So I haven’t been writing a whole lot either. The school year has been busy and I have been unable to muster the inspiration to write. I have used up all of the obvious topics from my distant past and am left only with the possibility of more recent events that I have little to no desire to discuss.
I mean things have certainly happened to me between the last time I wrote (October 28, 2015) and now, but I don’t want to talk about them. My tactic for dealing with issues that happen to me is to distance myself from them and to cut myself off of the emotional charge. When I talk or write about something, I have to bring myself closer to the event and accept the associated emotions. I don’t feel better when I’m done. I just feel tired. Any gratification I get from sharing my experience is from the response, from knowing that the lessons I am trying to pass on are reaching people.
So in order to discuss what has occurred, I will discuss the general idea. Perhaps I might distance myself enough while still sharing a possible lesson.
I think I am starting to understand one of the issues I have been having. Ever since middle school, I have had trouble applying myself fully. In high school this was not a problem, but in university my grades suffered for it. I struggled with engineering at U of T and transferred to UOIT, where I am doing better. However it is still obvious that I am not applying myself 100%.
I think I have found a way to circumvent this. Thesis has been a good outlet for me, as well as my previous research experience. I like working in the lab and learning through practice. I like that my time and effort will be vindicated by better understanding of the natural world for everyone. I like that I am working towards discovering new information about the world instead of just learning something that someone else discovered.
I like learning at school too. I like going to lecture and learning things that I didn’t know before. I just find that I have trouble applying myself in order to get the best possible grades. There is always something I would rather do.
It’s not as if I can’t apply myself, though. When the topic or the situation interests me enough, I can easily apply myself.
Sometimes what happens is that I think I understand the topic better than I actually do. That tends to happen fairly often, and so I have decided that this time I would hold myself to a particular regime to prevent myself from falling for this sort of hubris. I should have done it long ago, and I recommend that others use something like this too if you have the time right after a lecture.
Consider it a new years resolution of a sort: no later than 40 minutes after a lecture, I will spend an amount of time equal to 2/3 of the lecture I just finished (an hour for hour and a half long lectures, 2 hours for 3 hour lectures, perhaps less if the lecture ends early). During this time, I will go through each slide and through all of the notes I wrote on the material. I will clarify my notes and ask any questions I can think of so that I can ask the next time I see the professor who teaches the course. I will spend extra time on complex subjects that demand attention, especially if the professor clearly states that it is something we should know.
This way, by the time midterms come around, I will have a better understanding of the material. Review will be easier, not just because of the fact that I reviewed earlier to reinforce my understanding, but also because my notes will be clearer, and I will have seen them more recently.
I will have to think of somewhere to donate a substantial amount of money as punishment if I fail to keep my due diligence. Ideally I would donate it to a cause that I am against. What better motivation exists than the threat of having to donate to a group that will do everything in its power to accomplish goals that go against my core values?
And if it works, then I’ll be kicking myself for not doing this the whole time, but at least I will have the necessary discipline for graduate school! With this technique, I might be able to direct my passion where it is most constructive instead of just where I feel like.
In the mean time, I am always interested in other potential topics to write about. I have been uninspired lately, but maybe I have been overlooking an idea that I could ramble on about.