Friday, February 15, 2008

My New Study Plan (Alternate Title: Self-Deception)

Last weekend at Chicken Man's fabulous barbecue party, our friend Books was slavishly devoted to finishing her reading for the week. I really have to take my hat off to her -- most graduate students perpetually invent ways to postpone doing their work (exhibit A: this blog), but Books will let nothing stop her. Not sunshine, not puppies, not good friends, not perpetual harassment, not food, not beer. I was fascinated by her dedication, and snapped a few pictures of Books as she buried herself in dusty tomes of history. This is my favorite one, and it is providing a modicum of inspiration for me today.

See, this is my problem. I think of studying as "work." And by work, I mean something truly horrible. Cleaning out foul and smelly chamberpots in dank, dark, dungeons, where slimy mold grows on the cold stone walls, water drips and echoes in a cavernous silence and all I have to wear is a threadbare piece of burlap sacking, and rats nibble on my toes. Also, I'm hungry, and haven't bathed in a week. That charming scenario is what I call "going to the library."

But look at that picture of Books again. See, this could work for me. She's in a hammock, sunshine falls gently upon her, warming her hands and face. A gentle breeze rocks her back and forth, the smell of grilling meat wafts past her nose, the delightful sound of friends laughing burbles up around her ears, soothing all of her senses.  Best of all, she's wearing fabulous red shoes. I have a serious weakness for fabulous red shoes.  This seems a much better alternative to me than "going to the library," and so I'm implementing Phase I of (drum roll....) Cheasty's Highly Effective New Study Plan.

As I work my way through the approximately 9 million books I have to read by mid-April, I will start each day with a brief, yet highly effective visualization exercise, in which I mentally run through the list of books I plan to read that day, and associate each of them with feelings of peace, happiness, and intense erudition.  Then I will meditate on words like "fast," "fun," "sunshine," and, of course, "highly effective."  Preliminary research indicates that this Highly Effective New Study Plan will increase my scholastic efficacy by 79% (with a +/- 3pt. margin of error), and I will be on my way to academic stardom in no time at all.  Best of all, by the time I get there, I will not be wan, haggard, baggy-eyed, and dirty.  Instead, I will be resplendent.  I will glow with youthful vitality.  I will be firm and bouncy and, best of all, tan.  

Yes, I like this plan.  Thank you, Books, for showing me the way.


Alison said...

Yup there's something about those shoes! They did it for me - and I thought, "Wow, studying looks like fun when she does it!" Good luck following suite :-)

Erin said...

Oh my gawd "Cheastypants" - you are even funnier when you write than just when you open your mouth (and make the "ugly face"). Sooo...I just spent the last 45 mins reading everything on this page and I will be sure to read it every day for my daily giggles and send you comments because a little bird called "You" told me that comments are the fruits of your labors! Duuuude - you should be writing like a novel, Bridget Jones style. I'd buy that shit.
Love you, E