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Posts Tagged ‘productivity?’

… and not even a paragraph written.  

But a REALLY thorough outline is ready so I can draft this tomorrow, right?!  There is only one section of the outline that is poorly organized so that part of the paper will probably be slower going, but I have a feeling I can’t flesh it out till I get there in the argument, so… tomorrow I’ll dig in.  And I WILL have a draft at day’s end.  I CAN do this. I WILL do this.

I’m seriously considering skipping my three classes next week and taking it as a reading week to allow solid days of writing all week.  We’ll see.  I’m tempted to head to the family cabin or see if another getaway option is available, but then again… as I could potentially go into labor I think I’ll stay here.  I just might really stay here and not bother with classes.  I haven’t missed a single class this semester.  We’ll see.  I’m not a skipper. I’ve been wrestling with my hyper-responsibility trait the past few days as I’ve felt resentment for some of my classmates’ lesser vigilance… that is ALL about me and I need to get. over. it.  They make choices.  I make choices.  It’s all about choices. (Anyone hear the recent “This American Life” story where that was the refrain?!) And I can choose to give myself a break.  I can.  And maybe I will. 

I WILL DRAFT THIS PAPER TOMORROW. but tonight we veg with friends, k?

(did get a nap in a classmate’s apartment this afternoon, btw.  Thanks be to God.)

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mid-week update

Well… it is Wednesday, November 12th.  I want to be done with my finals by Saturday, November 22nd.  That leaves me 10 days, or really 9 as I intend for Sunday to be sabbath (and really it needs to be- two church services, company in town, and our shower!)  So how’s it going????  Actually I think it is going pretty well.  

I budgeted yesterday and today to figure out where I was headed with the paper for my Friday class.  As of Monday I had NO clue about that paper.  I figured, since with the other two classes day one of trying to get my head around a paper was sheer frustration, that I wouldn’t expect much out of day one on this paper.  If I ended the day yesterday still in a fog- so be it.  That’s what today would be for.  But… I ended yesterday with a solid idea for my Friday paper and a much clearer sense of what was being asked of me.  I started today by sending my idea thus far to my prof to make sure I’m not nutso, but that I can make this work.  If he gives me the stamp of approval on what I’ve done thus far (or only suggests minor changes in course), I’m going to set this one aside and work diligently on actually writing my Bonhoeffer paper.  

While I wait for my prof to write back about my Friday paper status I’m going to do some of the additional reading/research/translating I need to do for my Bonhoeffer paper and perhaps read another article that has been recommended for my Thursday paper.  I will also likely read a bit for my Thursday and Friday classes this week (if time allows) and do my required on-line post for my Thursday class.  Hopefully after class tomorrow morning I can start drafting my Bonhoeffer paper.  I have a doctor’s appt at 2 and a colloquy meeting at 6, but that should allow a few bursts of writing, to get me started at least.  And then, after class on Friday I can put in another several hours of writing (I have another colloquy to attend from 3-5) but if I write from the time class gets out (11) until 3, that’s a solid chunk of time.  I might even take a Eucharist break in there.  And I can give it even more time on Saturday (because my guests are aware I have to work while they are here.   With that plan, I think it is safe to say I can have my Bonhoeffer paper drafted by Saturday afternoon.  

Then Sabbath rest.

Monday-Wednesday (save class time on Monday), I’ll work on writing my Thursday paper.  If I can change gears to my Friday paper on Wednesday afternoon that will be for the good.  

Thursday-Saturday I will draft my Friday paper.  

I’ve been invited to an open-house party on Saturday afternoon the 22nd.  So, that’s my target finish time.  

If I am TRULY blessed I will have time for editing and revising all these papers as I go, but… we’ll see… I really want to be done done on the 22nd.  Though I suppose if I am doing final clean-ups the morning of the 24th that wouldn’t be the end of the world.  No, not the end of the world, but… blech.  I want to be done done.  

I intend to get up every hour or so to walk about stretch, what have you.  

I intend to take naps when I need them.  

I intend to continue to sing in church choir(s).  

And I intend to not work late into the night.  

So, it is 9 a.m. now, I have nine days to go, three papers to write.  It will get done, right?

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I set a goal at the beginning of the semester that I would finish my coursework by Thanksgiving (or really the weekend before Thanksgiving) in order to give myself a two week cushion before my due date.  That now leaves me, two weeks.  I have three big papers to write in two weeks.  I have a good sense with where I’m going for one of them, the biggest of them, and got approval of it yesterday.  The time I spent focusing on that last week really paid off.  I still have more research to do, but I’m in pretty good shape for that one.  So I’m putting that on hold.  Yesterday I had a frustrating afternoon of trying to get in the groove for one of the other two remaining papers.  I just made little progress, moved very slowly, struggled to focus.  But then I remembered that day one of digging in on my Bonhoeffer paper was the same… so decided to give myself a break and devote myself to a full day of the same task today… and I’m hoping by the end of the day I will have made real progress.  

I woke up resolved to read minimally for classes this week and not at all for classes next week.  This week I will spend my Saturday getting my head around my Thursday paper.  And then on Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll spend my time getting my head around my Friday paper.  And I’ll read a little bit on Monday morning for Bonhoeffer, and a little bit on Wednesday for my Thursday and Friday classes this week.  But starting Thursday afternoon the writing needs to begin and needs to continue for the next week straight.  

