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Study 2.0

December 12, 2008

Chris Gollmar ’10

Today was my final exam for History of Argentine Music. Theoretically, I could have been studying every single day for the past three weeks, seeing as all but one of my classes were over. This is how it unfolded on Twitter.

I get off to a good start. I take a week off from class work, then I decide to set a study schedule for myself, giving myself two full weeks to study for the exam, which should be plenty of time to study each of the eight units twice.

Today is the day I start studying for an exam that I take two weeks from now. At least, that’s the plan. 4:36 PM Dec 1st

Then Friday rolls around, and I get distracted.

Friday! I like this day! 3:18 PM Dec 5th

I must have done something particularly exciting on Friday night. Oh, right, now I remember… Anyway, later that night I twitter,

So. Tired. 1:20 AM Dec 6th

After resting a bit, I decide it is a good day to bake.

Baking lots today. Just finished brownies, and carrot cake is next. 4:06 PM Dec 6th

To be fair, I had planned on baking the cake even before planning my study schedule, since it was my birthday present to my host mom. Still tired from the night before and now worn out from baking all afternoon, I write,

Still dead tired. I’m cleaning up from the carrot cake and then going straight to bed. 10:20 PM Dec 6th

What’s this post about? Studying for my History of Argentine Music exam. Looks like I finally get back on track on Sunday, December 7, a mere five days before the final. What happened to those two weeks I had planned on?

Back to studying! 7:04 PM Dec 7th

Apparently I take another three day vacation and neglect to study. Just a few days ago, I write,

Trying to be a good student and actually get some studying done today. 3:10 PM Dec 10th

Oh, I should mention that I also had a Spanish exam this week. That took up some of my time. I had to take the oral portion of the exam the day before my History exam. By now I am low on sleep and high on stress.

Ugh. Don’t want to take my Spanish oral exam today. 9:53 AM Dec 11th

And, finally, we arrive at last night’s final series of tweets. At this point it’s pretty clear that I have gone completely AWOL and have run out of time. It is no longer possible to review the entire semester’s worth of material.

I fully expect to bomb tomorrow’s History of Argentine Music exam. And with that, I’m off for one last round of studying. about 13 hours ago

My friend Melissa replies,

@gollmar Does “bomb” mean B- or actual bomb? about 13 hours ago

Good question. I write back,

It means it’s an individual oral exam and I have no clue what to expect and I feel completely unprepared, despite having studied. about 12 hours ago

It’s true, I had studied. Over the past week I’ve been meeting a couple hours a day with my fellow study away student in the class, Karen, and we’ve been going over all of the articles we’ve had to read. But there’s just so much material, so many dates and names and institutions to memorize. I’m pretty much resigned to failing the exam.

At this point I think I’d rather get some sleep than continue studying. Let’s hope it’s the right move. about 12 hours ago

Then, I take the exam. It is an individual oral exam—just me and two professors in a small room at 8 a.m.—which has never been my favorite format, let’s just say. I got in about four hours of sleep, wake up at 6:30, take a quick shower, scarf down an apple and coffee for breakfast (not a great combination, by the way), dash out the door and take the bus across town to the school where I take the class. At 8:30 it’s my turn. I draw two slips of paper out of an envelope; these are the units that I have to talk about off the top of my head. I falter in a couple of places; the professors ask me questions, only some of which I can answer. Half an hour later, and I’m done.

I wait around for the last student to take the exam, then the professor comes by to tell us our grades.

I aced the exam. WTF. about 1 hour ago

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