Monday, April 5, 2010

Was The Gulf of Tonkin Incident About a Truck?

This is a list of what I've been doing lately:
  1. Studying
Sure, there's been a fairly steady stream of meals. I've tried to get a run in every two or three days. There has been occasional showers and teeth-brushing. And I've managed to play and lose two Words with Friends games in there somewhere. But mostly, from morning to night: studying.

My second teaching prep test is coming up on Saturday and the amount of information I have to know is so vast. It's not that it's that complicated (except science; I don't understand you, molecules! And I never will.) It's just that there is SO MUCH information to review and relearn and retain. I am heartened that teachers have to pass these tests. I want the people instructing our future leaders to know how to convert miles to kilometers and what the Reformation was, even if it's not in their subject area. But it's just a tremendous amount of information. There is no study guide printed for this exam (neat, huh?) but my school recommended at least three months of preparation because there is just no way to cram for this one. I second that emotion.

The test is four hours long, and from what I read online, it's the one teaching prep test that people usually don't finish in the time allotted. That stresses me out. The hardest part for me is not that it covers so many subjects - seven - or that the subjects are so wide that each one really includes several subjects ("social science" includes history, economics, civics and government, geography, state history, sociology, and scientific research.) The hardest part is that for every tested subject there is an essay section on the test. With multiple essay questions. That is bad news in LSLville. I can try to narrow down which of the national parties came second chronologically between the Republican, Whig, Federalist, and Democratic, but I have a hell of a time naming the four major geological eras and discussing characteristics of the plant and animal life forms of each era. Know what I mean? Multiple choice: good. Essay: bad. Times seven subjects.

I am very sleep deprived; I've been studying until 2:30 or 3:00 every morning. And I do feel like I'm starting to crack a little - the stress is building in my mind and in my body. But mostly I am loving what I'm learning and really enjoying the chance to spend 14 hours a day (day after day after day) learning it. What a luxury! When I read the material I think of how awesome it would be to teach it to little inquiring minds, and then I get so excited for school. But one step at a time. First I need to pass this test.

P.S. I know their minds won't be inquiring. :)


  1. Is it a little crazy that I really miss studying (and cramming, which is probably what I did most often)?

    I need to seriously start thinking about the GREs and studying for them so I can kick their question-asking asses.

    Also: I miss! you, friend.


  2. Well, I have even greater confidence in your ability to be a Teacher from one of your sentences here: "I am loving what I'm learning". If YOU are enjoying learning then that enjoyment will be transmitted to the kids and it's the best lesson they can be taught. I sure hope you get the chance to see that happen.

    As for being cracked... ;)

  3. Reading this makes me realize how very little I retained from school. And I liked school!

    I'm glad you're getting excited even if you're totally in overload. I'm in awe of your commitment to studying. I have serious ADD.

  4. Ok, the results of the pretest are in. I couldn't do any of the essay questions in any of the subjects, so technically I failed everything. But in terms of the multiple choice portions only, I passed language arts, math (?!?), social science and PE. I failed science, the arts, and human development (in which I have a degree.)

    Looks like there's a lot more studying on the agenda!!

    Sizzle - I am blown away with how little I retained. Everything sounds familiar, but I don't remember the details of ANYTHING. It's crazy. I'm having to fight the feeling of being really dumb, but once I study something, it does come back to me fairly quickly. Although clearly not in every subject. :)

  5. Wowza. Hang in there. It will be worth it in the end for those little semi-inquiring minds.

  6. You are my Hero. -Brother

  7. Motto just stopped working to study full time, too! Gambatte!

  8. You will do great! It sounds like you have been working hard to pass and it will all pay off.

    Your much stronger than I would be because studying is not my thing...I have the attention span of about 30 minutes and I'm done.

    Good luck...I'm praying for you:)