Monday, November 16, 2009

Full Steam Ahead!

I received a very exciting letter in the mail on Saturday....suspenseful was the results of my latest architectural exam and I PASSED! WOOHOO! That means, officially I have completed three exams and I have four to go. My next one is a week from today, AAAAHHH (scream with me now) HHHHH. To give myself some credit I have been studying pretty hard for it the past five weeks, but definitely not as hard as I could be. The most difficult part of studying for these exams is that the material is very familiar. So as I read through the texts I think to myself dismissively "yeah yeah, I know this", but then I am not focusing on the specifics of each topic. That's what seems to get me on the practice tests. And of course they are trying to trick you, so it is almost a matter of getting used to their style of asking questions. But of course, knowing the material usually has a lot to do with it too.
Today was "conquer the graphic portion" day. I went through it on my own and then I thought "easy". Well thank goodness for the ARE Forum where people post their drawings for others to critique. I realized the few minor (which could become major in a grading scenario) mistakes as a result of their tricky language. Sneaky test writers. It is like it's their job to make sure you're really paying attention to the directions or something? jeez.

My biggest issue is that procrastination is setting in! This is the first time that I can remember that I have not been extremely excited to study for something. Even on my breaks from school I would be researching something or catching up on portions of my textbooks that we didn't get to. I know, I am a super-nerd. But that is just how I have always been. Well after graduating from Cornell, I went through a....lets call it a detox period, where I was still extremely addicted to school. I went so far as to set-up a meeting with an advisor to discuss a PhD. Well thank goodness he forgot about our meeting because it wasn't until I was standing in the hallway waiting for him that I realized I was tired of school. I was tired of working 8 hour days, stuffing in two or three classes and then coming home to cram in a few hours of homework before bed. I was ready for new adventures. I had spent 7 years dreaming about sewing and crafting. Sure, sometimes I could squeeze it in, but most of the time the projects just sat in my brain.

It took me a few months to get approved to begin my exams, I finally received word in February and I scheduled my first test for March. Well I had seven months of freedom at that point. But I was excited to get my license, so I dove in with a lot of enthusiasm. But as time has gone on and I have to again put away my sewing projects, home improvement projects, violin practicing, etc. I am really starting to procrastinate. While one part of me is just trying to cuddle with Andy and the puppies and watch movies, the other part of me is trying to be motivating. I have actually started bribing myself. For my first test it was going out for margaritas afterward. Now I do that after every test, hahaha. For my second test, it was squeezing in some sewing projects for friends. For my third test, it was rereading the first two books in the Twilight series in order to get ready for my 4th test reward which will be to go watch New Moon with my friend Christina. hahaha. I am not sure how to keep myself going though. Especially because I am pushing my schedule. I was going to give myself 14 months to complete all seven of the tests, two months to study for each test, so April would be my last exam. Well March is the end of my company's fiscal year and my boss is encouraging me to finish them before that. Since it takes 5-8 weeks to get the test results I am looking at basically one test a month and then hopefully the results come faster on my last one. On one hand, the good thing about pushing the schedule is that I am getting tired of studying, so it will be over faster. The bad thing is of course, that means I need more discipline, and less free time. But I think I can do it! GO super-Natalie!

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