||[Sep. 10th, 2010|10:19 am]
Yeah, that title's ironic. I have a list of things to do today that's so long I need a freaking scroll to write on. And a burly assistant to carry it around. No, two, because I've got a work list, a shopping list and a to-do when I get home list. Okay, I have to own responsibility for some of it -- last night I chose "cocktail party" instead of "responsible adult who gives up fun to tackle chores". |
I was never a crammer in high school or college. My mode of operation was to keep up with reading or assignments as they were due – if possible, do them either in my room with the stereo blasting, surrounding by fish tanks and terrariums and a jungle of potted plants or, if weather permitted, out in a field with cows or horses and then the night before an exam, make sure I got plenty of fluids, ate a good meal and went to bed early. Out loud, I would rationalize this as not being able to even think under fluorescent lights or in libraries where it was too dead quiet. That I studied better when I felt better and that involved green and living things. That ensuring I was healthy and well-rested meant that I’d be able to remember and reason better.
The reality was: I sucked at staying up late, loved to eat, and if I was going to pack up books and go someplace, I was going to go hang out with cows, not nerds. Or, at least study supine on a dorm bed rather than upright in some stupid library chair.
But apparently, I knew more about effective learning than I thought I knew:
Venting and catharsis sound like such great ideas. I have to admit that I still vent a little – although it’s more a question of bad/mean thoughts that keep looping around in my head – and that I really just need to get out before they cause a tumor or they fall out by mistake in front of the person/object/institution that’s making me crazy.
Louis Black explains how this sort of stuff can cause an aneurysm: http://comedians.jokes.com/lewis-black/videos/lewis-black---college-horse He’s talking about nonsense phrases, but for me it’s usually “a mad” that I have to get out. Because whatever it is, it’s actually NOT that important – certainly not important enough to confront someone about it – yet, for some reason I have failed my eye roll (D&D players will find that funny. And I have now just revealed that when I say “attack roll” it has nothing to do with vicious bread products, but rather my shady past as a 21st level assassin. Who was a werewolf. Of course. The depths of geekdom: I have plumbed them.) but now I have to get it out of my head or I will just focus on it until I either blow it out of proportions, or get a tumor.
But physical catharsis, I swore off of. Ever since a major teenage temper tantrum (insert “basic parental failings from a child’s perspective” here. Probably I couldn’t borrow the car, or something else earthshatteringly painful.) and I stomped down to the barn and punched the tackroom door. Which had been salvaged from an old farmhouse. So, unlike the Luan and plywood doors of today, this sumbitch was probably oak. Or ironwood. Or cast freaking iron. All I know is, while I managed to not break anything, I did traumatize my entire hand so that it swelled up like a baseball mitt and I couldn’t do a damn thing for days, including whatever I wanted to borrow the car for, no doubt.
I had a few more experiences that helped cement the learning that it just wasn’t worth it: the time I kicked a fence post and knocked the whole bloody section down, which was about two days worth of repair work; stomping and cursing when I couldn’t get some harness piece rigged up right, scaring the horse I was behind and getting kicked in the gut for it; the ice cube that leaped out of the ice tray, fell onto the top of the refrigerator door so that the freezer door couldn’t shut, said door bounced back and hit me in the face with the door handle. I grabbed the ice cube and threw it into the sink. Hard enough to knock over the three glasses in the sink so that they then shattered into a million pieces, into the garbage disposal. Which is why I no longer have a garbage disposal and hate it when people stack dishes in my sink.
So, overall, I just decided that for me, violent catharsis generally came with too high a cost. Obviously, once again, smart by accident:
Here's something I've struggled with from time to time and just yesterday, a colleague taught me a neat trick for remembering it. If you've ever had a brain fart while setting a table...which side does the glass go on? Or been sitting at a table with a large group and gone through the "is this my bread plate or is that my bread plate"...right now, make the OK sign with both hands. Look down at them. Your right hand, in addition to making the OK sign, is also shaping the letter "d". For drink. Your left hand is shaping the letter "b" for bread.