Do The Bartman When You Study

In 6th grade, we had to keep study journals as part of our study skills course. We had to write down each assignment in our journal and get it signed off by the teacher.  Oddly, this included having to get your journal signed off by the gym teacher.    

During gym class, my study journal remained in my gym bag.  After class, I would take my gym bag to my personal locker, grab my trapper keeper (tropical themed!) and head to reading class. I always forgot to pull my study journal out of my gym bag and take it to reading class with me.  

Ms. Hill was a scary teacher. She just looked gruff. So when she got frustrated with me for not having my study journal again, she told me pull out 4 sheets of paper and start writing, "I will not forget my study journal in my gym bag.  I thought she was kidding. She wasn't. I wrote that phrase 50 times and it worked. I didn't forget my study journal again and it was a lot more effective than writing my name on the board.  

Studying has become more and more passive.  We outline our subjects, print and read.  Passive studying is fine, its easier, but its more time consuming because of the time needed to drill and memorize.  Flashcards are a good idea, but again, passive learning.        

Because of the mountainous amount of material that has to be learned in limited amount of time, you don't have room for passive learning.  Important black letter laws must be actively learned.  Write and rewrite the "big" black letter laws.  The black letter laws of what is a contract, requirements for adverse possession, and the rule for hazardous and dangerous activity must be clear and ready when needed.  Handwrite these rules out over and over again until you are doing it from memory.  Not only will have these rules memorized, you will be studying less!