Monday, December 13, 2010

Study Time

My high schooler has semester exams this week and a snow day today.  She slept in and started work after lunch. By 2:00 p.m. she was done studying for the week.  I convinced her to work on it some more, but not much. 

Her motto is, "I got this."  We agree that we have different personalities.  I for one admire hers but think my approach to life works better during exam week.  She is brilliant but has the approach to life of an artist.  Her priority is to draw a picture on the inside cover of her spiral binder to set the appropriate tone before the first word is written down.  I say write it down quick as you can and then memorize every fact systematically and forget the picture.  For me, the goal is to do anything you can to get a 100%.  I have always been like this, even in second grade.  Personality flaw, perhaps, but this extremely detailed approach to studying will get you an A every time.

My daughter attempted use her creative skills to assume my personality today while studying.  I offered her a bribe if she would.  It lasted two hours, with breaks every twenty minutes.  It probably won't work since she didn't fully delve into my obsessive-compulsive, systematic, anal-retentive programmer mindset. 

When I was a kid, I would have studied in a frantic state up to the minute before the exam, until I was over-saturated with content to the point it would explode out of me during the exam.  I was nervous, unhappy and depressed constantly.  I thought everything depended on my grades, on my success at school.  After all, what else did I have?

My daughter, however, has her first of seven exams this week in exactly thirteen hours and is ready.  She feels confident she is prepared and is watching t.v. playing with her brothers.  She is not worrying about her exam.  There is no self-doubt creeping in on her making her think maybe she should study more.

Completely exasperated with her about an hour ago, I told her she could babysit and I could work if she was really sure she was done studying.  To my surprise, she agreed with a smile (I was being sarcastic after all), and it was actually for the best.  I got this unexpected opportunity to write about inexplicably amazing she is and how I believe she is going to allow herself to walk through life with confidence.  Maybe I am a good mother after all - but the truth is I clearly have a lot to learn from her.

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