Friday, September 07, 2007

Study spots

You’re reading a textbook. It’s boring. Very boring. You’re getting sleepy…very sleepy. BANG! You wake up when your head hits the desk. Now your forehead is red and you have to re-read that stupid, boring paragraph for the third time. How are you going to get through the entire chapter? Who will save you from the Boredom Fairy?

You will. It is possible. Getting through overly dense and jargon-filled text is a challenge for any student, especially in a less-than-interesting subject area. (Note: The Learning Assistance Centre officially denies that any of University of Manitoba’s subjects are dull, and we in no way imply that any specific subject is.) Success is just a matter of getting creative and knowing your own limits.

I read my plays for my Shakespeare class on the kitchen counter near the sink. That way, I had plenty of natural light, I was able to put my feet up, but I wasn’t so physically comfortable that Dreamland threatened to invade Renaissance England.

My brother made a point of studying for his accounting courses next to an open window in the middle of winter. He was cold, but he was able to focus through it and get his reading done.

My cousin used to read journal articles while sitting on the bus – all night. She liked being able to sense people moving around her, but the bus was quiet enough that she wouldn’t be distracted and, most importantly, she could get off and get a coffee when the bus driver did.

In the end, a unique study spot can help you through a difficult text, but mastering the material is more than just gimmicky fun. Knowing where and when you learn best is often a matter of experimentation, and thinking outside the box. Just like university is.


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