Archive for March, 2008

Art of Studying

Some people study by reading their books. Other people study by reviewing notes. Still others quiz each other.

I believe that studying, in the academical review sense, is an obsolete practice.

In my experience, when people study by reading texts, they merely skim over it. They believe that in para-reading, they will refresh their memory. However, in almost all cases*, people only look at what they already know. Things that they don’t know, they won’t know to look at. And if you only look at what you already know, then you have expended effort and time for nothing.

The only way that studying by reading is practical is either by actually going through the text word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph and actually paying attention, which is harder said than done. The only other way books are useful if you know that there is something you don’t know and you go back to learn that information.

The worst case scenario is that you simply read, but the information passes through without processing.

Other people study by reading notes. This has the potential to be beneficial, unless you wrote the notes yourself. Chances are, you will make the mistake of looking over what you know, since writing down things helps people remember. On that note (no pun intended), you can take it upon yourself to transcribe the notes, which is almost guaranteed to help you remember everything. But writing (and even typing) entire scripts can be quite laborious and time-consuming.

Peer testing might also be a viable way to study, but unless you have high self-discipline, it is quite likely that your study session will degenerate into an entirely different tangent**.

Completing mock tests and reviews are probably the best way to go. Like transcribing, however, it is quite the time consuming, and it assumes that you will not fall prey to procrastination.

I personally study very little, if at all. My philosophy: Either you know it or you don’t. If you don’t know it, tough luck. If you do know it, well, then you can pride yourself on avoiding the atrocious, inefficient act of studying. You have saved time, eye strain, and brain strain better spent on self-gratifying activities such as composing blogs and instant messaging.

*Throughout my testing and limited studying career.
**Girls will end up talking about boys and shopping. Guys will end up verbally assaulting each other’s mothers and begin a fist-fight. Girls and guy might end up flirting.
Note: This post should not be considered as professional advice on studying. Moufflets is not responsible for any negative results incurred by the influence of this post.

Advertisements

March 28, 2008 at 4:30 AM 3 comments

The Ultimate Procrastination Environment

Six projects: English, English, English, English, Biology, and History. Then throw in a pile of math homework that you can’t understand.

It’s bad alright. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is, none of them are due right away.

This situation is perfect for procrastination. Add in a blog to write, a newly reformatted computer than you need customize to your exact preferences, an Instant Messaging program that you can’t seem to shut down, and new book by Matthew Reilly that you can’t wait to read, and a blog to write which you are reading at my expense.

Apparently, middle school, and even first semester was way too easy. I could procrastinate almost as much as I wanted and still be fine. Wikipedia calls it “genius procrastination.” But I’m not used to this sudden work overload and now I have degraded into the “tense-afraid” type with a hint of “relaxed.”

It frightens me sometimes. Here I am, in my first year of high school, and I’m already feeling overwhelmed. Three more years to go, and not even any APs yet. But for now, first things first. We always get over it, even if it means cramming.

Extra help for those who need it.

March 27, 2008 at 2:12 PM 2 comments

Chinese Tea Party

Today, I had to learn how to attend a tea ceremony at my Chinese school.

Okay. Before we could even enter the tea room, which was actually just an assembly hall, we had to wash our hands. They had these not-so-clean looking stone bowls with lemon slices floating around. They probably hoped that citric acid could disinfect us.

While we were waiting outside, I noticed something. My Chinese school is supposed to be a nonprofit organization, yet I noticed that they had flat screen TV’s and even security cameras. I’m sure that there could be some better use for that wealth.*

Finally, the people were ready for us. Then it was like a roller coaster ride. They split us up into groups of six and we went off, headed by a mute lady. Buckle up, keep your hands clasped in front of you, your head bowed to your chest, don’t scream, and enjoy the ride.

The layout of the room included a small raised ledge in front of the entrances. It would’ve proposed a small obstacle in getting around, but there was a space in the center. On the other side of this ledge, were our little Rubbermaid tables and chairs, fit for little children about half my size.

