Just quite recently, I have developed a daily exercise which I would like to refer to as ‘The Study Game’. I allocate Almost three to four hours of my day for this stimulating mental exercise. The Study Game entails that I sit behind my desk and play pretend. I pretend that I am still studying in the university and with the help of the syllabi I have collected from each course I have taken, I am retracing my steps since day one in the graduate school.
When I read and study the texts required for one particular week in that particular course, I read and study them seriously as if I am, again, Almost preparing for an examination or a class presentation. Basically, what I am doing is retaking the courses I took in grad school for the second time around on my own and on my own time. The graduate school has provided me the theoretical concepts and methodological tools that enables me to study and work independently.
Amazing things happen when I am doing The Study Game. This exercise brings me in that constructed mental space that does not only allow me to travel in time, but also engages me with the version of myself in the past. It allows me to look at myself retrospectively and see how frustrated I was because I was struggling so hard to absorb the texts I found quite difficult to understand.
Now that I re-read them, I am quite amazed by the realization of how much I am beginning to understand. In combination with the knowledges, understandings, and experiences I have accumulated in the past, however limited they might be, I am more receptive to texts I am reading. I see the connections I did not see before and discern some patterns which have been indiscernible few years ago.
I will not be too quick to say that I have come of age. That is quite misleading if not downright arrogant. Perhaps, it is more accurate to say that, The Study Game is an exercise that allows me to be aware of how I am growing. Needless to say, this awareness comes with the sense of gratification as well as fulfillment.
I have also looked back at the assignments I have written and performed from different perspectives. I will still continue to do so until I have covered all the assignments I did in the past. Now, I do not only see visually but also sense viscerally where I did well and where I could have done better. It seems like I am editing my work on a third person. I was a writer in the past, and now I am an editor editing my previous works so that they could be revised and I could be a writer again.
Furthermore, I also read and re-examine the notes I have made, which I truly find so delightful. When I read and examine them, they bring me to the time in which they were written and reminds me not only of what are written, but why those notes have been noted in the first place. It is like looking in an old photograph. It summons memories and emotions associated with the materials and the context in which the materials have been created.
These all happens when I sit behind my desk. It is the reason why I love my desk. It transcends me and transports me not only through time and space, but also throughout the versions of myself. If Doctor Who has a Tardis, I have my desk, a space in which The Study Game is played. When the Study Game is played, the physical and temporal world fades into the background. Well, Almost.