What your mind sounds like while you’re reading

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As a UC Berkeley student (engineering students aside), you are most likely assigned an enormous amount of reading throughout the week. No matter how smart you are, sometimes it feels next to impossible to buckle down and focus on your books. A nagging voice somehow seems to always hijack your thoughts and relentlessly distract you from actually processing the words on the page in front of you. Maybe your inner monologue while reading for class sounds something like this:

“Chapter 3 — Another approach starts with the central point of the security dilemma … ”

Whew. OK, here we go. You have to finish this entire book by tomorrow. You can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS. It’s just reading. You passed the second grade. You know how to read. How hard can this be?

“that an increase in one’s status security decreases the security of others … ”

All right, all right. The security dilemma. This could be interesting. You’re a poli sci major. You love security … and dilemmas …

“and examines the conditions under which this proposition holds. Two crucial variables are involved: whether defense … ”

The font on this page is really small …

“weapons and policies can be distinguished from offensive ones … ”

Shit, how many pages is this again?

“and whether the defense or the offense has the advantage … ”

I think I just fell asleep for a second there.

“The definitions are not always clear, and many cases are difficult to judge, but these two variables shed a great deal of light … ”

This page could really use some pictures. I miss picture books. And kindergarten and coloring.*Sigh*. College is hard.

“on the question of whether status quo powers will adopt compatible security policies.”

Compatible security policies. You know what else would be compatible? My GSI and me.

“All the variables discussed so far leave the heart of the problem untouched … ”

OK, STOP, just focus. You need to concentrate.

“But when defensive weapons differ from offensive ones, it is possible … ”

Haha, remember that Youtube video you found of the cat wearing that little tiny sweater vest? Cats aren’t supposed to wear sweater vests: Those are for humans! Like what?! Cats … in sweater vests … so silly …

“for a state to make itself more secure without … ”

Is it sad my generation will be remembered for things like cat memes … and Miley Cyrus?

“making others less secure. And when … ”

I CAME HERE ON A WREEEECKING BALL. I NEVER HIT SO HAAAARD IN LOVE.

“the defense has the advantage over the offense, a large increase in one state’s security only slightly decreases the security of others … ”

ALL I WANTED WAS TO BREEEEAK YOUR WALLS. ALL YOU EVER DID WAS BREE-E-EEEAK ME.

“and status-quo powers can all enjoy a high level of security and largely escape from the state of nature.”

Okay, one paragraph down. I’m making progress.

Wait, what the HELL did I just read?

Image source:  rachel sian under Creative Commons
Textbook quotes from “International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues” 
by Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis.

Contact Liz Zarka at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @Zarkotics.