You would have thought that you would walk down the middle to get to your tables. Quite on the contrary. We were lead, single file like back in the olden elementary school days, using the longest way possible to get to our tables. When we finally got there, we couldn’t sit just yet. We had to walk, twice, around our tables before we finally took our seats. It is important to note that everything was done as slowly as possible and that meditative music with the annoying plucking of an out of tune lute was playing.

I thought that my legs could finally take a break from the tedious tip-toeing, but as soon as we sat down we had to stand back up to bow to a portrait of an old monk I suspected was the founded of the school’s foundation*. Great, now my back gets to ache. Where’s that Advil?

Next on the agenda, meditation. They told us to close our eyes and listen as they put on some computer-generated noise that vaguely resembled bird calls, windy tundras, and rushing woodland streams. Apparently, it was enough to fool some people, because they answered with birds and wind. I, alone in reality, smugly answered a “CD player”. The other students must have thought I was hearing things because they began laughing. But I knew better.

We sat back down again for a lesson on taking off shoes. Everything must be done slowly and considerately to others. You can’t kick of your shoes; you must nicely remove them. You also can’t leave it right in front of the door, for it would block others way. So being courteous, you very slowly bend down, pick up your shoes, and slowly deposit them to the side. While you take your sweet time trying not to inconvenience others, people are standing behind you, twiddling their thumbs and waiting for their turn to get in the way of others.

Also, when putting back on your shoes, you must pick up your shoes, slowly as usual, and walk else where to put them on, even though it’d be faster just to stick your feet into them and start stamping. Better hope you’re wearing black socks, because they never get dirty the more that you wear ’em the blacker they get.

Thankfully, the shoe tutorial was over. Now, it was time for tea serving enlightenment. How you carry the tray is quite important. You can’t carry it too high, because that would seem like something is dirty. Understandable. You can’t carry it too low, because it makes you seem lazy and efficient. Not so understandable. You have to carry in the most energy-consuming way possible; your hands must be completely flat underneath the try, with your thumbs gripping the side so as to provide the most uncomfortable position and maximize your chances for wrist injury.

As if you didn’t bow enough, you have to bow when serving the tea, as well as having the most artificial of smiles plastered upon your face.

At any rate, several ladies brought us our tea. We then had to take turns pouring the tea into cubic centimeter cups in a counter-clockwise fashion. Say thank you to your pourer. Smile. Pick up the pitcher. Pour. Acknowledge thank you. Set pitcher down. Time consuming, isn’t it? The tea, they explained, was a special tea custom grown for the organization. My hopes brightened. Perhaps it was an exotic boba milk tea. Fertilizer. The stuff was yellow and tasted like your everyday mass-produced Asian tea.

The hostess then said, “Help yourselves.” I grabbed the teeny cup and prepared to throw it back, but apparently, the hostess wasn’t quite done speaking. We’re supposed to daintily hold your cup with your pinky finger stuck out. Just kidding. Using your thumb and forefinger, grip the cup near the lips while supporting it from the bottom with your other three fingers. It was so unstable that I was constantly scared that I would spill.

Highlight of the day. Snacks. But no crumpets. I was hoping to meet a moufflet cousin, without frosting. There was some red bean cake, a raisins and marshmallow skewer, and some interesting little droplet of a something. I braced myself for the proper way to eat. Perhaps you were supposed to nibble, seeing as how everything was supposed to be slowly done. But no instructions came, and I ate all of it in less than a minute. After eating all the food, I discovered something at the bottom of the little plate. It was a sprig of a green something, and it looked very pretty and not for eating. But, food was food, and I ate it anyways.

That about concludes the tea ceremony. On a final note, the instructor asked if we would like to share any comments. I went up there, and explained how I learned that we must do everything as slow as possible, walk as much possible, get scoliosis as much as possible, and use as much energy as possible, and be as inefficient as possible. The teacher just kept smiling. I thought it was just public relations, but somehow I had this feeling that she didn’t know I was making fun of her. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt me.

