This blog has nothing to do with the Bible, Church, or Theology. It’s just about how this red-neck managed to get educated. Since its back-to-school time, I hope it helps someone out.
I have never been accused of being a genius – resourceful maybe, but never a genius. I never cracked a book till I got to college. In fact as a high school student I was in and out of school until I came to Christ just one semester before I graduated. When I hit college I had no clue how to study. Add that to the fact that I am of only average intelligence and…..well it was tough.
I figured out quickly that I needed to do something or I was going to flunk out of school.
Over the first couple of years I developed three simple techniques that allowed me to not only stay in school, but excel in school. In fact after I transferred to Baylor my junior year, I was on the Dean’s academic list as a Greek major. These three techniques also served me well through two graduate degrees after college. So parents of students share this with your kids no matter where they are in their education pilgrimage. Any students that are reading this, believe me this will make a difference. The amount of discipline it requires is a small price to pay for the results you will achieve.
1. Re-copy and organize your class notes daily. When you are taking notes in a lecture class you are writing fast and often very sloppily. I always tried to write down everything the professor said. The result was a lot of scribbled, abbreviated, and unreadable mess! So while it was all still fresh on my mind that night I would take the time to re-write my notes neatly and in order. At that time I could condense them down to what was really worth keeping. It normally wouldn’t take more than 30 minutes or so.
This accomplished two things. First, when it came time to study for a test I could actually read my notes! Second, the very act of re-writing my notes was the first step toward cementing the material into my memory.
2. Review your notes for each class at least once per week. I’m not talking about heavy studying here but just re-reading and reviewing them. The weekend was often a good time to get this done. A Saturday morning or a Sunday afternoon is also a great time.
3. When it’s test time don’t do last minute cramming. It doesn’t work! When I knew I had a test coming I would begin studying and memorizing my notes for that test at least three days ahead of time. On the night before the test I would review my notes, shore up any weak points in my memory, and then go to bed and get a good nights sleep. I would often be the only one taking the test who had slept more than a few hours! I went into the test rested and stress free! It’s a proven fact that with at least 24 hours for your brain to organize new material, and with a good nights rest, your re-call will increase tremendously!
Well that’s how this educated redneck did it. The geniuses among us might not need this kind of discipline, but then most of us aren’t geniuses are we? I’m sure not.
James M.Reeves, DMin.
Senior Pastor, Celebration Fellowship, Ft. Worth, Texas
Author: Refuge (How Hospital Church Ministry Can Change Your Church Forever)
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