Website owner:  James Miller

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My requirements for studying

   What do I need for studying?  First, and most important, I need 
   a quiet, private place.  A place with no distractions.  Then I 
   need a large table or desk, a dozen good books on the subject, 
   a pad and pencil, and all my old notes on the subject.  I also 
   need to be interested in the subject, feel some enthusiasm for 
   it.  And in addition, my mind has to be in the right condition.  
   I have to feel well-rested.  I can't work if I feel sleepy.  If 
   I feel sleepy it is advisable to just take a nap.  I have 
   learned that my mind is in the best condition in the evening 
   and nighttime hours.  In both the morning and afternoon hours I 
   often find myself feeling a bit sleepy, my mind is a bit 
   sluggish.  I often have trouble getting going in the morning 
   and often get sleepy in the afternoon hours.  Physical activity 
   will clear it up, but daytime hours are often not a good time 
   for me for doing mental work. In that sense I am a nighttime 
   person.  The most important thing needed for study, especially 
   the study of difficult, technical subjects, is the ability to 
   concentrate, to focus your mind on the subject.  If you are 
   distressed about something, worried about something, if 
   something else is demanding your mind, you can't concentrate.  
   You need to be free of worries, concerns, mental disturbances.  
   An equanimity of mind is important.  I am easily distracted.  
   Noise distracts me.  The sound of a television distracts me.  
   Music distracts me.  Even good classical music.  I don't want 
   music when I study.  The presence of people distracts me.  The 
   only exception is my wife.  If she is nearby, engaged in some 
   quiet activity such as reading or sewing, that is OK.  Except 
   for that exception, I need solitude.  Quiet solitude.  

   How about college for studying?  I hated college.  College for 
   me was a nightmare.  I hated the dormitories, the classes, the 
   crowds of people, the pressure, the time tests.  I couldn't 
   concentrate.  I couldn't work effectively.  The classes and 
   lectures were a waste of time for me.  It was an ugly 
   experience.  And if I had to do it over again, it would be 
   equally as ugly.  All the conditions of the college environment 
   were against me.  They were all violations of the things I need 
   for concentrating, focusing, working effectively.  I am, by 
   nature, a slow, methodical person.  I can't be hurried.  I 
   don't like pressure.  I can't work under pressure.  I have to 
   work in my own relaxed, leisurely way.  I have to be allowed to 
   do things my own way.  College was just not right for me. 

   Jan 2008

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