Monday, April 16, 2007

The Mind's Cry for Irrationality (or An Unconventional Method of Exam Preparation)

It is almost exam time for me, which means that my mind is starved for irrationality. The burden of memorizing these thousands of rules (with their exceptions and the exceptions' exceptions) is constantly trying to fuse my cerebelum.

What I need is a solid dose of irrationality. I need a novel- a good one. I am rereading The Lord of the Flies for starters, but I'll be done with it in no time. Does anyone have a good book suggestion?

Incidentally, I think that reading a novel is a great way to prepare for tests. By the end of the semester, I know that I have heard and learned everything I need to know for these exams I have upcoming. Instead of spending all my time relearning, I think it is wise to spend a good bit of time learning how to remember. Nothing gets my mind working in peak condition like reading a good novel. Good writers know how to evoke powerful memories from all over the brain.


ersatz said...

Sir, I agree that distraction is the best form of studying, but as I sit and study neuroanatomy, I had to make a correction (or two).

First, cerebellum has two l's. Second, it's not concerned with your learning or memory. It helps you stay coordinated and walk upright. If you lose it, you'd walk like a drunk and not be able to do the 'finger-nose-finger' move that cops make you do if they think you're drunk. Incidentally, alcohol's main detrimental target in the central nervous system is the anterior cerebellum.

This being said, I recommend reading the novel "Neuroanatomy though Clinical Cases" by Hal Blumenfeld. It's a page-turner.

If you're feeling less ambitious, I read the Anne Rice vampire chronicles this past school year. I don't know if that's the type of book that sits on the top of your list of books to read, but they were very well written. I think the vampires are some of the most human characters I've read in recent years. I dug it.


Joel said...

Might I recommend the following books for your reading pleasure:
"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand
"Notes from Underground" by Fyodor Dostoevsky
"Slaughterhouse-Five" by Kurt Vonnegut
"Wise Blood" by Flannery O'Connor
"The Trial" by Franz Kafka



adam said...

i just finished THE KNOWN WORLD, pulitzer prize winner from a few years ago. it's a challenging read at times, but fascinating...

Rebecca said...

actually, the cerebellum has many other functions, some being eye coordination (reading), timing of movement (page-turning), and involvement in ADHD. so thomas is correct and his fears that his cerebellum might be fusing right now are entirely justified.

thomas said...

Thanks all for the suggestions!

And, for all of you doctor people, thanks you for actually taking the time to learn the right answers to questions. I haven't learned much in law school, but I have learned a profound respect for med students.

ersatz said...

I've learned a LOT in med school, but right now I can say with certainty that I don't remember 80% of what I've learned. My professor just announced that our next test will be full-year cumulative, and I don't remember anything from before this test block.

I imagine you've read this, but I'll also throw Jayber Crow out there. This is my current read, and I think Wendell Berry is amazing.

Rebecca said...

i deceived you as well. i actually couldn't remember everything the cerebellum did and had to look it up on (an EXCELLENT resource for med students-don't know if it will help with law school) b/c I still can't remember after two years. don't tell the other lawyers though.