Weary Genius ~ BitterSweetLife

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Weary Genius

Despite an appearance of cheerful calm, the student was conflicted. A whole semester of labor, thousands of typed words, hours of reading and rereading—would it be enough? Everything, it seemed, hung in the balance.

On the eve of the crucial exam, a whirling cloud of emotions enveloped him. His normally relaxed forehead was creased. And despite his best efforts at mind control, a tranquil demeanor did little to dispel the demons that raged within.

Had he scanned the textbook thoroughly enough? Nearly every page bore the harsh marks of highlighter and pencil—but was this adequate? Perhaps each paragraph, no, each sentence, contained pearls of essential wisdom. Come morning, would his crown be a few gems short?

And what about the “source” material? Forced to prioritize, he’d focused on the original works, trusting that his instincts would guide him into brilliant elucidation later, in the heat of battle. But your academic combat skills are rusty, suggested a dubious voice.

And then there were the notes, copiously penned in black and blue (suggestive of mental bruises?). In past hours, their color spectrum had been expanded more widely, now featuring orange and a jaunty pink—not his preferred highlighter colors, but all he’d had to work with. Could this be considered ominous?

Flipping through his notes for the umpteenth time, he felt small details slipping from his brain like little kids running through screen doors. He couldn’t catch them all. They tickled a little as they ran, snickering, out his ears. Come back!

No doubt there were still a hundred small details to memorize—not counting the ones who had just escaped. But responsible study skills can only take you so far.

He got up and walked to the computer. Forget it. Not literally, but you know…

From here on out, the morning would just have to care for itself.



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12 comments:

daydreamer said...

Where did you learn to write so well? And are you published at all? Because you should be.

. : A : . said...

Reminds me of the exam days.

Roy said...

Finals? If so, good luck!

Good writing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, all this and the realization (for me) that final grades aren't available until sometime right before Christmas. Two classes on edge of a solid B, but on edge they remain.

The agony and the ecstasy . . .

//David

Ariel said...

Indeed, the dreaded finals, and all the heartburn (before and after) that they entail.

>>Reminds me of the exam days.>>
Hmm, that's strange. I could swear this sounds like past tense. Do you mean...are you saying...they end?>>Where did you learn to write so well? And are you published at all? Because you should be.>>

Thanks, daydreamer. You consistently have encouraging things to say, and I appreciate it. I'm not published yet, other than in a few literary mags, but the quest continues.

travis said...

One would think the term "finals" implies there is an end somewhere. They may seem never-ending though. I received word today that I passed my written comprehensive exams for grad school. I am now one step closer to a degree. It can be done, my friend, hang in there.

On a side note, my roommate is taking his last final today. On saturday he is having a whole bunch of people over to celebrate his graduation. He will put on display a collage of all the crib sheets it took for him to graduate. I suggested he also add to the collage all the empty cans of chew graduation required as well, but I think he will just stick with the crib sheets. Sometimes studying goes a lot better when you are satiating an addiction. My advice to you - drink lots of coffee.

ninjanun said...

Lucky Charms and a can of Mt. Dew used to be my breakfast of choice before exams. Bleh. That was before I discovered coffee! :)

As my Poli Sci prof used to say: "May God bless you as much as you have studied."

Anonymous said...

A bittersweet article indeed-the reading so enjoyable-the reality so painfully real... A pleasure, as always.

DLV

Free Spirit said...

Sigh. I, too, am studying for an exam. Sometimes I wish I can just crumple those obscenely thick books I'm supposed to know by heart into my head. At least then, my head would contain some semblance of useful information.

r said...

Oh man do I know the feeling of not being able to cram everything you learned over the whole semester into your head for finals! I had my last final this evening and I am soooo happy to be on break! I'm not going to even think about next semester until after new years. :)

. : A : . said...

Yes, they do. And life gets much better!

:-)

Ariel said...

Yes! "Final Cram" week is over! At around 8:00 a.m. yesterday, I collided with my final final like a Mac truck hitting a brick wall, and the resulting collision is still being sorted out. In the wake of the horrific impact, closure remains elusive, but I feel surprisingly "good" about this traumatic experience. Now if I can just remember what my normal life is supposed to be about...

Funny that the "addictions" topic came up. During the last week, my coffee consumption soared to record highs. At one point I think my blood type was basically "coffee." Now, slowly, I am regaining a level of energy and awareness that would be considered normal...

 

Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife