Day 74 of 1000
Kelly stayed up until about 2:00 AM Wednesday morning in preparation for a Calculus III test. Like a lot of complicated things, calculus is hard until you know how to do it and have used it for awhile. We were surprised when someone told her that it does not help to study anymore within ten hours of the test. I can think of no reason why that would be true other than to give one’s self time to get some rest. Both Kelly and Christian took the test and did great–maybe even better than expected. When we talked about it later, they both mentioned examples of things they read or learned five minutes before the test started that improved their grade. That has been my experience, too.
One of the things I have told the kids time and time again is to just keep the pressure up. The classes where you get all great grades without too much effort are probably not worth taking because you do not learn much without some effort. You will get some low scores on some homework assignments and labs in those difficult classes about complex subject. You might even get a low score on a test or two. If you quit trying and tell yourself you cannot understand the material when that happens, you can fail the class. The reality is that lots and lots of people have figured out how to do Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, and Statistics. If you study, you can get it. So the key is to not get discouraged and always keep the pressure up–study, study, study.
There are six weeks left in the semester. With Thanksgiving and Finals week, it means there are really only about five weeks of actual class. There are papers to write, speeches to present, homework to submit, and quizzes and tests to take. Everything that lead up to this point was just to get the kids to the point where they have a shot at a good grade. NOW is the time when they have studied hard for three months and are tired, but need to add additional study and work pressure to finish well. If that means it is necessary to work through the weekend and stay up late one or two times per week, so be it. It is the most exciting and nerve wracking part of the semester.
Very important update: In the service of familial and marital peace and tranquility, I must also note that Lorena got an “A” on her Financial Accounting mid-term.