Tuesday, May 29, 2007

learning skills unit visit

so, i went to the learning skills unit yesterday cos i decided it was time to review how I do things. in some ways the visit was completely useless, cos it really didn't sort out the problems i've been having, but i think actually it was good, cos i already know what my problems are, and the advisor really told me what i already knew.

basically my problems are this:
(1) i don't spend enough time each day on my thesis. i work in spurts and some days i'll be really productive and get heaps done in terms of reading, processing and writing up, but other days i spend a LOT more time in the garden and doing stuff around the house than i spend studying. basically, i know the solution. (i) be self-disciplined, be that by timetabling my time at home, or any other way to make myself sit at my desk and get through the work. OR (ii) decide that working at home isn't working and study somewhere else. So, i've decided, i'm on probation. i either have to convince myself that studying at home is possible or i'm not allowed to do it any more.
(2) i have heaps of books on my shelves and the pile seems to grow bigger, and i feel overwhelmed by the sheer size of it. i have a mental list also of all these books i want to read, and i find that stressful, knowing that i'm not finding the time to keep up with what i want to be reading. solution? ironically, it's not to read more, but to write more. she reckons that i need to start writing more, so that my reading needs will become clearer. the other thing she suggested was that i should put my photocopied articles into piles, according to how central they are to my research. one pile (the biggest) is "I need to know about these articles"; the next (middle sized) is "i need to understand these articles" and the other (smallest) is "I need to know these articles inside and out." I think i've been mentally putting everything into the last pile, when most of them in truth could sit in the first or second pile.

oh and in terms of writing, she suggested i take blog entries and expand them - i thought that was a good way to get something on the page. i mean, i've tried to write a few times - i open a microsoft word document and look at the blank page and my mind suddenly mirrors its blankness.

ps i haven't written much for a while cos i've had stomach troubles. it's been kinda painful. the pain killers i got the other day are marvellous though. marvellous.

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