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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Academic Success

I don’t know what the secret is.

But I may be the only person in history to write his dissertation the night before it is due. I seem to be constitutionally incapable of starting a paper early.

I’d rather Erin not use her father as a model for success in school.

Study hard. (Do not watch Battlestar Galactica while you should be reading papers.)

Prepare thoroughly. (Do not figure out at the last minute what your research topic is going to be, and then hope the books you checked out are in any way relevant.)

Ask for help. (Do not pretend that only the professor is smart enough to understand what you are saying.)

Take lots of notes. (Do not underline phrases in books without noting what is important to you about them. “Purple rutabaga” will make no sense to you out of context.)

Review all of those notes. (Or else, what’s the point?)

Pay attention. (Knowing the plot to every Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, while valuable, is usually not going to help you do long division. So maybe you shouldn’t try to reconstruct the episode where Buffy’s mom is dating John Ritter while you are supposed to be learning about the difference between determinism, fatalism, and pre-destination.)

20 comments:

Natalie said...

my husband would like to point out that in the eternal scheme of things there is no difference between determinism, fatalism, and pre-destination.

i, on the other hand, think that knowing the plot to all the buffy the vampire slayer episodes will get you far in life.

Owens Family Adventures said...

My hubby is the same way. He cannot start a paper until the night before. Maybe you do your best work under pressure. :)
dawn

suzanne said...

I'm with Natalie. I think knowing the plot to all the Buffy episodes will get you far in life. They have to. What else am I going to do with all of that knowledge taking up space in my head?

Danielle said...

I also write everything the night before it's due...

then hang my head in shame at how bad it sucks, knowing I could have done "so much better if I had more time..."

Vicious cycle.

TV is so entertaining/distracting... :)

St said...

Wow, that was exactly the kind of student I was. I did not graduate anywhere near the top of my class...

Kimberly said...

I need to print this out for #2 right away. She won't listen to me but advice from The Guy From Stanford will demand much more respect.

for a different kind of girl said...

I am in possession of several college textbooks riddled with line after pointless line of yellow highlighter, which really begs the question: Why, nearly 20 years post-college, do I still have so many of my textbooks?

tutugirl1345 said...

I wrote my senior thesis in the 24 hours before it was due. I feel your pain.

Miss Grace said...

The point of the notes is that the act of writing them helps you learn it in the first place.

RobMonroe said...

Yeah, I'm hoping our daughter follows mom's lead and not mine. My high school principle stuttered on my name out of pure disbelief that I was done!

Otter Thomas said...

I was a great student until I got to college. I think it was due to the lack of supervision and possibly the beer.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that the problem with PhD dissertations? There is no "deadline".

Emily said...

I dunno maybe your thesis should have been on determinism, fatalism and pre-destination in modern media specifically focusing on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Now that would get published!

A pretty nice little Saturday said...

Hilarious. When I was in college I used to check out books that seemed relevant to a topic in my head, crack the first book 14 hours before the paper was due, and then scan the table of contents of each to help me figure out my thesis. Good times. Thank god for coffee!

I am so happy to hear of other Buffy trivia buffs!

T. said...

I think those who procrastinate and then rock it end up doing really well in life.

Some of us just respond well to pressure.

At least, that's what I tell myself as I watch my 14 yr old daughter working on her cell model, the one she had months to do, that is due on Wed.

Apple, meet tree.

T.

expatswede said...

Where were you and this advice when I was writing my master's thesis? My ulcer would have thanked you too...

Good luck.

Christina said...

Ah, good to see other intelligent people also wait until the very last minute to write papers. I've always scared fellow classmates with how I put off my work until it's nearly too late.

I guess I enjoy the challenge. And like you, I'm praying daily that my children don't take after me.

kittenpie said...

Oh, I don't know, I started writing Misterpie's thesis just about when it was due, and only took two or three days to write it...

The Microblogologist said...

You will only be the first if your dissertation is due before mine!

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