Wednesday, June 9, 2010

All I Want Is A 'Centum'

It's that time of the year again; when all your classmates turn into sleep deprived zombies, when you don't know what it's like to sleep at 11:00 pm, when you watch the sun rise every morning and thing "Holy Sh*t, I need to get some sleep", when you read avidly out of pure necessity till saturation, till your palms sweat, till you can't take it anymore. We all love examinations.

I'll spare you the rant on the correction pattern and the fact that the exams of the main University are just papers in which you need to memorise material, regurgitate it and then erase it from your mind. No, I'm not going to talk about how I believe that a Law student should never have to memorise entire Acts because it's not like we're gonna work on cases out of pure awesomeness and radical memory. Books do exist.

What I'm talking to you about is the normal things in life that get skewed because of the exams. My routine, though you can hardly call it a routine, turns into something diabolically distorted and almost not human. Though normalcy is not the order of the day in my life, it has some form of pattern.

This is my pattern during the exams:

On the exam day, I wake up at at about 4 in the morning, or 5. That is, if I don't sleep at 4 or 5. The point I'm trying to make is that I don't have a particular time at which I wake up. This is because it ranges between 4:00 am to 10:00 am (on days in between the exams).
But waking up always involves a sense of panic initially, like I'm about to miss a bus, like if I don't look into my books as soon as my eyes open, I'll faint and die or turn to a life of committing crimes!
Well, soon enough I'll distract myself with something or the other which will make waking up almost pointless and then I'll wish I'd remained asleep cause I have this skewed belief that the more I sleep, the more effectively I'll spend my wakey-wakey time, which is very untrue, actually.

Showering has never been such an eagerly awaited ordeal. During exam days, I've been known to shower 4 times in the span of 10 hours. This is because showers not only make you feel squeaky clean, they also serve as a very effective distraction.
How many of you have ever been in the shower thinking "Wow! This is such a waste of time!"? I bet none of you have (if you're normal). If I watch T.V., I'll be mad at myself for wasting time, but if I take a half hour shower, it feels like I'm doing something worthwhile.

Cooking and eating are routine, everyday things. Sure, I enjoy it immensely. But during exam season, I watch the clock intently until 12:30 pm when I can start cooking whatever it is I want for lunch, and 7:58 pm when I can start thinking about dinner. Then there's 5:00 pm in the middle when I start thinking about my evening cold coffee.
I take time to cook, I take tie to eat, telling myself that I'm taking a "well deserved" break. While in reality, the studying I do is merely a break from my distractions.

Exams demand sleep. At all odd hours, places, and scenarios. I have woken up with a book on my face (cheesy, I know. I can't help it). I've even woken up at 5:00 pm, thinking it's 5:00 am the next morning and panicked. But the fat is that I always feel like I haven't had enough sleep, and the more I sleep, the more guilty I feel. Sometimes I wonder how long I can go without sleep.
Actually, I've managed 30 hours, but that I will tell you how when I explain my wonderful experiences with airline travel.

My computer is the devil. I have to keep checking my twitter though nobody tweets @ me (yes, the use of the @ was intentional and symbolic). I check my facebook, even though the notifications are probably about somebody commenting on a picture of something I 'liked' a while ago, not knowing that I somebody would start a never ending comment thread under it.
I check my webcomics, my youtube subscriptions, my blog, your blog (if you have a blog) and my email. I even check fmls, and sometimes, when I'm desperate for a distraction, my old orkut account (sigh).

I furiously mark, underline, make notes on and scribble on the book I'm studying from. It's more like a "Sharanyaa was here" sign. I also stick post-its on the pages and flag off the important chapters in different colours. I feel very purposeful while doing all these things.
Well, I do eventually study, but I take 40 minute breaks in between 20 minute study sessions. I also drink lots of liquids, to feel like I'm replenishing myself and keeping myself going. I drank an entire litre of tang a couple days ago.

Before you opine, just remember that it's a strenuous thing to do; thinking about what your next purposeful distraction will be while pretending to read a book on Banking Law, takes a lot out of you.

P.S.: Do any of you know what reading but not studying is like? It's terrible! You read all this stuff and it just goes over your head, like you don't remember to register it. It upsets me and makes me want to do commit crimes!


  1. hahahahaha.. Sharanyaa was here! But wow, that's a huge list of todos on your computer more than anything else :p

  2. Hey, Now I know what you do when you say you are studying :)

  3. god - i am soooo glad to be out of exam mode. Hopefully for the rest of my life!

  4. Great piece Sharanayaa! Ive always wondered why higher education continues in the rote mode here where as no where else in the world this happens! The first semester for Indian students studying overseas is a nightmare - I can only say that the reason why rote education is rampant is due to the laziness of our faculty - it is easy for them to correct your papers and drives all of you crazy!

  5. @ Stee: I'm resourceful
    @ Ma: The truth is finally out. But in my defence, I try
    @ Aunty Ji: I have another 2 years to go.
    @ PN: It's very true. Lazy teachers don't want to engage in discussion cause they're afraid that they'll be asked a question that they might not know the answer to or have to do extra research to teach. Truth is, we respect teachers even more if they admit they don't know something, look it up and help us figure it out. Seriously. So long since I've had a "discussion" in the classroom

  6. Totally agreeing with you, especially the sleeping and waking up feeling guilty part...i have had like gazillion mugs of coffees and teas, but....sigh, nothing works to avoid the pangs of sleep which seem to constantly threaten to close your eyelids involuntarily... :|

  7. I find that the underlining and marking stuff actually works sometimes. It helps break down your study. First I scan the text without really paying much attention to it, just marking out bits that look important. Then I take a break (or several) and when I come back to the book I just study the underlined bits. Studying over! A couple of hours later, when I look at the question paper, I can think to myself, "I have no idea what any of these questions mean. Am I sitting for the wrong exam?"


  8. @ Pradeeta: Sleep is all important
    @ Koze: The satisfaction from reading the underlined bits and them seeming vaguely familiar gives you a false sense of "i know this"

  9. Very good to see such a routine !!! Keep it up.But when I went reading the whole I got across that you drink tang a litre.I used to drink tang off and on in my school days.It's flavor remained inimitable.But my grandmother advised me not to take tang a lot for she was suffering from diabetes ,drinking this sweetened flavor too much.And now,I rarely drinks tang. Drinking tang is good if we look at one side since it makes you urinate every now and then,thereby eliminating unwanted waste materials,but in excess it leads to diabetes .Diabetes is the condition in which it makes us to urinate all the time and even wet yourselves without knowing if there is no toilet at close-quarters.It will gradually gnaw away your health if you don't care about this flavor sweetened drinks. So,of course ,we can take a zip to a small extend,if u really feel appetite for it !!!!!

  10. hey

    i am part of whackk (
    can you get back to me with your e-mail at vivek[at]whackk[dot]com

    oh and delete this comment after you see this, please