Sunday, May 19, 2013

Exam Prep Update

Nobody who knows me well will be at all surprised to know that I'm using Excel to organize my study for my second set of exams here in Aberdeen. I made a list of stuff to study, which then expanded a bit. It's remained (mostly) intact since Thursday. I've been using it to keep track of the various things I need to either read for the first time, or review from earlier in the semester. It's been pretty effective.

I probably won't finish everything on the list. The Secondary Study Topics, for example, may get a bit of attention, but I'm focusing on areas of overlap between my two classes, and trying to figure out particular sources that I can be ready to cite. I worked from a similar strategy for last semester's classes, and was fairly successful in Strategic Theory, and did well enough in Strategic Intelligence. I'm feeling pretty confident about GSI, so I've been focusing on materials that cover both GSI and SND, because I'd like to do at least one grade point better in SND than I did in SI last semester. I'm still a bit nervous about SND - Critical Mass is a tough grader - but I'm probably more comfortable with the concepts, and with having appropriate sources to cite, than I was in SI last semester.

I checked the exam timetable again. SND is Friday morning, and GSI is Monday afternoon. I'm pretty confident that I'll be ready.

Gotta say, I'm getting a ton of mileage out of my Kindle during this particular exam prep period. I've been using my laptop, and studying in the SOC, but I've also been taking my Kindle to Starbucks and reading Modern Military Strategy, or a ton of PDFs. As part of my continuing mission to turn my Kindle into the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I've also sent some additional "Defeating Tech" PDFs to it, including some Marine Corps doctrinal publications, and the transcripts to the 1981 Reith Lectures for reading while listening to the corresponding mp3s. In all honesty, it's really simple stuff, but I love how I've been able to use the thing as a sort of academic force multiplier. It also saves me lugging my laptop to Starbucks. I continue to lean further and further toward blaming all of the Kindle's shortfalls on the university's network settings.

More updates as they come, but as far as I can tell, I should be more than ready to trounce my peers when it comes time to spend a combined total of six hours destroying my wrist. Booyeah!

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