Hey, guys. I’m so, so, so sorry, but my voice still hasn’t returned. It’s marginally better than yesterday, but I don’t think that it’s going to make enough of an amazing turnaround tonight to let me be effective in leading a study session. So unfortunately, I’m going to have to cancel the study session at Swift-Cantrell Park tomorrow.
I know a lot of you have been counting on this study session as a way to get ready for the AP exam on Thursday, but I’ll let you in on a secret: you can totally do this without my help. You know so much more than you think you do. So here’s what I suggest:
- Get a group together and plan to study for whatever time you had allotted for tomorrow. You had planned to come to the study session for the whole five hours? AWESOME. Meet at a friend’s house or a coffee shop or go to the park and make yourself study for that length of time. It’s helpful to have other people around when you study, sometimes, because they can make you accountable for the way you spend your time. If you’re studying alone and spend twenty minutes on Tumblr because you got distracted, you’re not wasting anyone’s time but your own. But if you do that when there are five other people giving up their time to study with you, it’s a lot easier to make yourself stay on task.
- Give yourself breaks at LEAST once an hour. Take fifteen minutes to stand up, check your phone, talk about what you’re getting your mom or grandma or whoever for Mother’s Day (that’s Sunday, btw, you might want to get on that), stretch, have a snack, or go play basketball for a few minutes. Whatever. It’s easier to focus and be productive when you give yourself a set time to goof off, too. Don’t expect to be able to bury your nose in your textbook for five hours straight; you’re going to want to check your phone, or you’ll get off-topic, or you’ll have a sudden and desperate need for Oreos. That’s okay. Just plan your breaks, and end them when you say you will.
- Have a plan for what you want to accomplish when you study. Maybe break your study time up into sections: for the first hour, review Units One and Two. The second, Unit Three, then Unit Four, and so on. Maybe make one member of your study group responsible for running that part of your review (that doesn’t mean they have to know the answers– just have them be in charge of looking up information, asking questions of the group, and keeping everyone focused on the topic at hand).
- DO SOMETHING WITH THE INFORMATION. Make something when you study. A timeline, a comparative chart, a mindmap, an outline– whatever. What you need to do is not just look at the information again, but actively rehearse it. Make your friends act out charades about industrialization, SING THE CHINA DYNASTY SONG (or write your own about another topic), write a limerick about the unification of Germany— anything that makes you use and think about information in a new way is helpful.
As for me, I’m going to be looking at how to set up a Google hangout (or something similar). I hope to be able to have some means of letting you guys chat and ask questions online some time tomorrow evening, probably between 7 and 9 PM. If I can’t get a hangout to work, we can at least do a Twitter chat– and you can tweet questions at me all day tomorrow while you’re studying, if you like. My school twitter account is @GallowayAPWorld, and if you use the hashtag #AskMsGalloway, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. (The only things you should be asking Ms. Galloway, however, are AP World History related questions. This is not Reddit, and I’m not running an AMA.)
Hopefully I’ll have my voice back next week, guys, so I can help you with any last minute questions or concerns then. In the meantime, study productively, GET SOME SLEEP, and I’ll see you on Monday.