Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Revision will start soon....honest

There is nothing worse than getting to a holiday after 5/6 weeks of school to realise that you are going to have to do revision and it is not a holiday at all. Or at least you should do revision and you will do your best to put it off but more importantly justify putting it off. As you get older, it seems, you get better at justifying putting off revision (or indeed work) despite it being more important - similar in a way to justifying eating chocolate because it comes from a plant and therefore is essentially a vegetable. All sorts of excuses come out and the older you are, the better you are at convincing yourself of the soundness of those reasons. For example, I shall proceed to put this into an argument and claim that I am therefore doing philosophy revision:
  1. I need to do x amount of revision
  2. I can and will do  x amount of revision later
  3. Therefore I need not to do revision until later. 
If the two premises are true this argument is such that I can convince myself that the conclusion follows and is true and now it would seem that I can put off revision until later. In fact, this argument is paradoxical, because while I've just concluded that I need not do revision until later I have, in the process of formulating it, also managed to convince myself that this counts as philosophy revision. As you get older you get better at not only procrastination, but also convincing yourself that procrastination can count as revision. It's a funny old world. 

You also get better at convincing yourself you need a break after slaving away for approximately 10 minutes, possibly underlining three words that were already underlined and telling yourself it would be good if you knew what they meant but you will figure it out later. At this point I usually go for a banana all the while mentally going over what you have just "revised", again convincing yourself that, despite being on a break, you are actually still revising and, as a result, deserve a longer break. This can get so bad as to watch TV and start finding subliminal messages in the Disney Channel's programming that further convinces you that you are still revising - last year, for example, I was watching Wizards of Waverly Place (as you do), and managed to spend the entire programme asking myself if they were determined to make the decisions they were or if it is was fate or free will. Definitely solid philosophy revision there. Yet again, your second break wasn't really a break at all and you need another break.

Having gone off for the "another break" that you now need after two unproductive breaks, you often end up on social networking sites. The undoing of many, vain attempts to deactivate facebook "for exams" often fail with this being nothing more than simply logging out, Facebook can claim the revision of many teenagers. Twitter is no better and between them, they must see numerous posts about "should be revising but on here" or something along those lines, often complaints about how easily distracted people are and funny things they found whilst procrastinating (like this blog? Nah...). With these sites comes the most deadly and convincing type of justification for not doing revision. Again I shall do some philosophy:
  1. X is online
  2. X is a hard worker and likely to get top grades
  3. Therefore, if X is online and not working, I can be online and not working 
Whilst possibly the most flawed reasoning in the world, this can be the most convincing and for as long as X remains online (let's say s/he left his computer on), you feel you can remain online - after all, is s/he isn't revising, you obviously don't need to be. 

Finally, you decide that for you to "revise" a subject, you have to have known it in the first place. No point trying to learn something that the teacher hasn't taught you so you do one of two things:

1. You email your teacher safe in the knowledge that s/he won't reply because it is not term time and thus convince yourself that you are not able to revise that topic until you go back to school and ask him/her about it. Or rather, that you would have revised it if you could and therefore count the time you would have spent revising it but didn't, as time you actually spent revising.

2. Convince yourself if you needed to know it, the teacher would have taught it and therefore not only do you not need to know or learn it but also you can cut down revision time in the knowledge you have less to revise. 

Having procrastinated but actually revised, taken a break but actually done revision and managed to cut your revision time down despite not revising it is probably time to end the hard day's revision and find a way of adding in revision you've only technically not done to the next day, to convince yourself you will eventually do it, only for the process to start all over again. And with that, I am already 3 minutes late for maths revision but then, I do 3 essay subjects so writing this blog counts as writing practice, so really, I've already started revision...