Sunday, April 06, 2008


I need to spend a very large amount of time today working. While I haven't exactly fallen behind in any of my classes (which I suppose is an achievement in itself given how full this semester feels), I'm not entirely on top of them either, and I need to get there. Not because I think my grade is going to depend on whether I feel totally secure in my knowledge of any of these subjects right now, with three weeks of classes still left, but because I can't study effectively when I'm anxious.

The problem is that I'm already anxious, which makes it hard to study effectively. I don't know how my colleagues manage to focus so sharply on their work. I can't do that trick where everything in the world disappears except for the one thing I'm working on. I'm lucky if I can grab ten good minutes of focus here and there.

So I guess my tactic is to throw some books in a bag, bring my knitting, and walk to C'ville Coffee. It's a short walk, but long enough to get me to relax. Then I can read a book on the table with my knitting in my lap (it's mindless and I don't have to look at it), and use the promise of coffee and food as a reward for getting through a certain number of pages, or understanding a certain concept.

When we're kids, our parents play games with us to try to get us to do the things we need to do. Once we grow up, we have to play games with ourselves. I find this much more challenging.


Blogger kqb said...

Amen to that. I spend a lot of time trying to get my students engaged through games, and have to do the same for myself (rewarding myself for paragraphs with Facebook games).

4/6/08, 3:20 PM  
Blogger common_sense said...

I certainly have trouble concentrating on work for more than 10 minutes at a time. As evidenced by how little I got done this weekend.

4/6/08, 8:39 PM  

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