Wednesday, August 19, 2009

drug malaise + studying

I woke up today in a bent of depression. I've missed three days of work, all spent in a blur of drugs, pain and sleep. With the stimulatory effects of prednisone now battling the suppression of the oxycodone and promethazine, I find myself in a limbo of consciousness where I can neither sleep or focus in an adequate way.

I decided that now was an opportune time to play around with that psychological rule of learning: if I attempt to study when high, will I then have a better chance of performing decently if I have to take the GRE under-the-influence. Oddly, this served to alleviate the depression instead of exacerbate it. Hilarious relief.

My point of struggle in studying is with reading comprehension. I find it stupid that the single test parameter that got me recruited for TAG (talented and gifted students) and advanced course placements is now my downfall in standardized testing. <takes a minute to giggle with disturbing hysteria>

The disappointment in this activity is that I can't see straight, so not only am I trying to focus on content/context... but on reading the words themselves. It is deliciously pleasing, however, that I'm managing to do just as well if not better whilst high than I do when healthy. I think a great deal of this success should actually be attributed to my newfound ability to hold testing tips in my mind while "assisted".

For instance, my reading comprehension tricks are to mine the first third of the passage for main idea and purpose, then answer the first questions which usually pertain to what the author would say about such and such and what is the purpose of this passage? I then return to the passage when the questions become detailed. I paraphrase each following paragraph keeping track of target words. From there, I can detect the fishy answers in the remaining questions by the way they fit into the main ideas and paraphrases, and easily identify the correct answers based on how they relate to the target words or paraphrased paragraphs. Granted, I have not used these tricks yet while sober, but it is comforting to know that they improve my malaise performance.

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