Something I'm asking myself is why on earth I care so much. All I have to do is regurgitate information in a way that lets my tutor know that I have learned it. That's easy, right? Well, yeah it's easy. Too easy. And that's the problem. Memorise-and-regurgitate got me through high school, but it didn't engage my mind and I lost interest (back then I was doing sciences, and I blame the lack of engagement for the fact that I ended up in humanities -it had more Big Gnarly Questions to get me actually thinking).
Criminology has loads of Big Gnarly Questions - for a start, what is crime anyway? Who gets to define it and why, and how does that affect everyone else? Yesterday (in which I did stay awake and didn't take any notes but remember all of it anyway), we looked at the media and its influence on public/political perceptions of crime, the symbiotic relationship between the police and the media, and the innate difference between the business of information and the service of information.
I could have SO MUCH FUN with those topics. Instead I'm displaying my knowledge of theory, parrot fashion. And it's doing my head in. I don't make a very good parrot (go ask my ex-principal and also ex-MP Brian Donnelly. If you mention my name to him he'll probably blanch and start sweating).
Last night I dozed off over the Lombrosian Project vs the Government Project, and realised that yes I do have to climb those walls, there are no fun balancey fingery moves, it's grunter jug climbing the whole way, and the only fun question I can tackle has to be outside the essay itself as an addendum, if I let myself tackle it at all.
I also realised that I don't need an A+. All I need is a pass mark. This whole course has been designed around learning theory - it's just in my own mind that I've jumped ahead to the fun stuff. I need to rein in my mind and teach it some discipline, make it stick to the program, and accept that showing them I've learned the theory means taking my brain back to high school.
So tell me, oh wise flist, how do I restrain a mind that thinks in concepts and is prone to leaping off the path to go exploring in the wilderness, and is used to being given free rein to do this?
I'm doing what I did for the last essay - giving myself a day off. Tonight I won't be looking at any papers, making any notes or writing any stuff. I'll also not be letting myself think about crime as a concept. Instead I'll be watching mindless media and letting my subconscious churn. Worked last time. Then I'll do the gigantic blurt and see what comes out the other end.
Pity me, my brain doesn't enjoy being constrained. I want to be rebellious and write a big Fuck You essay that addresses everything except the topic and demonstrates my ability to think, but I won't - because I also want to pass.
*paces restlessly* My frustration, let me show you it.
In other news, I seem to be in the middle of some kind of positive feedback/appreciation vortex at the moment. It's... baffling but enjoyable!
And, it's confirmed. Tommy's Dad says he won't change his mind. Starting in a few weeks, I get my chance to show my kid another way of living. You know, somebody said to me once that the best gift you can give your children is the tools and security to be independent of you. My parents did a great job of this for me, I really hope I can do this for Tommy.
*is excited and terrified*