I been collecting questions and making flashcards out of them over the last few months, but now I want to take them down, bird by bird
, before I'm "immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead."*
They're all valid and deserve thoughtful responses -- questions such as:
- Have my opinions and ideas on this project changed?
- Do I still believe that it is possible that I can achieve a perfect score?
- Have my ideas on influencing my children changed? Do I feel that I've influenced them at all...either in the negative or positive sense.
- Am I starting to believe that the SAT is more or less important than I first thought?
- What were my parents' expectations of me when I was in school?
- How did I respond to those expectations?
- Did I push back? (Short answer: You have no idea.)
- Do I wish my parents had pushed me more?
- What do I think I've missed out on in life because I didn't do as well as I would have liked to in school?
.....and on and on and on.....
But I'm going to start with one from the easier pile:
How important do you think yoga has been to working through the SATs?
.....to which I responded:
YES YES YES, Yoga Helps. Enormously.
I didn't have time to find more words, though I did find these from last January, a few weeks before my first SAT since 1982:
My anxiety about this SAT is so extreme that I committed to going to yoga every single day. I had an epiphany in the midst of chants and oms and happy baby poses that the best thing I can do is to figure out how to relax.
Ok, that's a start, but I still had more to say.
The words I was searching for were delivered by my UPS guy today, in a vessel called Zen in the Art of the SAT. As soon as cracked the book, I started with the, "Exactly!" "Right." "That's it!"
So instead of me wracking my brain, I'm just going to go with, yeah, what they said:
With the SAT, it's not enough to know the material. To excel on the SAT you must be confident about your ability to read carefully and solve problems -- even strange, inscrutable ones -- under timed conditions.That's what makes the SAT so intimidating. You can't just memorize the material and then regurgitate it; you have to act in the moment......
As you learn how to ace the SAT, you will gain a deeper understanding of yourself....You will learn to do your best on the SAT not through any tricks or secret formulas, but rather by getting a firm handle on the workings of your own mind.
*Quote comes from Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. If you haven't read this book yet, you must.
Illustration by Jennifer Orkin Lewis