Sweden <--> Ohio: Student

Sunday, February 04, 2007

So in contemplation of Swedish cultural views on drinking - I spent this weekend drinking. It was fun, comparatively moderate, useful socially, but has left me with an association of slothfullness. I'm not sure if I've (this quickly?) internalized the Swedish cultural view of working hard and partying hard or if I just happen to be ready for a new challenge and the boredom is asserting itself particularly after a weekend of heavily social recreation.

Thinking about thinking - ended up reading today about mind and concept mapping, both as study tools (they look more useful to me as review tools than as a method of studying - the lack of detail seems prohibitive for lectures) and as 'learning to learn' tools (learning a framework, then details, to be 'hung' on the framework 'pegs').

In reflection, I think the timing has much to do with personal events awaiting me in the States (impending professional school) and a desire to find a coping strategy in advance of jumping in. I feel the coping strategies that got me through undergraduate school are unlikely to be rigorous enough for the stresses of professional school.

Personally, professionally, and mentally, I feel a sharp desire for optimization - cutting useless fluff, increasing focus, and a researching of options post-professional school (without goals, staying afloat becomes goal enough).

Reflecting on my American cultural tendencies, my strategy would be to "try harder"; more rigorously control my time, my actions, and to carefully schedule metered work increments to attain specific goals. (Goal attainment through rigorous planning).

The Swedish view (as I currently understand it) would be to further those goals five days a week with intent, passion, and deliberately focused attention. On the two weekend days, forgetting, relaxing, and recovering from both the workweek and the weekend excesses would be the goal. (Goal attainment through excess). Planning happens in the early stages and has more to do with agreement about intent, consensus building, and 'broad strokes' work than details - those are handled independently by the person encountering them in the process of completing their work.

On a personal level, this would mean navel-gazing about the reasons for my goals, brainstorming about possible methods of attainment, exploration of alternate scenarios, fleshing out specifics of long-term-goals and then working on those items without step-by-step planning or periodic reassessment of goal progress (my time being better spent on actual progress rather than planning).

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