Sticking with this bird by bird theme, I’m going to take on the big one today:
Do I Still Believe?
Here's the short answer:
(with little "y")
I absolutely know I can do this (boldly). The ever so slight hesitation you hear in my voice has to do with the timeframe I set for myself (i.e. in the year of 2011).
When doubt encroaches, I usually turn to my teenage daughter and ask her if she still believes. She never wavers, and always responds with utter conviction: "Of course!"
And then I believe again.
This is what it’s come to after 8 months of studying, increasingly hard I might add -- and barely a whisper of a score improvement. I can honestly say that I had no idea it would be this hard.
Here's what I see as my biggest hurdle:
Will I learn to "MacGyver It" before the end of the year.
I'm not talking about IQ (i.e. potential) or knowledge (i.e. hard work). I'll devote every hour left in 2011 to the "deliberate practice" that's necessary. My hesitency is about my innate ability to think fast on my feet, under pressure with time constraints.
I've come to believe that some people have brains that are more prone to this type of thinking than others -- and, it's possible that gender plays a little bit of a role too -- but I'll get to that in another post.
The bottom line is this: Yes! I still believe, but with a few caveats worth noting:
The solid base of core knowledge -- as in the automatic, you know "the ladybug has spots" kind of knowledge -- takes way longer to attain than I'd ever imagined. Take my "elbow grease" theory, and multiply it by 500.
The final point I want to mention briefly here, but will address more fully in the near future, is that you have to be a great reader to do well on the SAT. Not just a voracious reader (i.e. me) -- but a precise reader (i.e. not me). You need that skill in spades to do well on all 3 sections (yes, even the math).
Illustrations by Jennifer Orkin Lewis