Message from The Eternal Anglo in MacGuyver - Skills & Academics #homework-help

2017-12-11 18:15:07 UTC  

but there are so many distractions available

2017-12-11 18:15:16 UTC  

Discord, Twitter, who knows what else

2017-12-11 18:15:44 UTC  

So as soon as the material becomes boring or difficult to comprehend, your brain seeks the easier novelty available through these other mediums

2017-12-11 18:16:09 UTC  

And then you jump to another subject in which you think it will be easier to accomplish something at the time.

2017-12-11 18:16:20 UTC  

Is what I'm saying correct?

2017-12-11 18:18:06 UTC  

Sounds right actually

2017-12-11 18:18:45 UTC  

OK, so the first item of business is to limit distractions. Here's my advice for that.

2017-12-11 18:19:10 UTC  

If all your study material is online, that's a big challenge. It's much easier to focus on printed material.

2017-12-11 18:19:30 UTC  

If you can obtain printed material, I highly recommend it. But it's not a necessity.

2017-12-11 18:19:57 UTC  

What you have to do is, before you sit down to study, make a list of what you want to accomplish in each course.

2017-12-11 18:20:32 UTC  

So in today's Python session you're going to understand the concept of generators and write some example code or complete the exercises.

2017-12-11 18:20:45 UTC  

And that's **all** you're going to allow yourself to do once you start

2017-12-11 18:21:13 UTC  

Everything else gets turned off. Use a stripped-down browser, remove all other devices from the area.

2017-12-11 18:21:27 UTC  

If you cheat, you're only cheating yourself.

2017-12-11 18:22:02 UTC  

Once you check it off, take a break. Fifteen minutes is usually ideal. Get up, walk around, rest your eyes, check your various social media, then knock out the next item.

2017-12-11 18:22:48 UTC  

When you context switch frequently, you don't allow yourself to build up a foundation for learning, understanding, and retaining material. It all gets flushed out as soon as you switch to some other distraction or task.

2017-12-11 18:23:48 UTC  

If you have an old laptop laying around, it might be worth it to do a fresh install of your preferred OS on it, and ONLY install the bare minimum you need to use it for your coursework

2017-12-11 18:23:59 UTC  

and take it somewhere quiet, like the library or bookstore

2017-12-11 18:24:26 UTC  

that way you're in a place that's not as comfortable to you. That actually improves focus in my experience.

2017-12-11 18:25:12 UTC  

I never studied in my dorm room. I always went to the library. But all my material was printed back then (2000-2004).

2017-12-11 18:27:23 UTC  

It may be a good idea for me to print out what I can for studying purposes as well, and the 15 minute break seems good, actually

2017-12-11 18:27:43 UTC  

yeah, it's very important to take breaks.

2017-12-11 18:27:54 UTC  

going for a walk was the secret sauce for me

2017-12-11 18:29:21 UTC  

It's going to be very difficult at first not to get distracted, but that's where the checklist will help you.

2017-12-11 18:29:37 UTC  

The checklist says "This is the only thing I'm allowed to do right now."

2017-12-11 18:30:51 UTC  

I recently studied for a math test for 12 HOURS... still did not do well on the test itself. We live in a pretty cozy neighborhood, so I could go walking.

2017-12-11 18:31:05 UTC  

I really like this checklist idea actually!

2017-12-11 18:31:10 UTC  

Right, but did you really study?

2017-12-11 18:31:24 UTC  

If you're checking your phone every 10 minutes, you're just treading water.

2017-12-11 18:31:54 UTC  

(I have two STEM master's degrees, I've been in exactly the same situation 😃 )

2017-12-11 18:32:25 UTC  

quick anecdote: when I was in calculus, I "studied hard"

2017-12-11 18:35:22 UTC  

Taking notes on all of this good information, also that is impressive my dude!

2017-12-11 18:35:40 UTC  

We have a library that I can use, and maybe normie starbucks might work, too

2017-12-11 18:37:44 UTC  

I appreciate all the advice you've given mate!

2017-12-11 18:52:27 UTC  

but I didn't strive to understand what I was doing. As soon as I got a rudimentary understanding, I immediately went on to other subjects or distractions

2017-12-11 18:52:46 UTC  

needless to say, I got rekt later on in the course because I did not have the prior fundamentals down.

2017-12-11 18:53:25 UTC  

So that summer, I went back through the text. I worked graveyard at a factory, and we got a few breaks every shift.

2017-12-11 18:54:04 UTC  

So on the first break, I would very slowly and deliberately read the explanation at the beginning of the section. Then I would write down some practice problems.

2017-12-11 18:54:24 UTC  

When the line went down (which happened a lot that summer), I would pull out the practice problems and work them on the scrap cardboard

2017-12-11 18:55:07 UTC  

so that fall when I took the next course in the calc sequence, I did just fine because I took the time to get a full understanding

2017-12-11 18:55:35 UTC  

it didn't take much time, but it did take full concentration. you'll see once you eliminate distractions that concentration matters much more than time spent.