Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CRAM Session

When you are as naturally gifted and talented as I am, you don't have to study much.

In grammar school.

Then it starts to get a little more challenging. Well, not really until college. Some people seemingly float through while others struggle. I wasn't on either end of the spectrum, but fell somewhere in the middle. I was okay with it, and usually went about things with a chip on my shoulder as I typically do. Maryland didn't recognize + or - in your grade, so whether you had an 80 or an 89, you had a B. I quickly learned that I could do minimal work to get an 85, but the extra effort to get a 90 was more than I was willing to do to get the A. Crazy, I know, but in my current state of existence, my 3.0 GPA is the least of my concerns.

I'd always know when we had a test based on the attendance in the lecture hall. The 500 people that showed up to class on Day 1 would shrink to 250 by Week 2, and meanwhile I would just roll up with my Diamondback crossword puzzle and knock that out. Either that or write down rhymes for our rap battles that we had. Test day would come and the class population would balloon, and I'd see the #2 pencils and the little blue books being handed out and think "awww sheeeiiiiittt" - because I never studied. Shoot, half the time I didn't even own the book TO study.

I'd be the first one done and never reviewed my work for accuracy. I accepted whatever grade I got (except the time I got an F in a history class and went to the prof to find out the deal and his input error led to a B, phew!) and was pleased because I knew that whatever grade I received was what I knew. I hadn't crammed for it, which meant that I consistently did well on all exams, because I knew that much material. Others would forget it, then cram, do marginally better than I did, then forget it again.

I have a point to all of this - really.

The point is that we tend to feel pressured or rushed when exams come around, only exams these days are in the form of races. These judgment days expose our flaws and inadequacies, and since we're competitive people, we want to be the curvebreakers, not the kid scraping by. Most of these races are too long and painful to just get through them. Remember, the faster you go, the quicker you're done.

It's tough to realize sometimes that we have a finite amount of time each day, and to a further extent, a finite amount of available resources to expend over the course of the day. What complicates our training the most is feeling like you've "missed" something and need to make it up. There is no make-up exam, though, so whatever you bring with you to the test will determine how well you can do. If you didn't have the book, you're probably in trouble. Forget your calculator? Uh-oh. Your pencil also doesn't have an eraser, so you can't review your work.

If a weekend didn't turn out like you planned, oh well, it's over and you can't get it back. And cramming stuff into one day or evening, while fun and helpful (if done properly) doesn't serve much good if it means taking the next bunch of days off, or worse, getting hurt.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge proponent of big weeks and big weekends, like a stress overload, then recovering, but not at this time of year. It's still early and you're not really in shape to do it yet. And in the scheme of cumulative fitness, it's not as if your body resets on Mondays - so it probably doesn't matter if you get it in over three days or seven, but as I continue to say, a little bit everyday goes a long way.

With that in mind, I'm preparing for a big 10 day stretch from this Friday through next Sunday. OJ has issued a challenge of some ridiculous amount of training, and I think I'm at the right level of fitness and the right time of the training calendar to fit it in. Then I'll take some recovery leading up to Cherry Blossom, and make one last little push before bringing it down for Boston.

I also went out last night to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Man, did I drink quite a bit. I'm still on my Stoli O and Sprite kick, so I consumed about 10 of those, a shot of whiskey and then two pretzel dogs. God I love the Square.

1 comment:

alyssa said...

I feel like I need to write this SAT test-taking tip along with this post:
Always, ALWAYS double check that the columns where you bubble your answers are the columns that coincide with that section. Otherwise, you may end up with a 840 (total score) on your SATs. Parents are not happy when that happens...