All entries for December 2012
December 27, 2012
Last week I specifically reviewed on the problem that I had in the workshop and what ¡¥went wrong¡¦ regarding comprehension. Since then, I have been trying out the strategies that I suggested last week.
For the tapping technique, since I am working for a judge at the moment, I come across large amount of cases every day. I would skip out the conjunction words, although it is quite difficult to carry out at first since I had no background of that particular case. I will gradually skip out more words other than just the conjunction words, it is better to first get used to not reading them. As for the guide technique, I still find it very useful and am constantly adapting to it.
Recently I have realized that I did not time myself whenever I read because obviously it would be quite awkward to time myself when I am working with a judge. Also I am occupied with a lot of work at the moment, I hardly find time to sit down and read. One possible way to resolve this would be to time myself while reading articles for the assignments.
This week, I will continue working in the library for as long as I can. I found that sometimes I made an effort to go library but I could not stay for long as I would get tired, also, the library provides wireless which comes with distractions such as Facebook and email.
As suggested by the tutor, I should plan what my work is, what needs internet and what doesn¡¦t. During daytime, I aim to finish work that require internet in the library, and at night, I aim to finish those that don¡¦t require internet as the library is closed at 8pm. Having said this, it is not easy to carry out as I am shadowing a barrister and a judge at the moment, most of my daytime is used to work with them, and I only get around two hours max a day for the work that requires internet.
However, two hours a day is definitely not enough, as the work that require internet include online applications to law firms and researches for my assignments. One method that might mitigate this problem is to download the articles that are useful for my assignments in the library, and read them at home at night, by doing this, my time at the library can be utilised to work on online applications.
Another problem mentioned at the start was my tiredness while working in the library; I find that going for a walk, breathing in fresh air helps to wake me up. However, as mentioned by the tutor, I should reward myself when appropriate as oppose to whenever, I would reward myself with a walk or go on Facebook or to check emails after finishing an online application or anything similar to that.
December 14, 2012
Last week I mentioned that I should try reading with a guide and practise speed reading every day for 10 minutes, after a week, I definitely see improvements in speed and comprehension. This is the opposite of what happened during the workshop in which I found decreased comprehension with increased speed.
I once tried speed reading a magazine while having my hair cut in a salon, in spite of all the noises, I still read well in terms of speed and comprehension! This was the most impressive speed reading experiences I have had, and also made me realise that noises are not a detrimental distraction when a right method is used.
Through practices, I recognised what I have done wrong during the workshop. When I speed read in the workshop, I used the tapping method but I tapped on the wrong words (words that were not key words), and so although I did remember the words, I did not catch the meaning of the whole sentence! Obviously enough then, I ended up answering the questions wrongly!
My aim for this week is to continue to practice with the right method and see if it works, and also to see if there are any other ways that can be used to further improve my speed read.
Last week, I mentioned that my main problem was that I plan absolutely everything but I often find it difficult to start or to stick to the plan. Throughout the past week, I still found this a problem some times; however, it did improve in terms of frequency.
I was more realistic about my plans, for instance, finish one application for one law firm and read one chapter for a module in a day. Being more realistic definitely helped to finish tasks more effectively; however, I was often distracted by things around me. For example, while working on an application, I would browse around other websites, slowing down the whole process, at the end of the day I would find myself not finishing an application or the work that I intended to finish.
I realised that distractions in the environment hinder me from sticking to the plan. Since realising this, I have started to work in a library. Also, I worked much more efficient when I have no access to the internet (at home in Hong Kong, there is no wireless). However, this is not a feasible solution as a lot of the academic work require internet access; therefore, a better way to minimise distractions is to change the environment that I work in.
I also found that setting up deadlines to start a task very useful as I react best to deadlines, on top of that, setting myself into the 'focus mood' definitely put me into a zone where I find it much easier to focus on my work. I have mentioned in the last entry that blogging puts me into the 'focus zone'; in fact, having a schedule to blog motivates me to be more organised with my other work!
I wish that my skills would improve more and more over the next term as the next two terms will be the busiest terms during my undergraduate life!
December 08, 2012
Last week, I have learnt about my learning style and found myself slightly weaker as an activist and pragmatist. I then suggested that I needed to be more spontaneous and less dependent on plans, surprisingly, just by setting this as an action point, I found it easier to be spontaneous! I went to an impromptu social in Leamington yesterday with my flatmates. One thing that I realised from this is that there is something that always hold me back from being impromptu in the past, and it was my own thoughts in my head! Everytime when something unplanned came up, I would try hard to come up with excuses to avoid myself from being impromptu, for example, I would tell myself that I feel sick so I should not go out but in fact I was just too lazy to get dressed.
