We just finished our ninth week in an eleven week marathon of a course dealing with neurology, neuroanatomy, psychopathology... pretty much all things brain/mind related. I attribute much of my second year turn around (i.e. lack of daily crying jags as seen last year) to the subject matter of this course. Though it is probably some of the most complex stuff I’ve ever encountered, it’s interesting. Finally.
You'd think that in conjunction with the ever increasing complexity of the material my study patterns should likewise increase their intensity. Well... that's not the trend I've observed.
There IS certainly a pattern at work. If you look at my day to day schedule it's evident I'm orbiting our weekly Monday exam.
Let's delve deeper. To schematically analyze the anatomy of my week it's best to take a look at what is perhaps the most revealing criterion. The amount of time spent with Blumenfeld? No. The amount of time spent in lecture? Ehhhh... no. Rather than all that academic hoo-hah, I think we can glean the best picture of my days by consulting... my facebook usage.
Baseline usage. Any activity is actually carry-over from Sunday night: wall comments posted after midnight or early morning pre-exam angst in the vein of, “Will you still love me if I fail?”, “Hold me,” or the ever popular, “Think the professors will mind if I answer ‘No thank you,’ for everything?’”
Little to no activity. Today is the day we approach life anew. We are as far from the next exam as we’re going to be this week, let’s watch TV! Let’s cook real food for dinner! Let’s do anything that doesn’t remotely resemble the brain or its ridiculously complex tracts! No need for facebook! Who wants to be strapped down to their desk on this, our day of freedom?
Recognition of how much material has actually been covered since Monday. Shit. Maybe doing nothing yesterday wasn’t the best idea… let’s write on our friends' walls and tell them so. Everyone likes a whiner, right? Minimal usage.
Attempts to be a good student and avoid such things as the Internet are thwarted when your roommate spots a hot third year. Clearly now you HAVE to activate facebook to see what his interests are and look for pictures that prove he's as hot as she thought he was. Thursday is a big stalking day. There’s at least one in every week.
For the rest of the world Friday probably sees a dip in activity. In the med student nerd world activity creeps ever higher because typically you’re in the library hitting the books (more likely with little fists than metaphorical attacks on knowledge... or is it just me that does that?) because CRAP, WE HAVE AN EXAM ON MONDAY, but take breaks to check non-med student friends’ profiles to live vicariously through their actual, real lives.
Saturday is a beautiful facebooking day. Morning is a prime time to catch drunken facebook messages before they’re deleted off public walls. Afternoon invites perusal of albums to see who made a fool of themselves doing what last night at the bars. Lots of time spent composing snarky comments but losing the nerve to post them.
OUR EXAM IS TOMORROW. HOLY BLOODY HELL. LET US DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO NOT STUDY FOR IT BECAUSE THAT IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA. Maximum whine-age and lamenting one's lot in life. This is best achieved through facebook walls and private messages because though everyone's dispersed to secluded study areas, no one is ever too far from the keyboard. Usage so high it might break the Internet.
Schematic Proper Seen Here (click on the little box for the graph... I don't know how to insert it directly in the text area quite yet and have too much studying right now (for the Monday exam! You guessed it!) to figure it out...):