the show: 12-06-06
<Transcriber Note - The ball has been saved, finals threw me for a loop, but they're yesterday's news and I've got free time again>
(camera zooms in on Ze's black and white nose)
[Song]Baby there ain't nothing wrong, with my oversized holiday sweater.[/Song]
(voice is that of a man, but the video is of a girl moving her mouth to the words)
[Male Voice] Hello my name is Stephan and I am from Ottawa and you are watching Ze Frank. Hahahahahahahahahaha.
(cut to Ze moving his mouth but not talking) [Ze] S-s-s-something from the foru-bu-bum.
(cut to a screenshot of the forum post)
CondescendingRussianHarpey writes: "It's currently finals period for many a college student, what do you recommend we do for a creative study break?"
(cut back to Ze)
That really wasn't very condescending.
(enthusiastically) What does science have to say?
According to some new research published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the best things that you could do is sleep.
I really hoped it was going to be masturbate.
Researchers at Princeton have found that in rats, sleep deprivation causes stress hormones to accumulate which in turn stunts the growth cells that lay down new memories.
Lack of sleep, it turns out, makes you absentminded.
Pulling all-nighters, much like shopping at flea markets, is a lot of work for little reward.
To the extent that you'll permit me, let me share some non-scientific anecdotes.
For me, studying has always been about managing the stress of the relationship between that divorced couple: your conscious mind and your subconscious mind.
Like anyone knows that's tried to remember a phone number, it's your subconscious mind that holds the keys to the knowledge lock box... and it's a little bit of a bitch - it doesn't respond well to pressure.
On a daily basis your brain gets inundated with a whole bunch of meaningless crap like "E! True Hollywood Stories," and over time your subconscious has gotten a little wary about when it should flip the memory and understanding switch.
Fighting gets you nowhere - that's what cramming is - and when it comes time for the child custody hearings your subconscious will say:
- [Subconscious] Billy? We have a child named Billy? I don't know where he is, he must have gotten lost in the basement.
Instead, I take the "break them down slowly with love" approach.
It takes some time and it's a little bit of a stealth move, but it works for me.
The first phase I call "contamination". That's where in a low stress and low expectation sort of way you read and reread everything that you have available to you on the subject: your notes, the textbooks, the readings; but with no pressure.
All you're doing is saying to your brain:
- [Person talking to his/her brain] Did you know that the Organ of Corti is the part of the cochlea that has those little hair cells on it that respond to sound?
During the contamination, your subconscious may say:
- [Subconscious - bitchily] Oh right, you want me to commit this to memory don't you? Last time we did this it was the real name of that Milli Vanilli guy, and that really hooked us up, didn't it?
But you just say:
- [You] Noooo, I'm just sayin.
The next phase I call "the reinforcement". That's where you rewrite all of your notes and anything you highlighted in the readings in easy-to-read handwriting.
Again, no pressure, don't stress out if it seems like your subconscious hasn't committed it to memory.
Your subconscious will be like:
- [Subconscious - bitchily again] Why the hell are you writing this down? We never wrote down Fab Morvan.
- [You] No reason, I've just got a couple hours to spare.
- [Subconscious - annoyed] Fine, alright hand, 'o' 'r' 'g' 'a' 'n' 'o' 'f' 'c' 'o' 'r' 'p' 'i-'... (pauses and looks away) It's organ of corti, not corpi.
- [You] Oh, that's right, it is corti. Thanks subconscious mind. (winks)
After laying down that layer of reinforcement, you're ready for the simmer phase. You just back off and start thinking about something else.
Your subconscious mind will be like:
- [Subconscious - surprised] Oh, so we're not using that stuff...? Corti? Tympanic membrane. (to a rhythm) Boom cheh cochlea scala vestibuli.
After you let the simmer break down the stress and resistance a bit, it's time for the final phase, or "story time."
Find someone in your class smarter than you are and start telling stories that connect the information in as many different ways as possible. Actually say the stories out loud; at first with your notes and eventually without them.
Add information that doesn't fit as little anecdotes along the way.
Linking the information together in stories allows your subconscious mind to attach relevance to otherwise disparate facts.
In a stealthy way this gives your mind a reason to store that crap.
Having recently been contaminated, reinforced, and simmered, your mind will have an easier time putting that stuff away in your knowledge lock box.
- [You] Alright, so the story of sound getting to the brain. It comes through the ear, hammer, anvil, stirrup, hits the tympanic membrane, vibrates the perilymph, and then... (looks off to the side)
- [Subconscious] Uh, yea, and the organ of corti has those little hairs, remember?
And for a moment, you're a family again.
Anyways, that's what works for me, you might have something different, but remember, get some sleep.