Hard vs. Hard to Do, Pseudo Work, and Hard Days

Hello Spartans!

I know it’s been a long time since the last posting, but for the experiment’s sake, I have decided to comment on the remaining strategies. I have used them directly or indirectly this last semester, and I will share with you how Cal’s tips worked in my own academic life.

The following tips will be analyzed through my Russian 101 and 102 courses.

In his blog, Cal talks about hard vs. hard to do work. Basically, if you think it is hard, then you will work for LONG hours on a particular class. I did this with Russian 101 in the fall, and it was hard to do simply because I waited until the night beforehand. I remember doing a whole week’s worth of homework in one night, which was problematic for learning the material.

Instead, he says to use “hard focus” or do the assignments WITHOUT distractions. For example, for my Russian 102 I do the homework assignment the night it is assigned, and then I go over it again the next day before class. Alone, whenever possible.

This way, I do not  overexert my time and am therefore refreshed. It works :).  Plus, here’s the kicker: the language became EASIER since I wasn’t rushed and could exert less  effort to learn a great deal of material.

This also relates to a topic that I did in Russian 101:pseudo work.

Cal describes this as work that isn’t really work.  For me, I think of it as doing the work just to turn it in. I would do Russian 101 worksheets and just fill it in, but I never learned and paid for it with the test..and the many red marks. So, unplugging   the internet and doing it then(in two different time blocks, like I do now) really prevents this problem. This concept also stresses breaks and not focusing for a long period of time, the opposite of  the “hard to do” mentality. Cal also states how you acccomplish more by doing it on different days, just like how Russian 102 assignments worked better with two days 🙂 Overall, this is one of my favorite tips because it can be applied to any subject you need to work on more dilligently.

Russian 102 was also enjoyable due to this tip :).

Hard Days. We all get them from time to time. But, if you plan, you will know what they are beforehand. This past semester, my hard days were specifically Tuesday and Thursday. I worked in the evenings, but made an effort to make sure homework was done beforehand. This saved a lot of stress for the little assignments. Or, if something comes up, plan a specific day to work the stress out. My awareness of Cal’s strategy really helped the days that I had two exams planned.  Basic summary of Cal’s tip here: Devise a plan of action and carry it out if things fall on the same day.

These strategies are important, especially as the semester becames harder. It is so easy to throw in the towel and just complete assignments, but then the test comes :(. Remember that!

Good luck,

Natasha 🙂

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