Then versus Now

Test time is upon me. Two big tests on Monday. As I somewhat frantically study, write notes, re-read the anticipated important passages in my readings, and try to store the information in my long-term memory, I can’t help but think about this situation as it occurred many years ago.

Back then, I did not know what I did not know, but I knew that I did not care.

Today, I know what I do not know, and I care (a lot).

One question is whether or not I learned more easily and better for not caring. Now, so much of me is invested in a process which says “success is a measure of this man“. Then, I relied on native intelligence and the power of a young mind to master enough material to do just well enough. Now, although still the proud possessor of native intelligence, my older mind has not yet earned its full measure of my trust. In other words, the belts and pulleys of my brain are moving, but are they powering the engine?

In a conversation with one of my professors yesterday, where she asked how I was doing, I revealed that I thought I would earn a passing grade but I wanted to do well. She noted that my remark was typical of adult students, who want not to learn but to master material.

This, simply, opens another can of worms. Yes, I want to master the material, but I do not want to get bogged down in my review to the extent that I over-prepare and thus miss something more important than the things I have studied. I think you could say that this is an expression of my lack of confidence.

Which leads to another question. Which is the key to success, confidence or fear? Can I relax enough to let my brain do its job, or will my fear cause the mental processes to lock up?

Ah, this is the manifestation of the old mind…………..spinning madly and moving nowhere.

In my mind, I can barely hear the other students saying “Just go for it, dude.”

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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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