Midterm madness

11.02.10

Despite the best efforts of the likes of Stewart and Colbert to restore sanity and/or fear, the predictions of big gains for the Republican party in today’s US midterm elections are, sadly, pretty likely, with exit polls showing that the Democrats have lost ground with key groups of voters.

But before Obama panics too much, he might want to consult this list of Midterm study strategies, compiled by me back in the eighth grade:

  • Eliminate distractions. Minesweeper, SuperNES, listening to your mom fight with your sister down the hall, trying to mediate a mideast peace settlement… all these are distracting to the study process.
  • Prioritize the material. Midterm exam questions are usually about things that have been covered recently on the curriculum, and are therefore foremost in the minds of teachers – er – voters. Spend more time on recent issues like the tea party, and less time on the stuff that was covered at the start of the term and that everyone’s forgotten about by now anyway, like, y’know, healthcare.
  • Plan your time. Midterms take place in the middle of the term, as their name suggests. While you’re studying for them, you also have to juggle other assignments and a social life. Oh, and national security and economic concerns, too. Make a schedule and stick to it. Use whatever tools work for you, like an agenda book or, if you prefer, a highly-paid team of executive secretaries.
  • Find the right study buddies. Pick people who are smarter than you and copy their notes, or arrange a cram session with them in the library. If you can get them to write your speeches for you, too, all the better.
  • Remember that it’s not worth as much as the final. Even a bad grade on a midterm can be made up for with a strong final exam, which is usually worth a bigger percentage of your overall grade. Time to put it behind you and focus on what’s important: Beating Sarah Palin in 2012.

For actual news about the US midterm election, in case anyone’s interested, check out the CBC’s interactive maps.

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