*Kind of like Communism, isn’t it?

March 23, 2008 at 11:32 PM 3 comments

Moufflets: a History

Moufflets. It’s French for muffins.

My English teacher once called our class that. Then someone decided, “No, we’re cupcakes.” Then our A.D.D. riddled class descended into a discussion about small hand-sized cakes that are generally cylindrical and have rounded conical tops, with our without frosting.

But why did I pick Moufflets? Well, it’s a long story, you see. I was going to pick something like, “My two bits”, or something along the lines, but apparently the domain names were taken. I would have been fine, but as it happens, the author of the blog first post was on November 12, 2003. Incidentally, it was also his last post. His post:

Here I am, world. My name’s Mark, and this is my first blog. I’m 30 years old, and am currently in Oklahoma, U.S.A., as a United States Army soldier. I’m one of those people who annoys (only slightly) those around me by having the need to share whatever’s on my mind. Welcome to the club. Enjoy your stay.

Well, now he’s 35 years old, and he’s annoying me (more than slightly) by having the need to share whatever is on his mind by taking up a perfectly good domain name. Other names such as “My two cents”, was also taken.

“My two cents” did a little better than Mark over there at “My Two Bits”. He made four posts, last one being in 2001; seven years and a day before I made my Moufflets blog. Interestingly, one of his four posts said, “I hate blogger!!!”. So get off blogger and gimme your domain name, thank you very much. On the other hand, those names now sound a bit corny. I think moufflets was the best choice afterall.

So that concludes the history of the naming of this blog, which incidentally is not the main topic of this blog.

March 22, 2008 at 6:36 PM 1 comment

Whitley Strieber – 2012: the War for Souls

I have decided to include book reviews on my blog, so now you have something practical to look forward to amongst my random and inflammatory posts. Of course, the books I read are not necessarily practical books themselves.

Today’s special:

2012: the War for Souls
Written by Whitley Strieber
Genre: Science Fiction
Published by Tor Books
ISBN: 978-0-7653-1896-1

The Mayans predicted that on December 21, 2012, the world would end, or least the human part of it. Well, in this book, fourteen sacred sites around the world (such as the Great Pyramids and Easter Island among them), are blown up and replaced by black lens. These black lens emit mysterious orange balls of light which go about zapping people’s souls out of them. Then devil babies collect the souls to sell to themselves and stuff. There’s a parallel universe in which a guy named Wylie Dale is writing a book called 2012 which is about what happens in the book and no matter what he does he cannot erase 2012. Anyways, in the other parallel universe, which has two small moons and is where all the chaos is taking place, whatever Wylie Dale rights happens. Then there’s all this mumble jumble about looking into your soul and such and the good guys win in the end.

Rating: 7 / 10

This book is really quite confusing. It flips between two parallel universes, and which one the story really takes place in is quite hard to understand. That’s mostly all of the bad, but it counts for a lot. There’s nice weaving in of mythical figures, and the story gets really fast paced and exciting towards the end, especially since you get used to the flip flopping between universes by then. The story also dips into the subtleties of human consciousness and soul-science, which is rather unique.

I would recommend this book only if you’re willing to withstand the rigors of its twisting plot, but wish to get rewarded later on. But if you’re looking for something about the end of the world, I would recommend Domain by Steve Alten. Same great integration of ancient and magical creatures, but with none of the confusion. Steve Alten’s sequel is also recommended, as it goes into the paradox of time loops.

March 22, 2008 at 5:04 AM Leave a comment

Shower Episodes

Showering is a sacred time.

It is a time of peace, renewal, and singing without worrying about anyone else hearing.
But sometimes bad things desecrate this wonderful time.

