Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What I Learned From Finals

Ok, it's been a while but I've been putting off blogging for more important things, like finals. Finals aren't over yet, but the worst is past and so I'll start blogging at a decent pace in the future. But here's one thing I learned during my Federal Income Tax final:

I've always been bothered by how people in Yeshiva never say Gezuntheit after someone sneezes. We've been taught that learning is very important that one shouldn't even waste time on saying Gezuntheit. I've never bought that argument because it's common courtesy to say Gezuntheit and it almost seems rude not to do so. Sure we'd be wasting a split second, but who doesn't do that anyway?

The issue became more pronounced when I got to law school and noticed that people say Gezuntheit during class. Basically it's acceptable for the class to be interrupted because of common courtesy. If people are willing to stop a whole class, is it really that bad to stop learning for a second?

Last week I was taking a 4 hour final, which like pretty much every other law school final, was time pressured. While during class people spend their time playing Solitaire or going on-line, I assure you no one wastes time on a law school final.

So I was taking the test and heard someone sneeze. There was no Gezuntheit. It happened again. And again there was silence. I listened to a few sneezes and heard nothing. Hmmmm, why did no one respond?

The obvious answer is that every second counted. Everyone is locked in (except me I guess) and even if they do notice a sneeze, they aren't going to waste valuable time saying Gezuntheit.

I guess the same idea applies to learning Torah. We should consider the time we spend learning as valuable as the time we spend taking our law school finals. We should be completely focused and every second should count, even more than the courtesy of saying Gezuntheit.

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