Throughout my academic career I've always placed what might arguably be called an undue emphasis on quantity when it comes to class and exam preparation. Part of my physics midterm studying-for ritual was always taking my notebook and reading it cover to cover, as if my frantic scribblings were the least bit legible let alone coherent. I don't think the note review did much as far as preparing me directly; it was more of a pre-workout warm-up before I hit the practice problems.
The other key benefit of the notebook review was that I could come away from the study session saying I had studied for X hours, read Y amount of pages... basically that I did f(X,Y) amount of studying. This artificial quantifying inevitably made me feel better about myself and the effort I put into test preparation. This way if I tanked the test I could still say that I prepared as best I could, it was just a hard fucking test. To some extent this practice carried over into LSAT preparation, although my battle plan for that particular brain teaser was a little different (I prepared based on routine rather than quantity: a single practice test every Saturday morning for a month and a half before the Big Show, and nothing else).
And now, after being carried to my first year of law school by whatever I managed to do to convince Physics professors I know Physics and the LSDAS that I know who Jane is sitting next to if Gary is wearing a Purple Hat, I'm once again faced with the problem of quantifying my study habits. If I write out responses to every single fucking problem in each of my textbooks, will I be satisfied in my own head that I've done enough? Will I ever reach that glorious point that came like sweet ambrosia in the study rooms of LeConte Hall, when I slammed my book closed and said, "Okay, Holohan, you've learned all you're going to learn. Now go home and get some sleep."?
The answer, at least for the time being, is a resounding No. The reason for this is that I really have very little idea as to what all this is getting at. Apparently a number of professors advise against outlining before the eighth week of class or so, and I'm beginning to see why. It seems like every one of my classes is going to end up like my first semester of Quantum Mechanics: ten weeks of "What in crap's holy name am I doing with my life?" followed by an abrupt transition to five weeks of "This shit is so cool!"
In the meantime, I'll be sitting here at my kitchen table/desk, stockpiling legal knowledge the only way I knows how.