Tuesday Dec 4 2012
I'm late / I'm late / For a very important date. / No time to say "Hello, Goodbye". / I'm late, I'm late, I'm late.
The White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland
Alice was incredibly written in egads, 1865. That such an imaginative tale would be written then is amazing, that the human condition has not changed on wit since is even more so.
Yes it is that time of the semester once again. Just yesterday a couple of students in class were startled to learn this is the last week of class!. All around I am asked when the final exams occur. On the Tamusa website click Current Students, then Final Exam Schedule to go to
I hear from many that they are so rushed and out of time and don't know when the exams are scheduled. I moved the homework deadline to the last week of class, two months ago. That of course did not prevent yet another request for extending the deadline once again. The last week of class is no time to do homework over the exam taken two months ago. This is the time to review that work for perhaps the third time. Repetition not cramming is the key to success.
I am wondering if anythng is getting done. Absenteeism soars, students leave class, chaos reigns.
Nothing has changed since I was a student. I can recall our receipt of the first hour exam in Geology 301A in the Fall of my first semester at UT Austin. We were in the Lecture Hall seating some 400 in the Geology Building just northeast of the Main Building. The young ladies seated around me exchanged comments, bragging on how how long they had 'studied' for the exam. The claims were generally in the 6-8 hour range. That first six weeks exam probably covered four chapters. And so the exams were returned, back then we actually wrote out answers to questions which were read and graded, hard to imagine now but true. Then a quiet fell over my fellow students. I glanced around to the 65-73 scores around me. I made a 93. But then I had been studying from Day One. That means taking notes after reading the chapters before class.
What they really meant was that they began reading or attempting to read the textbook two days before the exam. That is not study, that is cramming. This is the naive notion that material can be larned on the quick. This was not true then or now. Repetition is the key to success. It takes three exposures to material to begin to learn it.
Their lack of preparation was such that they were surprised at their own low scores. This speaks volumes to the fact that
They did not know what they did not know, Lost in Space I believe is the phrase.
My dorm room that semester looked over the football practice field. Today that field has been moved and enclosed to prying eyes but back then all was plain to see. After a few calisthenics the team brokeinto various squads. The guys that kicked the field goals had a simple routine, they practiced kicking field goals for the next two hours. There were multiple footballs and the team assistants shagged the balls and kept them rotating back to the kicker. Coach Darrell Royal knew that when they would be needed, there would only be one shot at it, and in a matter of seconds. Repetition would be the key to mastery of the art.
Kicking the football or learning accounting, it's all the same. Start kicking.....