I have had a great time over the (extended) Winter Break. Originally, I thought that we would be off for only about two weeks. However, it turned out that we have an additional three days. We came back on Thursday so today, Friday is the second day. Intuitively, I think the school has correctly applied psychology. Since most students spent their entire break on non-educational activities, it is necessary to get them back on track slowly or they will get shocked. As an analogy using physics, it seems the school administration board is trying to help the students overcome their psychological “inertia” slowly before get them rolling with school work again. In fact, not much work has been done these two days.
I spent my break to sort out a number of different things with varying degrees of success. First and foremost, I completed my over-the-break assignment from AP English Literature: finish reading The Great Gatsby. Second, and equally as important, I did some revision order to prevent memory failure. Both of these objectives are met. The only problem was that the book’s subtext is difficult to understand. The story takes place during the Roaring Twenties but its atmosphere seems to laden with negative feelings, especially towards the end. In AP Calculus AB class today, I did not struggle much with antidifferentiation although it is generally less familiar and easy than differentiation. I feel excited: we are now entering the chapter on differential equations, one of the most important parts of calculus due to its variety of applications. Besides, the previous chapter, the definite integral, was relatively straightforward, especially when the marvelous Integral Evaluation Theorem (the 2nd part of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus) was introduced. Thus, the up-coming test should not be particularly challenging.
While the objectives above were being met, I did not at all neglect the goals which arise from learning Chapter 5: Consciousness. If anything, I embraced them. To be more specific, my goals were to pay back my sleep debts (1) and, as Mr. Marshall mentioned, experience REM (2). I feel certain that most if not all of my sleep debts have been paid; I feel very refreshed and comfortable after long and cozy night sleeps. The only problem is that I always want to sleep more, though not necessarily feeling sleepy. I definitely had many dreams over the break. Although I do not remember any of them in detail now, I can point out that they were related to the stuff I went over during the break. In some of the dreams, thoughts generated during the day were re-played. Therefore, my dreams were basically a reiteration of what happened during the day.
Concerning the circadian rhythm, my experience during the break essentially matches the descriptions in the book and those brought up by Mr. Marshall. Shortly after waking up, my mind was very clear. Work got done rather easily. At around ten o’clock, however, I started to feel sleepy. In order to keep moving, I had to alternate relaxation with work repeatedly.
I am happy to be back a school after such a lengthy and enjoyable break.