Tuesday, November 02, 2004

re-enter the zone

my neck is sore. i haven't spent a full day just studying since . . . well, since the first year of medical school. back then, today would have been considered an easy one. at the time, i was so in the zone. i used to take notes in class and then create elaborate meta-notes (josh's term) for every exam. sometimes i hand-wrote them, other times they were typed. they are beautiful and i can't bring myself to throw them out. i spent much more time creating these notes than actually studying them, but the trick seemed to work - i think of it as a form of active learning. without my constant hand movements and the 'information synthesis' it takes to abbreviate texts and handouts into writeable form, i would be asleep the whole time.

unfortunately, most of what i learned 1st year did not seem to survive my clerkship year. every night i spent on call probably caused enough brain-frying stress to erase most of the memories. although, actually, in some ways last year's experiences will help me while i study -- being able to remember specific patients that had, say, rett's syndrome or neurosarcoidosis will help me to learn the material even better this time. at least the clinical stuff. i hope.

the thing is, i'm pretty good at just sitting my ass down and studying. in fact, i kind of like it. i don't necessarily have the stamina to keep going for hours and hours, but when i am working i am quite focused and fairly efficient. i plan on taking a lot of breaks -- every 1.5 to 2 hours typically works well for me. and i'm not going to study late into the night, because i just don't want to.

tomorrow's plan: biochemistry, day 2. i may even do something wild and crazy like use a pink highlighter. ooh baby.

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100! this is my 100th post. 100 consecutive post, i might add, though admittedly i have cheated on some occasions (writing some short crappy blurb, writing a 'make-up' post the next night). i'm still proud of my compulsivity.

election the day is almost here. i will have to take frequent cnn-breaks. i am not feeling particularly optimistic. i hate how all the red states are so much bigger (in size, not population) that it makes any electoral map look hopeless. it's not fair. they should make a map of the states that's like a humunculous -- you know, that representation of the brain's innervation of the body where the parts are the size of their respective neurological inputs and/or outputs. giant hands and lips, tiny chest and midsection, etc. it would probably look psychedelic (america on crack), but would be useful.


  1. Anonymous9:47 AM

    actually, the NY times website kind of has a map like that: http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/politics/2004_ELECTIONGUIDE_GRAPHIC/ (though you have to register). you can show the states by geography or by electoral votes, making the dakotas small and, say, NJ fairly big.

  2. Anybody else think the Electoral College system is incredibly outdated and that the popular vote should decide the President?

    Still bitter over 2000...