Bloody Noses
You just washed your body, and then your hands go to your face and then come down bloody. Of all the times to have a bloody nose, why the shower? Everything is wet, so the blood runs all over the place. You tilt your head up, hoping to stop the flow, only to have blood run down your throat as your attempt to shampoo your hair. Finally, you’ve had enough. You slide open the door and reach around trying to find the toilet paper. On your first grab, you find wall. On the second grab, you find more wall while your arm drips water all over the floor. Finally, you find the roll. You try to get it off the roll holder and almost drop axle into the toilet. With the roll in your hand, you rip off a length of the Charmin ultra, leaving wet fingerprints on the super-absorbent (you didn’t think of this when you bought that twelve pack) Charmin ultra roll. Then you ball the paper up and plug it into your nose, after which you suffer the indignity of the plug and go through the difficulty of trying to finish showering without getting the nose plug soggy. For the grand finale, you have to attempt to dry and dress yourself without getting blood on your towel and clothes. Bloody noses sure make bliddy messes.

Blackouts
Other bad things include blackouts, leaving you to shower in the dark. Luckily, the boiler is still running (unless your living in San Francisco in the year 1906 and there’s been an earthquake, then tougher luck) and you have warm water. But don’t trip on the soap or bang your cranium on the shower head.

Who flushed the toilet!?!
Also, don’t you just hate it when you’ve got the water running at the perfect temperature, and then someone in the house either flushes the toilet or uses the hot water. Meanwhile, you’re unaware of this unauthorized water usage, and continue showering. Then, not gradually, the water suddenly becomes extremely hot or extremely cold, making you jump and then land on your back on the rather dense shower floor. But that’s not enough. The water doesn’t return to normal for about a minute, which in the meantime you are trying to avoid the hostile water and shivering the cold air while that moron at the other end of the pipe goes about oblivious to your suffering. Whatever happened to first come first serve?

March 20, 2008 at 4:34 AM 1 comment

Second Period Rush Hour

“Sorry honey, I’m going to be late to dinner tonight. I’m stuck in the second period rush hour. It’s bad, you know how it is in the hallways.”

That poor man above needn’t be late if it weren’t for idiots talking in the hallways, although that man shouldn’t have been on the road using a cell phone, anyways.

First of all, the hallways are bad enough. Take two hundred people and their backpacks and stuff them into a 100 meter stretch of space that’s legally only supposed to hold about a hundred people. Now each make individual move in random directions against the flow traffic, which either doesn’t exist or is going everywhere at once. It’s pretty bad all right.

But wait. Now throw in a couple of idiots strategically stopping in the middle of an intersection to talk. Are your friends accidents or something? Because that’s how traffic builds up on the highways. Accidents don’t cause congestion all by themselves; they need idiots to stop and take part in them.

Anyways, the friends must be accidents because people also decide that they need to engage in a Public Display of Affection and hug, kiss, or hold hands when someone is trying to squeeze through between them.

Balloons and slow walking people are also quite annoying. It’s quite hard to resist the urge to go up to someone who happens to be acquainted with the one of the worst kinds of friends (ones who are bad enough to give balloons), and ask how old they are. After that, you punch them that many times multiplied by the number of helium filled rubber bags they’re carrying. Slow people you just want to sock in the back of their heads and walk over them.

That about sums up the chaos during passing period at my high school. As an afterthought, throw in a couple self-important deans and their golf carts with flame decals.

A sign that should be posted in the hallways.

March 16, 2008 at 8:43 PM Leave a comment

Older Posts


Calendar

March 2008
S M T W T F S
    Apr »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Blog Forecast

  • Cloudy with a chance of moufflets.

Feeds

Open to interpretation. All poorly constructed humor and errors are merely figments of your own imagination.

By viewing this content, whether reproduced here or elsewhere in any form, you realize that said content is product of a persona, and you agree to hold the persona separate from the identity of the author.

Copyright © 2008 - 2010 Moufflets.
All rights reserved.

Certain images are used without permission. Please notify if this presents an issue.

Creative Commons License
This work by Moufflets is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.