How Much Preparation Is Well Prepared?

Singleminded, again. After the disastrous intelligent systems exam on Wednesday I spent the next two full days preparing for the computer networks exam on Monday morning. I reviewed my flash cards and composed my crib, which fortunately can be typed this time, so I was able to just copy those flashcards I have most problems remembering. Of course this procedure has the unfortunate effect that I have memorized the information I find easy to remember, and available in print the information I find most difficult to remember, which somehow leaves a large middle ground of things I neither find easy to remember nor have written down. But I see no way around that.

Most of the time I did Altklausuren until I more or less knew the answer by heart and read the book recommended for this lecture to get a grasp on possible problems and on the general background. On Saturday I attended choir practice all day, doing random selections from my flashcards on my cell phone whenever other voices were rehearsing (I am a bass, and usually our parts are simple so we aren’t needed very often). Today I am skipping practice, or at least I was planning to, to do some more computer networks, since the exam is tomorrow morning. But in truth I have long ago passed the point where studying more has even a marginal benefit. Right now it feels like what I don’t know now about computer networks is probably not worth knowing anyway. At least not for the exam. Of course the professor might see that differently. But I am simply done with computer networks right now. Since, however, there is no point in confusing myself by starting to prepare for another exam (software engineering and adaptive systems are still later this week), I am probably stuck.

Another thing I shouldn’t confuse myself by right now is work, as in real, paid work. A few days ago, after long agonizing over the decision, I finally decided to go and work for the downtown IT consulting firm. Literally the day after I had posted the signed contract I received several e-mails with information regarding my first work assignment which of course had the unfortunate effect of giving me yet another thing to distract me from exam preparation. And that five weeks before the contract will even start, after our return from our summer vacation! I told them politely that I had other things to worry about right now, and tried to put the thing out of my mind, with predictably little success.

Still not quite sure what to do with the rest of this Sunday. My wife has taken the children to the playground (it’s beautiful summer weather outside), and I am starring at my computer screen wondering. Might as well check out what the choir is doing (it’s a rehearsal weekend for a musical theatre performance in fall).

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