Change the pitch of your learning curve

This time of year can be stressful for students, especially those who foolishly become preoccupied with pointless extracurricular activities, such as studying.

It seems calm — midterms gone, a few weeks to term finals — but I remember this as the moment you had time to contemplate that you were doomed.

At first there’s new-year buzz: Students observe who’s become hot and/or cool, learn the new consensus jean-waistline height, and decide when to wow their peers with the three guitar chords they’ve been practising.

Then midterm marks painfully remind you: Time to prepare for a long grind of studying or pack it in.
Well, relax students: I humbly suggest you can do both.

As a veteran of high school, university AND comedy college, I’m qualified to point out that every school skill you pick up can be performed after graduation by iPhones, spell-checkers and whoopee cushions.

You’ll forget most of the “facts” you learn. But if you use class as a springboard for half-assedness, well, that’s the type of skill a person will use for the rest of his or her life. “Teach someone a fib, they’ll cheat for a day,” the old saying goes. “Teach them how to fib and they’ll cheat forever.”

How To Study Without Really Trying:

  • Find a good spot: The ideal area is a soundproof spot in your own room so you can lock your door and put a “DO NOT DISTURB” sign on it while you play Call of Duty: MW3.
  • Break studying into segments so you don’t get overwhelmed: For instance, if you plan to watch The Simpsons before you start your homework, you might say: “OK, I just have to watch Bart wake up and realize he’s joined the Junior Campers. Then it will be no time at all until Homer finds the Krusty Burger.” In this way, even all-night Simpsons marathons won’t seem too daunting.
  • Study the hardest stuff first: This will give you the illusion that you’re getting smarter as you go.
  • Highlight everything: I don’t know why it works, but all the smart kids highlight so often that their books increase in weight. You should follow suit, as a status thing.
  • Get help from other people: Any experienced student knows the most effective way to learn new information is to grill smart people on the day of the test. Find a nerd in the morning, grab their arm and ask them questions in a tone of voice usually not heard outside of 911 calls.
  • Above all, don’t panic. Schools never let students fail the same grade twice. Technically, you could ignore your teachers from the first day of Grade 1 and be on your way to a 24-year vacation topped off with a diploma.

By the time you hit 30, you should really have those guitar chords nailed.




News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…