Perhaps I should have known better. Perhaps it would have made sense that NaBloPoMo would make me lose sleep. Perhaps this amount of sleep would have been significant. Perhaps the sleep deprivation would affect my school performance. Specifically, perhaps it would have impacted my performance on a specific test on a specific day, say today.

All unobvious subtleties aside, the side effects of NaBloPoMo are starting to show. Every second I spend writing a post is cutting into my sleep time, which accumulates to roughly 15 hours of lost sleep in the first week alone. When this means 5 hours of sleep instead of 8 the night before a test (and multiple days of sleep deprivation before that) the effects manifest pretty clearly through my grade. I didn’t even spend those extra 3 hours studying, just writing a post that had absolutely no relevance to school.

Ok ok, one less-than-ideal test grade. What’s the big deal. Well, it pulled my grade across a certain boundary that I shall not name, which has been bothering me since I usually pride myself on not having on worrying about grades. Even more frustrating: I brought this whole situation upon myself, and everything was clearly preventable.

Is it even worth sacrificing sleep and GPA points to blankly type to an Internet? To what extent are grades important? A certain hypothetical situation always comes to mind when I start thinking about these questions:

Two students are taking a test. Student A has excellent short-term memory and aces the test, but forgets everything afterwards. Student B doesn’t study and therefore fails. However, right after the test, he figures out all his mistakes and retains the information for the rest of his life. Which student is “better”?

The obvious answer to this question is Student C: the student who learned all the info, acing the test and remembering everything afterwards. (Ok, maybe the answer wasn’t that obvious.) But we are often caught in the situations of Student A and Student B, leaving us to contemplate the gap between school and learning.

[slightly relevant article: For Asians, School Tests Are Vital Steppingstones]

In my particular case, I was probably Student D, who didn’t study and didn’t really learn much after the fact. No, I’m not proud of it, but NaBloPoMo is higher on my priority list that school for now, with the assumption that I’ll be able to make up any hits to my grades later on. Although learning to write faster wouldn’t hurt, since it’s been another two hours since I began writing. Back to homework for now.

One thought on “Balance

  1. Pingback: “Studying” | afanofideas

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