Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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Am I just paranoid or am I dumb?

So I guess I do have at least a little bit of anxiety about the upcoming semester. I just woke up from one of those school dreams I have from time to time. In this one I was in a psychology course that I was doing pretty well in, talking to the professor about the test and helping her decide how it should be set up, how long it should be, etc... the only thing was that while I had a fantastic grasp on the concepts and ideas from the class I hadn't read the textbook and wasn't well versed in the specifics. When I finally got the test it was full of short answer questions that I had absolutely no hope of answering because I didn't know the names of the scientists who came up with various theories and some of the technical language because we hadn't gone over it in class.

This is not a particularly unusual dream for me, nor is it far off from events that have occured in the past. For example, the time that I corrected the TA about a very basic psychological concept (he thought something was classical conditioning when it was clearly operant conditioning...foolish on his part because any psych MAJOR, let alone grad student, knows his difference, not that anyone in my class did.) It took me five minutes to explain to him why he was wrong and I was right...and he ended up agreeing with me even though he told me to shut up when I brought it up during the review session (Help help I'm being repressed!). After that I ended up doing poorly on the test because of technical language and detail issues. It's one of the reasons I'm not so sure about psychology...I mean once you grasp the main concepts more completely than the TEACHERS do why does it matter if you don't remember the chemical name of some drug that you can look up in forty seconds in a reference manual? When I worked in a lab there were lots of chemicals that people didn't quite remember properly...it took them all of five minutes to figure out what they were. If they hadn't understood the properties of conditioning (classical OR operant) they would have been much more screwed.

Anyway this dream shows that I do have at least some anxiety over the upcomming semester. I woke up and reminded myself that it is generally considered bad form for aprofessor to give an exam with arcane textbook references on the first day of class. That's a good thing. I think the anxiety is also a good thing, it will keep me from getting complacent and letting things slip out of hand. I'm glad that I'm not bursting with nervousness and fear but it's always good to feel you have something to prove. Then you get to go about proving it.

Today looks to be pretty annoying with a ton of administrative stuff and preperation for a semester that I'm not ready for. Hopefully I can at least get into a contemporary civilizations class before the end of the day. It's good that the first week is a short one though...because starting is always difficult but having that weekend looming just three days away (friday is a college weekend...or at most a half day) helps you stay motivated and energetic.

Here's hoping that most of my classes use this time for silly stuff like "orientation" and not actual learning. At heart I'm still a slacker.
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