Sunday, 2 March 2014

Day 52: "Study Party"

What went well?

  1. Finally finished preparing my study guide for my intro Buddhism mid-term, literally about 25 hours of work later... 18 definitions/explanations of significance for Buddhist terms, and four practice essays. Now, to actually practice recalling this stuff! About 8 hours over the next two days planned for this. This is objectively a disproportionate amount of work for 15%. To compare, I'd spend about 25 hours working on a 25% essay at UniMelb.
  2. Had a "study party" with a new friend. i.e. keeping each other company/moral support and drinking tea while studying. It was actually really productive!
  3. Finished preparing for a debate in Buddhism tomorrow. In Being Peace, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote of a situation where a 12-year-old refugee girl got raped by a pirate, and she subsequently killed herself. Thich Nhat Hanh suggested that if we took a gun to the pirate, then we'd be killing ourselves because we are all to some extent responsible for the shitty societal conditions that the pirate was raised in, and wants us to cultivate radical empathy. This idea is highly compassionate but of course debatable, so we'll be debating that tomorrow. My group is the "judge" group, so we're coming up with a decision as to what should happen to the pirate and a justification for that decision. The other "characters" in the debate are Thich Nhat Hanh, the pirate, the girl's mom, and a letter written by the girl before she killed herself. Will update on how that goes tomorrow! Anyhow, the WWW part was that our group collaboration via email actually went really smoothly, far more easily than expected. Everyone contributed with thoughtful ideas.

What did I learn? 

  • The thing about keeping a daily blog is that it kinda encourages you to do interesting things (or at least think more deeply about what interesting things you learned that day!). Like, today, I had an objectively boring day - literally all I did was study and go to the gym - so this is a very boring thing to report on, and I wouldn't want to do that on a regular basis!
  • I still haven't learned about the merits of taking a nap. I had an extremely unproductive afternoon, in which I now realise (again, too late!) that I may as well have taken a nap or a break, instead of trying to work all day. I did get everything done in the end but I still probably could have taken a break and gotten stuff down in a shorter amount of time.

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