October 27, 2015
Carolee T. Bull
The Art of Manliness has been one of my favorite websites since an article describing the study tactics of a gentleman scholar introduced me to this useful website. http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/01/03/ace-your-exams-study-tactics-of-the-successful-gentleman-scholar/ The name of the site cracks me up and the stories are as entertaining. Some of them are beyond the scope of our department (many way beyond), nevertheless, this article is useful. The link above is a great how to guide for studying and many of the recommendations are appropriate for all of us. Here are my thoughts about their application.
Create a master weekly study schedule before every semester It is good to know where you want to be at the end of the next three to six months. Making a set of goals and a plan shorter parts of the year really helps one to benchmark. I have already talked about blocking out big chunks of time for writing. Are their other things you need to block out times for each week of the semester? The author links to Steven Covey’s “Big Rock” planning scheme. If you aren’t familiar with it, you might want to follow that link.
Plan weekly Seem like this should be a natural, but we rarely plan time to plan. Just like we rarely plan time to mentor ourselves. Although the position I am currently in throws planning to the wind, each week I am still trying to make a plan and stick to it.
Reverse engineer big projects is essentially working backwards to get ahead.
Apply the 45/15 rule Some of us may be able to focus a little longer, but the key here is to be aware of when your mind is wondering and make a change. I have seen some studies that say a brisk walk around the block every hour will make your thoughts clear and your writing more efficient. It certainly is better for the body.
The rest of the tips may be more appropriate to those trying to master a bundle of material for an exam. One tip I am curious about is “become a speed reader”. Is anyone in our department trained in speed reading? Does it work? When I speed read, I tend to not get the important part of the message. This is especially true of emails and speed reading them tends to lead to two or three more emails for clarification, which in the end isn’t very speedy.
I hope your week is filled with great arts of all genders.