Saturday, June 30, 2007

Studying or How to go back to school at 40!

I will be going to one of those prelaw bootcamp-like courses to move myself back into the swing of being in school. I don't expect to actually learn much (that would be a bonus), but I do expect to get back into the habit of being a student. So in preparation for law school, I started thinking about study habits and what mine used to be.

The bad: Wait until the last minute as a bet to someone that I could still make at least a B+ without having opened the book until the day before (never lost this one 'cause I chose my subjects well).

The ugly: All nighter's that I do not think that I can physically even do any more.

I am sure there were plenty of classes that I actually studied in a relatively decent way. But I am not sure about that. You see, right after I graduated with my Ph.D. I got fed up with the way I pay attention and finally went to someone about it. And it turns out that I have raging ADD. Which explains more than you could ever know. It explains why the fly in a class is so much more interesting than the lecture. Or why my mind goes on instantaneous tangential thoughts trying to listen to lectures. Or why I can hyperfocus for long periods of time to the detriment of everything else. My hyperfocus is so bad that my DH and I now have a system for him to get my attention. If I say yes to a question, he turns off the monitor, puts his hand over the book, or whatever is necessary to interupt me. It's annoying but it works. Unless you have to deal with this, you have no idea how insane this is. I have had entire conversations with him and others that I couldn't remember having minutes later. Because, I didn't really have them, the autopilot did.

People that I have told about this have always said the same thing: "Can't be that bad, you got through college for multiple degrees." And every minute after undergrad was like pulling teeth. I would have these elaborate systems to get myself to do things and crazy backups. And nothing ever worked well. Yes, I got the degree, but to this day I know I could have done so much better. Now, I know what I am dealing with so I make plans based on my attention span. Oh yeah, I also take medication. And the medication is like heaven. My brain stops throwing out a thousand random thoughts and I can have a conversation. I can listen and not lose track. But the really cool thing is that I don't take it all the time. I want to get lost in my thoughts or write, I stop taking it in the afternoon. And I have places for things and don't do ANYTHING without a list. I mean anything. Everything requires a list. And that list is broken down to sublists, etc.

So any way, back to studying. I actually feel better about developing study habits this time around. I got my meds, my habits, plans for dealing with the little quirks, and, hopefully, this bootcamp thing will give me a taste of what's to come. By next year, studying? Pshaw, that's easy.

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