Everyone has different ways to study for tests. Some people make study schedules and read their textbooks when they are supposed to. Some people make hundreds of little flashcards. Still others read their textbooks at the speed of light and use time travel to take their tests multiple times until they get a perfect score (how else could anyone ever get a perfect score?). My method, like my asparagus breakfast cereal, is unique. I have a special process that has taken years to perfect. It goes like this:
To begin my study session, I carefully arrange my room to provide maximum concentration power. To an outside observer, my room might just look messy, but the clothes on my floor and the trash on my desk are there for a reason. Really. So get off my back, I’ll clean when I’m done! Sheesh.
When my room is ready, I put in my ear buds and listen to Broadway show tunes on my iPod while I wave my hands around as if I were a windmill. This physically prepares me for my studying. It also gives me a chance to pretend I live the actor’s life or that I’m fighting off Don Quixote. Recently, however, I have been forced to imagine acting like a buffoon in my head because I don’t want my roommate to hang me for witchcraft, which is how any sane person would react to my tomfoolery.
After my imagined dancing, I usually like to pace and mutter to myself. Sometimes I wring my hands or gnaw on my fingernails. I’ve heard that this is not an acceptable way to behave in public so I never study in the library if I can help it because I’ll never be able to give up pacing. When I eventually fulfill my dream of building my pyramid-house, I plan on putting in a special room just for pacing. I’ll put it next to the room where I’ll keep my inflatable footbath collection.
After a considerable amount of time has passed, I take a break from my pacing and collapse in my chair. I chomp on fistfuls of pretzels while I skim my textbook. After a few pages, I realize I should probably highlight important information and I have to start over. I read half the chapter, and then I decide to make flashcards as I go along, too. So I start over again. At this point, I am almost an expert on everything at the beginning of the chapter. The reading/highlighting/flashcard-making is going splendidly, but my hands become so occupied that it becomes increasingly difficult to eat my pretzels.
I can’t possibly study without eating pretzels, so I take a break from studying to construct a hand-free pretzel eating device made out of rubber bands and packing foam. This takes several hours, and by the time I finish it is time for me to go to bed. I have affectively learned half of my material and I need to know the whole chapter by the next day. I convince myself that I will wake up early to finish, even though I know I won’t, and then I drift off into a contented sleep.
And that is how I study. Hey, buddy, at least I have a process. Don’t judge.