I'm sitting here, trying to read 200 pages in two different book for two separate exams that I'll be taking tomorrow morning. And I'm a slow reader. I know this. I have always known this. Since third grade, when we had to keep reading logs and even though I knew I was smarter that a lot of the kids in my class, I was reading far less books in the same amount of time. Discouraging, yes, but I had my blatant intellectual superiority to bounce back on.
Then in high school, I didn't read much for English classes, or out of any text books, because I just didn't have the time. And who needed it? I got A's on tests and papers without cracking open a book. It was child's play, and let's face it...it was a good thing because most of my free time was spent in theaters or slacking off (or both).
And now I'm here...almost 22 years old and just now discovering that reading would be beneficial to my grade and progress in the class. And I want to do well, I really do. But there is so much reading.
But that's not the distressing discovery of deficiency. I knew it would eventually catch up to me (I assumed it would have been in high school, but apparently not).
No, this time, it's my faulty memory that has me stressing. It's nothing really new, I suppose, and it runs in the family. My mother has a terrible memory and often misspeaks because of it. And I had kinda of seen that I was not the sharpest tack around when it came to recalling information, but I don't think it had ever affected me like it has recently. It's one thing to lose a name that was on the tip of your tongue or to drop your train of thought. That happens to everyone. This is something else.
The last time I took a test in my Mesoamerican Art class, I had done a majority of the reading in the two hours right before class. On the test, there were familiar questions and I could recall the answers. But then there were some and I knew that somewhere in my brain, there was an answer, but I drew a complete blank. It was on the material I had read the night before...not right before class. And there were things that I knew were in the book, I could even picture where on the page, but I couldn't tell you what the page said, or even which civilization it was talking about.
I chalked that up to not studying enough, and though it was frustrating that something I had read 12 hours earlier was no where to be found, I didn't pay it much attention. Her tests are difficult and the wording is often awkward (she is not a native English speaker, and the subject matter is her mother culture, so it makes sense that she drops in words of Spanish and speaks with different patterns than I'm used to).
But then last week, for some reason or another, I got a Britney Spears song stuck in my head and I tried to remember if I had ever seen her in concert. I'm not sure. I stood there for a good 30 seconds trying to remember, and I think I went to one of her concerts...maybe at the Allstate Arena, promoting her Britney album? But I don't know. I've seen a few concerts at the Allstate, so it's not hard to picture myself seeing a concert there. It's been over a week and I'm still not sure if I ever went to a Britney Spears concert.
Okay, so it's not a huge deal...but it would have been less than 5 years ago. And concerts are pretty big events. Yeah, I've been to a bunch, but it's not like I go every weekend. Lately, I haven't even been going once a year. So why can't I remember a unique moment in my life?
I watched Finding Nemo recently and I was stuck by the part where Marlin decides to go off on his own and Dory gives her emotional little speech: "No. No, you can't... STOP. Please don't go away. Please? No one's ever stuck with me for so long before. And if you leave... if you leave... I just, I remember things better with you. I do, look. P. Sherman, forty-two... forty-two... I remember it, I do. It's there, I know it is, because when I look at you, I can feel it. And-and I look at you, and I... and I'm home. Please... I don't want that to go away. I don't want to forget."
That's how it feels. It's there...I just can't get to it.
So now I'm worried that I won't finish the readings that will be on my exam tomorrow (both are reading-intensive, rather than lecture-intensive, which I'm better at). But I know that if I had started sooner...if I had read it last week, or read a chapter a day for the past 7 days...I would have forgotten most, if not all of it.
I'm 22(-ish) years old...why can't I think clearly anymore?