Growing up, I had the worst study ethic ever.
I’d get home around 5 pm and basically just goof off until dinner at 8. Honestly, it drove my mom to exasperation whenever I breezily assured her that I didn’t have to study. “No test tomorrow,” I always said. And for the most part, I wasn’t even actually lying. If there did turn out to be test the following day, it was most likely because I truly didn’t know. I didn’t just have a bad study ethic, I also had a problem paying attention in class.
And boy, did my mother get called to school far too often.
To be honest, I don’t even remember how I actually managed to make it through grade school, but the massive role my mother played in that is exemplified by the fact that about the only instance of me actually studying that I remember was when my mom ninjutsu’ed me into memorizing the days of the week.
Knowing that I was a mythology geek, mom pointed out that the days were named after gods and goddesses of Norse mythology. Only then did she get my full attention, and finally got me to learn.
Sunday was obviously named for the sun, personified by the Norse goddess Sunna, also called Sól. Monday was Mani, Sunna’s brother and the personification of the moon. Tuesday honoured Tiw, or Tyr, the one-handed god of war. Wednesday was, of course, named after Woden – Odin – also called the All-Father – whose son, Thor, gave us Thursday. Friday was either named after Freya, Thor’s wife, or Frigg, his mother.Saturday, however, was the odd day out. The Norse didn’t name this day after their gods and goddesses, preferring instead to refer to it the way the Roman’s did: the day of Saturn.
But you probably knew all of that already. Anyway, that was about the only studying-related memory I have from my grade-school days and I have my mom to thank for that – and a lot more besides.
I was reminded of all that tonight – pushing midnight where I am – as I watched my niece studying for an exam at 8 am tomorrow. Look!
She gets home at around two-thirty in the afternoon and, totally on her own, this kid pulls out her text books and starts studying until either her mother calls her for dinner, or her annoying uncle decides to bother her. The annoying uncle being me, naturally.
After dinner, she hits the books again (I have never seen a kid this motivated) and she stays at it until bedtime. For real, I have been here a week and I have never seen this kid, or her brother for that matter, watch TV.
Big brother, on the other hand, is a little more laid back but is no less motivated. At 17, it’s no surprise that he keeps mostly to himself, with weird white plastic things seeming to sprout out of his ears, and a vaguely audible aura of anime-pop music surrounding his head like a neon nimbus. And yet, despite seemingly disinterested in his academics, big brother has passed Cambridge International Examinations up to A1 levels and is now on the fast track to an engineering course in university.
Smug looking fellow, eh? LOL Nah, big brother is actually a very sweet kid who idolises his dad and who’s also very protective of his little sister and his mother.
Seriously, whatever my sister and her husband are doing – especially in the area of instilling great study ethics in these two – is working.