Two or three days before the February or June finals. A mountain of neatly written rainbow-y looking notes from my university classes on top of the desk (my handwriting was pretty good before I became a master typist). I used to study by taking notes in class as fast as I could, never once looking down to the piece of paper in front of me. It was hard enough looking at the teacher, listening to the lesson and writing it down, all the while letting my mind drift to more entertaining matters, like boys and what I had planned for the weekend. Trying to concentrate on good handwriting as well was simply too much. So I’d get home with anywhere from 15 to 30 pages of doctor-like notes, which I would immediately write out neatly. I’d like to say it helped me retain what I’d heard in class, but most of the time I’d learn about that day’s topics for the first time as I rewrote those notes. Then, I’d pull out my ruler and box of coloring pencils and go to town underlining sentences in purple, circling words in orange, encapsulating important concepts in green, and highlighting whole paragraphs in red. You might have a case regarding their usefulness, but my notes were beautiful.
Back then, we only had exams twice a year. Maybe you were assigned a special project here and there – a book commentary, an essay on a certain subject – but mainly you got tested on all your classes first in February, and then in June. If you flunked a class in February you had a chance to make it up in June; if you flunked in June, you could pick it up in September, but that meant being screwed all summer long studying. So it was pretty vital to pass all your classes the first time around. I never cooked and I helped my mom sporadically with cleaning chores, bitched every time she asked me to go to the grocery store with her. But the week before finals straightening out my room, organizing my closet and spending the evening grocery shopping at the supermarket sounded almost as good as a crazy few days in Vegas. At least better than spending the weekend locked in my room, Rip Van Winkle in hand, trying my best not to follow suit. Anything but sitting my ass on that chair staring at those rainbow notes. I always felt guilty to procrastinate so shamelessly, but at least my room was tidy, the kitchen sparkling, and my mom happy at the end of the day.
Now, I often long for those times. Don’t be stupid, of course I procrastinate. But I have Facebook, Netflix, and the blog. So not only do I still make up excuses to avoid getting on with my online Basque class, but my house is a mess, the fridge half empty, and I got clothes all over my bed.
- Athletic de Bilbao vs. Barcelona – Watch the King’s Cup final at Boise’s Basque Center on May 25
- 2012 Udaleku application available online