Friday, February 03, 2012

Answers Day

the award-winning follow-on to Questions Day

How do you study for different types of certification? Is there a standard methodology you go by? Do you read books whenever you have a chance or do you set apart a pre-determined amount of time from the day?

Start by figuring out how you might cover the material in a college semester (a week per chapter plus a week at the end to review?) Then sign up for the exam immediately based on the schedule. From that point on, it doesn't matter how motivated or unmotivated you are, you have an immovable deadline. In all likelihood, you WON'T study regularly every day or every week, and the decision to just cram is there if you want it. Remember that certifications, like public schools, are not about retention -- they're about proving to an employer that you have learned something at some point in the past.

What do you listen to in order to relax?

I am never not relaxed.

If you ever had a job you just didn't like and something happened there that just made you decide you were done would you quit then and there, or would you still put in your two weeks? Would not having another job lined up already affect this decision? If you did stay those last two weeks would they still be productive at all?

When I started my third summer as "computer science intern" at PEPCO and learned that they still weren't planning on giving me a computer (after spending the first summer optimizing their snail mail sorting and the second summer optimizing their internal websites from someone else's computer) I quit with one day's notice. I then spent the rest of the summer not looking for jobs while biking through Old Town every day. I've been lucky to have had great jobs ever since.

I've found that high-achieving people not only do not consider themselves successful but in fact think they're doing markedly worse than their peers. How do you feel like you compare to your peers in terms of achievement? A graphic might be helpful in explaining it.

Having grown up in an era where people said "you're so smart" rather than "you must have worked really hard at that", I lack ambition in most areas of life. I forgo risk, and regularly engage in arenas where it's already highly likely that I'll succeed. The graphic below might be helpful in explaining.

Can you do a cartwheel?

I can. At one point in my life I could do much more than a mere cartwheel, namely any gymnastics move that didn't require going backwards, as shown in the movie below:

Entire village, minus one, wins the lottery
Jesus can continue to Occupy Montana

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