Friday, October 19, 2007

Repetition aids boredom

Anyone who's ever tried to memorize the bones of the body, the capitals of all 50 states or the elements of the periodic table can attest to the old saw, "Repetition aids learning."

Unfortunately, it also aids boredom and fatigue.

I was reminded of this last week while waiting for my colonoscopy. A woman who was undergoing surgery put her sister in charge of updating at least 35 of her closest friends after the operation. The sister sat next to me in the waiting lounge and made the calls on her cell phone.

During calls one and two, she was animated and engaged. By call three, her delivery sounded machine-generated. It appeared that everyone asked the same questions, and she was tired of providing the same answers. By call four, she sounded like a bored student working her way through college by making telemarketing calls during the dinner hour. "Groan. Just 31 calls to go."

While witnessing this exchange, I couldn't help thinking, "Thank God for the blog!" I can communicate with hundreds of people in minutes, and I can sound just as animated communicating with the 100th reader as the first.

I can save my energy for other "repeat performances," like redoing PET scans and colonoscopies and answering "What's new with Cindy?"

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