Law: Stages of Prep

April 28, 2008

When Kurzman and I were younger, we (mostl I) did what every teenage guy does – made fun of other teenaged guys.  My prefered target didn’t take getting mocked too well.  Apparently (Kurzman was there for this, I was not) at some point his anger because so repetitive and formulaic that they decided to lay out the “stages” for his anger.  I don’t remember what they were other than that one of the steps was to blame another friend of ours, regardless of who was doing the mocking.

After today’s class review I’m starting to see test prep as similar to our friends anger – a forumla I repeat over and over.  My prep goes like this:

1.  The OMG Phase:  This is where I think about all four of my classes and go “there is no way in hell I’m goig to be able to learn enough about all of those classes do get different grades.  Damn, damn, damn, I’m going to be “that guy” tha manages to fail out of HLS.

2.  The Planning Step:  This is where I calm down and look at the calander.  At this point, I go “ok here is how I plan to study for these finals (time wise) and this is what I want to get done (objective wise).”  This is also the stage where I buy study aids.

3.  The Procrastination Phase:  Yes I realize I’m flipping between “Steps” and “phases”, deal with it.  This is the phase where I have a plan and I’m just not feeling like executing it.  I know what I need to do, I’m just not having much (if any) success getting myself motivated to do it.  Not only does this happen in general exam prep, but this also happens to me when preparing for any secific exam.

4.  Fear II:  This is my second freakout.  Here I go “I didn’t allow enough time and I wasted a bunch of it.”  How am I ever going to study for this exam?  I didn’t realize the outline was this thick!  I’m so screwed! These are he common thoughts in this phase of exam prep.

5.  Prep:  This is where I start to freak out and ignore all my friends/family/responsibilities and start to get some real exam preperation done. 

6.  Fat Cat Stage: This happens whenever I reach the (not to distant) prep goal that I set for myself (usually outlining the case to my satisfaction).  I still have some time left but gosh darnit I accomlished what I wanted to.  At his point I normally bounce back and forth between reading over the outline I have created and watching TV/movies.

7.  Regret:  This is where I regret having not studied more and having once again allowed myself to enter the Fat Cat Stage.

8.  Second Wind: This is usually a few hours the night before and exam and a few hours before the exam.  This is where I am once again invigorated and determined to spend additional time preparing.  During this phase I usually read over my outline, but darnit I’m doing it with a vengence.

9.  Take the Exam

10.  Freak out about how I did and wish I would have studied harder

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