Inside Objecting

Some ado about somethings

Month: October, 2012

Mastering the Test

How do you deal with test anxiety? Does being anxious make you better at a test or worse? Is test anxiety part of the fight/flight behaviour?

I don’t really know – I’m sure there is tons of research on it as well as volumes of self-help books – but at the end of the day, we must all find a way to be our own best teachers. To internalize and integrate into our lives the lessons that we have understood.

I continue to learn and consequently to not internalize and integrate the knowledge that my anxiety about testing makes me perform at less than peak possible progress. I passed the practical part (driving) of my UK driver’s license exam today. I passed with 4 minor faults – I think you can have up to 15 minor faults and still pass. So, 4 is pretty good. Not flawless – but reasonable for someone who has been driving for 31 years.

However, this is the second time I took the test. I failed the first time.

I failed with the same number of faults, 4. Three were minor and one was a serious fault that required failure of the test. It was not a dangerous situation – but was clearly (even to me) a serious fault. But rather than dwell on why I failed, I’d rather think now on why I passed – or even why I didn’t pass before? (nb: this is a different view from why I failed)

I relaxed. I allowed myself the liberty of taking my time (within reason) and didn’t try to force anything or rush though it. As a consequence, I got the same number of faults – as i am still the same driver – but none were serious. So, why do I still need to remind myself to relax? Why are we not taught from an early age how to test? To master the test?

When I was in college first, I did poorly – even by my standards as I didn’t put enough effort into it and as such couldn’t make hide nor hair of the tests. I dropped out and went back to college 6 years later. I still didn’t put enough effort into my classes – but – I did much better on the tests. For at least this kind of testing, I had figured it out to some extent. I had learned how to listen and be aware of what was likely to be asked of me (“Is this going to be on the test?|”). If you have to ask that, you will surely fail.

Do we ever learn this? Is there perhaps a benefit to subjecting our children to battery after battery of standardized tests only because it gives them test taking skills that they will need in this life where we are constantly, throughout life, measuring ourselves in one test or another. I guess we just have to get used to it.


Irksome things

One of the things that I find irksome is when I’ve spent numerous hours, well many hours, ok some hours, fine….a few minutes thinking of some concept that seems that no one has ever thought about something this way before only to find out that not only has some one already thought of it, but there is actually a word for it and it was commonly discussed in the 19th century. I’m catching up, I guess, at least I’m not reinventing ideas formulated by Irish monks in the 11th century.
The idea is that primarily there are two kinds of people in the world – much like Sherman Alexie posits – and they are those that think life and human life are two (or more) things – that is a body and a mind, a body and a soul, man and god – and those that understand that existence is really just one thing. A spectrum surely but not a duality but a monistic (as in single) view of the world.
Falling into the latter camp I find it equally irksome that people who are dualists don’t even understand that they are different in this fundamental way from the rest of us. The fact that there is a body and a soul is a given to them and they think the argument is just about which god(s) control the various bits of our dual existence. I find it irksome that they are so – and that there was a whole school of thought called Monism that I had never heard of and thought I invented myself.

Binder full of women

What would you do with a binder full of women? Is that even the correct plural of that? A murder of crows, a flock of seagulls, and a binder full of women. I’m sure I read that somewhere.

If that remark was meant to sway female voters, does it really hit the target? I think perhaps not. People can generally understand when they are being pandered to. So, it must be for men who might be swayed by not wanting to vote for him, but this lets them salve their consciences that he isn’t that bad kind of man. The truth is probably somewhere in between. If he wins, he probably will do little to advance equal rights – but probably won’t do much to remove the areas that have been addressed so far. His concern is really about money and whatever will make his handlers more. Equal rights is neutral to these economic concerns and is really just him pandering to the religious right. Why they do not see this is a mystery. Or perhaps they do, but don’t really care.

Restarting Blog

Here I am restarting this blog again. Not sure what I want to write about or share with the world, but I guess I’ll figure it out as I go along. Like most things.