writer's block, study block
I've been having trouble coming up with ideas for posts lately. Apparently I'm having writer's block in addition to study block.
Study block is the phenomenon whereby you know you have a very important exam in the near future but cannot seem to find time, effort, energy or motivation to actually study for it.
I've always been averse to studying. I blame high school for being so easy that "studying" consisted of my good friends hanging out and eating snacks and leafing through our notes for an hour the day before an exam. Whatever the reason, getting myself to study is about as hard as getting me to pull my own teeth.
At this point I have less than two months until my qualifying exam and I've managed to slog through two chapters of basic review material. I have a ton of subjects to review. Teaching in the spring refreshed a good chunk of the basics, but there are some key areas I'm very fuzzy in these days.
My fabulous therapist suggested I'm "blocked" because I'm afraid. I hadn't thought of that before. I AM afraid. There is a part of me that seems to be whispering that if I don't study and then I fail, it won't be a big deal. But if I study study study and fail then I am surely a big idiot who doesn't belong here. If that isn't a recipe for diaster I don't know what is. She also planted a seed of an idea for how to study: make lesson plans on the material. If I can teach it then I know it well enough for the exam. Plus it's much more fun to study that way.
My goal for this week is to study for two hours a day, even if I break it into smaller chunks. I will do this studying somewhere other than the lab where there are no distractions. Thankfully one of my projects is in a slower phase right now, so I should have plenty of time to get away from the lab without feeling too guilty.