. The future? THIS CASE STUDY IS 13 YEARS OLD. Bad instructions, bad question, bad case study! Gaaaaaah (Me snapping)

Right so then I punched something and I think I hit myself or something. I was doing some pretty serious raging. Maybe to some readers that in itself is understandable, but honestly I haven’t been mad like that in years! It is amazing what a stressful scenario combined with ABSOLUTELY ILLOGICAL CRAP THAT IS TWENTY PERCENT OF MY GRADE can do to a guy.

It felt good to just truly conform (for once in my life) to the system, with the flashcards and the note taking and reading and reflection and blah blah. It felt good. But it wasn’t good. Maybe for someone else, but not me. Well all of this kind of led me to a new discovery… I was approaching my work incorrectly. I’ll talk about that discovery in my next post.

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