Although commenting that I was weaker as a pragmatist, I did not set up an action point last week. Therefore, this week I set myself a goal to work out the way to apply new information to situations. I plan to go into the legal profession in the future, therefore, I set myself a target that whenever I read a news article, I will think about how that particular news could affect me if I were a lawyer.
Another action point from last week was to improve my commercial awareness by going to a workshop and reading news daily, I have done both during the past week. However, I found another way that helps me improve my commercial awareness in the most efficient and effective way- watching Channel 4 news daily. It was particularly helpful because it was visual and audio which is the best way to learn new information.
The last action point was to work more and less procrastinating, to be more specific, I will reduce the amount of time I spend to watch TV series and going on youtube.
As Christmas is approaching, there will be more distractions around me, however, I will try my best to stick to the action points!
December 05, 2012
Workshop Tutor: Han-Na Cha
At the beginning of the workshop, we did a reading test to access how fast or slow of a reader we are. I was a slow to average reader which was not surprising at all, this was the whole reason why I signed up for this workshop!
We were then thaught about the different strategies to increase our reading speed, one of which was to use a guide while reading. To me, this strategy worked best and instantly increased my reading speed without reducing my comprehension. However, another strategy did not work for me, and it was to eliminate sub-vocalization. From the effective learning workshop, I learnt that I am an aural learner, and so I learn best when informations are vocalised. This is demonstrated by the fact that when I tried to eliminate subvocalisation, not only did the reading speed reduced, the comprehension also reduced significantly.
The most memorable task I did was the first comprehension test because I got the lowest mark in the group! From the task, I realised that there is a trade-off between speed and comprehension, i.e., I tried too hard to read quicker, I meant a lot quicker than I usually read, I barely understood or remembered the content!
Using a guide.
Action: As mentioned above, I found this technique particularly useful, therefore, I will try to use a guide (pen) when I read from now on.
Right posture and right distance.
Action: Sit straight and place the material at the right distance from myself.
Action: During the workshop, I was not used to this technique yet, and I need to find my own pattern when using this technique. Therefore, I will try this out and figure out my pattern.
Practice, practice, practice!
Action: practice makes perfect, I will practice speed reading for 10 minutes everyday.
Also, I will try to read quicker but not significantly quicker that I completely miss out the content!
To write a follow up, go to http://go.warwick.ac.uk/skills//blog
December 03, 2012
Workshop Tutor: Han-Na Cha
My intention to sign up for this workshop was to learn about effective learning, I have always had problems in this particular area.
One of the real benefits of this workshop was that the tutor let us talk about our problems with learning, and would help us see what the real problem is. I mentioned that I plan absolutely everything, but I find it hard to start or to stick to the plan. This pattern was actually shown when I participated in a memorising activity in the workshop! I was suggested a method to solve this- create a more realistic plan and set deadlines to start tasks instead of deadlines to finish tasks.
We were asked to brain storm on particular subjects, and discuss our ideas with the tutor. This allowed us to actively think about a subject/ matter, one of the subjects was on factors that hinder or help learning. It came as no surprise that we all know what hinder and help learning, but often we neglect the factors, i.e., let whatever that hinders us go on hindering us. We then learn about the strategies that helps to avoid the hindering factors.
I also learnt about the type of learner that I am by doing the VARK questionnaire, and I am an aural learner which I expected.
Setting deadlines for starting a tasks.
Action: whatever deadlines I have, I will plan a deadline to start instead of just writing down the deadline to finish. I am applying to 30 law firms for vacation schemes, at the mean time, I have 2 essays and an internship this christmas, so I have set up deadlines to do certain tasks.
Be realistic about the plans.
Action: In the past, I would set up unrealistic plans like reading 2 chapters (around 80 pages), participating in 3 hour long dance practices and revising all in one day. I have recently however set up more realistic plans, reading 1 chapter per day with the intention to really understand what the chapter is about.
learn and study like an aural learner should.
Action: Reading out the notes instead of just writing. Purchase a recorder when I go back to Hong Kong this christmas, for recording in lectures and also to record myself reading out the notes to boost memories.
Getting myself ready to study.
Action: It is always hard to go straight to work after getting out of bed or finishing a sporting activity for me, therefore, I will start off by doing something that would set me into the 'focusing-mood'. Today, I realised that working on this blog set me into the 'focusing-mood', and hopefully, this will help me focus on revising for a test.
To write a follow up, go to http://go.warwick.ac.uk/skills//blog