Revision Limbo

7 days until my penultimate exam. 9 days till my last one. Or, as I prefer to see it, 10 days away from freedom. I’ll not lie though, revision is sending me a bit bonkers at the moment. Here’s my formula for revision/current life cycle:

  1. Read: sources, lecture and seminar notes, essays by friends (they’ve done the leg work already, might as well make the most of it and share the academic love, am I right?) and Wikipedia if all else fails.
  2. Write: summaries of the topics or theories, which are generally messy.
  3. Convert: into clearer mind maps or well-spaced documents.
  4. Condense: into even smaller bite-sized phrases or prompts that are easier to remember.
  5. Rinse and repeat: as many times as required.

It’s all just a process of reduction really. It works for me, but I know there are countless methods and approaches out there. However, the long and short of it is, I’m pretty fed up with it now.

Nevertheless, not all is doom and gloom or exam-induced pessimism.

The next stage of my year abroad preparation is completed: they’ve let me in!! I had my meeting at the US embassy yesterday, and my J1 visa to be an exchange student was approved. I had originally planned to write about the process, but reading about this couple whose internet antics got them barred from entry into the US, I’m not so keen any more. It seems like caution and toeing the line is the name of the game for the foreseeable future, and there are some topics best avoided. As the article says, it’s advisable to ‘never do anything to raise “concern or suspicion in any way”‘. But isn’t that sad? Even as I type, I feel paranoid about each word I write. Am I being flagged up on some distant Homeland Security system, just for typing the words “US embassy”? (*Cough* First Amendment *Cough*)Who knows. Not to sound melodramatic or overly clichéd, but Big Brother really is watching you guys. Don’t forget it.

Still, I’m relieved to have completed one of the longer, more complicated stages of my year abroad preparation. I survived the bureaucracy: California is on step closer baby!

3 thoughts on “Revision Limbo

  1. It’s been a while since I took government, and I may be wrong, but I didn’t think the “First Amendment” applied to foreigners. 😉

    • Right, you would not believe how RELIEVED I am that somebody opened that can of worms!! Forgive me in advance for the rant if you were just being tongue-in-cheek or pulling my leg, but I have been DYING to get this out there on my blog for a long time!
      By your logic, being foreign means no protection under the Constitution? Quid pro quo, I, as a foreign national, do not benefit from the First Amendment, and am therefore not guaranteed freedom of expression or religious belief in the US. Moreover, to take that argument to its logical, Bush-era conclusion, as terrorists are (admittedly legally) defined as being exempt from the Constitution, and similarly foreigners should not be treated under the Constitution, by that logic foreigners could, hypothetically, expect the same treatment as terrorists? Guantanamo Bay for ALL foreigners would essentially be hunky dory.
      This is SO wrong. The Constitution applies to “persons” not “citizens”, and we get just as much protection as citizens. This is a fundamental and fatal misunderstanding by many Americans of their own Constitution, which is potentially a very dangerous misunderstanding!

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