Do Not Attempt To Procrastinate Or You Will Be Obliterated!

Strax understands how I feel about trigonometry.

Strax understands how I feel about trigonometry.

I have discovered a new method of studying.

But before I tell you about it, let me give some background information. Lately, I’ve been studying for a lot of tests. I took the SAT in March and the ACT in April, and will be taking the SAT for a third time this June. Add to that all my chemistry assignments and you get a lot of stuff that’s, well… boring.

I mean, really. While practicing for the SAT’s reading sections I’ve read passages about, I don’t know, the life cycle of plankton or a day in the life of a tree or something else similarly irrelevant and dull. The math sections aren’t much better because as soon as I see numbers I immediately wish I were somewhere far, far away.

And don’t even get me started on chemistry. I actually like science, but I don’t like textbooks. It amazes me how those books suck out all the fun, interesting bits of a subject – like, aren’t we supposed to care about those topics? I don’t know about you, but as soon as I crack open my chemistry text I can feel my eyelids start to droop.

All of this is, as you may have guessed, not very conducive to studying. It’s not a matter of not wanting to study – I do want to study, because I want to do well on these tests and the best way to raise my scores is by practicing. It’s a matter of staying focused. It’s a matter of not letting my thoughts wander when I hit the boring passages of a reading section (or whatever).

The obvious solution, then, is to make studying more interesting. I have found that listening to music helps (especially once I’ve listened to a song many times while studying because eventually it automatically puts me in the mood to practice), as does annotating passages as I read to make sure I understand their meaning.

But those are fairly standard studying practices, things I already do. I like weird and funny things and they’re not weird. They’re not funny.

Do you know what is weird and funny and very helpful in keeping me focused during the study of boring things? Mentally reading the essay / math problem / et cetera in a voice that I find amusing.

No, really. Try it. Get up and go find a book that you otherwise wouldn’t read for fear of collapsing from boredom, and open it at random. Then read a paragraph or two out-loud-but-in-your-head in Kermit the Frog’s voice.

You grinned, didn’t you?

I find this very helpful. It’s completely weird, I know, but then so am I. And now instead of sighing loudly and gnashing my teeth every two sentences because the reading sections are JUST SO FREAKING BORING, I giggle. And I pay more attention to what I’m studying, because I’m no longer half-asleep with boredom. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner.

By now you’re probably wondering, “Engie, what does this have to do with Commander Strax from Doctor Who?” The answer is “everything.” I like a number of “studying voices” – including but not limited to Kermit, the Tenth Doctor, Morgan Freeman (obviously), and Gandalf – but my favorite by far is Strax.

I don’t really even need to explain his vocal awesomeness if you watch the show but for non-Whovians, I’ll leave this link of him speaking in “The Snowmen.” He’s just… perfect for goofy studying, with his deep yet silly voice. He’s also a bit arrogant and violent and his catchphrases reflect this, which makes studying even better because then I can substitute “human scum” for “people” and occasionally end sentences with “for the glory of the Sontaran empire!”

And that is all I have to say to you today. Basically, the only reason I wrote this post was so that I could talk about Strax. Thank you for making me giggle, you foolish character, you.

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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18 Responses to Do Not Attempt To Procrastinate Or You Will Be Obliterated!

  1. Miriam Joy says:

    While practising for my French oral exam, I did it all out loud in silly voices, declaiming it like a demented Shakesperean actor on helium while techno remixes of Broadway songs were blasting in the background. My parents hated me, but I reckon it worked.

  2. Ok your studying plan is awesome and I shall use that in the future yes. Most of the time when I study for [random boring subject], I pretend I’m doing one of the following:
    – I am Hermione and studying so I can keep Harry and Ron out of trouble because they are idiots and tend to embody the definition of Gryffindor in their actions.
    – I am Spock and studying so I can keep Kirk out of trouble because he is an idiot.
    – I am River and studying so I can keep the Doctor out of trouble because he is an idiot
    … There is a quite obvious theme, isn’t there.

    • Miss Alexandrina says:

      That is an amazing way of thinking about it! May have to steal it. 😉 lol: “they are idiots and tend to embody the definition of Gryffindor in their actions.” As a Slytherin, I wholeheartedly agree with that 😛

    • nevillegirl says:

      Why, thank you.

      That is a quite obvious theme, and a lovely one. ^-^ Although if I pretended to be River I’d probably end up getting really distracted because I’d go “hey wait a second, River wouldn’t do homework, she’d just shoot things and cause havoc” and then I’d daydream about having adventures.

      • True, true. I tend to use the earliest version of River, when she’s just escaped the Silence and is trying to become an archeologist so she can learn more about the Doctor.

    • nevillegirl says:

      @Alexandrina: *happy Slytherin cheering* Be smarter than the Gryffindors. 😛

  3. Artgirl says:

    Reading my homework in Strax’s voice makes it ten times more fun. I thank you for the study tip.
    I’ve never tried this with homework before, but when I was little and doing I always imagined a witch had me locked in a tower and I had to finish, or I was the maid for a grand palace, or something like that, to keep me entertained. Maybe I should try it with algebra sometime…

    • nevillegirl says:

      You’re welcome.

      That sounds fun too. 🙂

    • nevillegirl says:

      Haha, I thought you were talking about homework but if you mean chores… actually, I still do the same. 😀 My weekend job is boring so I just pretend I’m Ash (or Ella from Ella Enchanted, sometimes – any Cinderella character works well) and then I just pretend that maybe once I’ve finished the work, a cute huntress will show up and we’ll live happily ever after.

      I am perpetually five years old, aren’t I? xD But make-believe is fun. The cute huntress never shows up, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
      Also sometimes I dream of getting free sandwiches at work. They’re very yummy. ^_^ *goes totally off-topic*

      • Artgirl says:

        Hey, everyone needs an inner five-year-old for playing make-believe. It’s not like I don’t sometimes play dress up from the bin in my closet, even now. Imagination is a good thing.

  4. Miss Alexandrina says:

    Haha, I love that Snowman clip. “Silence, boy!”

  5. wondrousadventurer says:

    Similarly, I’ve discovered that taking my notes in assorted fictional languages makes things massively more engaging. My fluency in aurebesh means my Macroeconomics homework easily becomes Jedi homework instead…

    • nevillegirl says:

      I would try that… if I knew any fictional languages. >.> Are you fluent in Quenya, by any chance?

      • wondrousadventurer says:

        I don’t know much, but I’m planning on working on it over the summer. Along with several less-fictional languages. Although it occurs to me… seeing as Tengwar is phonetic, one could simply learn the alphabet and take notes in “tranlsated” English (in much the same way I use Aurebesh and Atlantean).

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