Study Playlists

November 20, 2008 at 10:05 am (Fun, Journaling, School) (, )

I’m sure this is not a unique thing, but I don’t just require music to study–I require different playlists for different subjects. And, because it’s me, there’s a thought-out, logical explanation for each playlist.

French: When studying French, I need background noise to drown out my own thoughts. Why, you ask? No, not because I’m so emo I need to escape my sad sad robot thoughts. It’s because I think in English, and I’m in that “two different channels” mode with languages right now, where I can’t think in French if I hear English. So my music tends to be lyric-less, so I don’t catch English words and accidentally switch back to an English train of thought. That means I lean towards lyric-less Apocalyptica songs or iTune’s classical radio station. I can also listen to French music, and in high school I used to very consistenly study my French while listening to Indochine. Since I lost that album, though, I mostly will listen to Camille.

Journalism: This requires splitting, because (this quarter, at least) I’ll either be reading for my history of journalism class, or I’ll be writing for my newswriting class.

Journalism/reading: This is true of almost anything I read, but I dislike background noise. When reading for pleasure (and this textbook, thankfully, definitely falls under that category), I like being in a coffee shop-esque place, where there is a murmur of people talking around me. White noise is really productive for pleasure reading, which is why I’m more apt to study for my media history class in Adagio as opposed to the library. If I’m in the library and I need to catch up on reading for that class, I’ll usually just suck it up and read in silence, or (if fuckers start talking) I’ll turn on one of my free iTunes lectures on Middle Eastern politics and turn it way low (oh I’m almost embarrassed at how nerdy that made me sound).

Journalism/newswriting: For this, all my other rules go out the window. I don’t require soft white noise or something that won’t distract me. When I’m writing an article for The Front, I like music as loud and as screamy as possible. I’ll usually work on my stories in my apartment just for this reason, and blast Breaking Benjamin at a volume that makes me concerned for my speakers. Why this odd switch in music volume? Newswriting makes me nervous. It’d take way too long (an entirely different post) to explain why, so we’ll just leave it at making me very nervous and stressed. And when I’m nervous and stressed, I overthink things. If I blast music so loud my brain can’t think, then I tend to transcribe instead, which actually makes for better newswriting. My connectors between quotes are vastly simplified and quotes take up the bulk. Any explanations in my articles loose excess, unnecessary words. If I need to go back through the barebones of a story and spice it up, I’ll write in the computer labs where there is ample white noise, or switch my music to a tolerable volume level and change it to And You Will Know Us…

Biology: Right now, I’m in the library and I’m listening to Tegan and Sara on my headphones. I have two albums playing on random, and it’s perfect for transcribing the end of the chapter notes, which is one of the best ways I ingest knowledge from this bulky textbook, filled with superfluous descriptions. If I do read the chapter, I’ll hunker down in the reading room of the library, where it’s so quiet you can hear a pin drop. I’m not super interested in my Biology textbook, so unlike pleasure reading, where I require white noise, I need no noises that could distract me.



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