Unfortunately I have also been called upon, as of yesterday, to do some substantial editing of two chapters for a book one of my profs is working on.  I’m going to have to find at least an hour of every study day to work on this, I think.  But I’m not going to start that until Monday.  

I can do this, right?  Please say it is possible.  And please say a prayer that my focus and energy cooperate… I am increasingly uncomfortable (physically) and really just want to get ready for baby… but this is a big part of readying for baby… I need to keep telling myself that.  If these papers are hanging over me when baby comes that will be a big drag.  

Writing this all out in the hopes it will hold me accountable… alright… let’s get some breakfast and begin this two week race… so grateful for your prayers and support.

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grr…

Arrived at preferred coffehouse around 11 a.m.

It is now approaching four and I need to run some errands and return some phone calls, and I REALLY want to attend to the house (and be there should trick or treaters come by)… 

And what have I accomplished?  Read one short introduction (in French- required to have three French sources for my Bonhoeffer final paper), translating quotes that seemed like they might be helpful.  And read one essay in English that is of questionable usefulness for my final Bonhoeffer paper.  That’s it.  And I haven’t been twiddling my thumbs exactly.  Sigh.  

Oh well… I did accomplish something right?

(Some of my colleagues were bemoaning long days of late spent looking at their work, but not really accomplishing anything of substance.  I so relate.)

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Today so far…

5:45 a.m. – woke up on my own, beating my iPod alarm by five minutes.

7:15 a.m. – finished editing my paper, so I shrank the margins a bit, sue me.

8:00 a.m.- finished styling my hair and, friends, it actually cooperated today, woohoo!

8:30 a.m. – electronically submitted my paper in four versions to my prof (a bit compulsive, but when you’re converting, better safe than sorry.)

8:40 a.m. – kev drove me to campus.

9:10 a.m.- class was supposed to start; we talked about taking bets as to how many people would actually show.

9:20 a.m. – class started, 12 out of 15 present, not bad, my classmates, not bad. (most looked like death warmed over (I’m sure that I did too- save for my pretty hair.)

11:00 a.m. – made lunch plans

11:10 a.m. – blogged on the baby blog

11:30 a.m. – checked in with my monday prof who doesn’t reply to e-mails, apparently.

11:50 a.m. – checked in with the administrative assistant for the graduate department of religion to make sure I had dates and processes right.

12:10 p.m. – presided at Friday eucharist.

12:40 p.m. – chatted with a Roman Catholic study about all manner of things

1:00 p.m. – met up with two colleagues.

1:20 p.m. – arrived at the Pancake Pantry… mmm….

2:00 p.m. – or maybe earlier, ate buckwheat pancakes with honey… mmm….

2:45 p.m. – dropped friend off on campus

2:50 p.m. – decided to try to get home via another way, got a bit lost…

3:30 p.m.- got home

3:45 p.m. – started to blog

3:49 p.m. – finishing blogging, ready to nap, ah…

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well…

I had a goal of having my paper drafted by 6 or 6:30 at the latest so that I could grab a bite to eat with my hubby when he got off work and then we could to a lecture on campus on “Faith and the American Presidency: From John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush”. My progress throughout the day felt slow as molasses, but… at 6:29 I typed the last word of my conclusion in my draft. And I grabbed a bite to eat and caught the lecture.

The plan now is to get up early and trim a page off of it and proof and clean it up. Technically, I think, it is not due until noon tomorrow. But if I can have it done by the time I go to class at 9 a.m., and then after class can come home and crash… I think that would be pretty sweet. I have a fair bit of work to do for my Bonhoeffer class on Monday, but… Kev has to work all day on Saturday so I might as well do that work then and rest tomorrow after the push to get this paper done this week.

I’ve been fighting some sort of a bug this week and good long nap tomorrow sounds like just what the body needs.

O.K., and I just have to say that my husband rocks. I shared with him that I had one citation dilemma for this paper, a page cite I didn’t have access to because of the form in which I had accessed the material originally. “What is the book?” he asked. “The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James”. He jumped up from his desk, found a box in a closet, and found the book. “How much do you love me?” He asked. “A lot,” I replied and gave him a kiss. And the book was even bookmarked at the lecture from which I need the cite. Wow.

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I have started writing my Friday paper, which, considering it is only Tuesday is pretty sweet. I’m still working on the introduction, however, on page two of what is to be a twelve to fifteen page paper. I’m nowhere near the meat of the paper.

This is partially because of some evident moves of procrastination (i.e. checking the e-mail, the blogs, what have you- being sans internet is way more productive for me, but as I need to check citations, etc. I don’t feel like shutting it off completely), but also because this prof prefers footnotes and I have, to this point in my scholarly career, been schooled in internal documentation. That approach to citation I can do in my sleep. Footnotes, um… it is as if I am an infant… so much to learn.

So… I’ve been learning as I go today, consulting Turabian (admittedly an older edition than the one to which I’ve linked here) more times than I can count. I could leave the citations for later, and perhaps, this would mean I’d be on page seven and into the meat of things, but… it seems to me that that approach invites overlooking proper citation, and other errors I wish not to perpetrate in my first substantial doctoral paper.

Thus far today, I have discovered, with glee, that ATLA is a great help in proper citation form. And I have a “works cited” list started, and several footnotes (8 to be precise), fulfilling various functions already at play in my two short pages (all the shorter because of the footnotes. I’m beginning to get the feeling that page limits (already challenging for wordy me) are going to be all the more difficult given the space consumed by footnotes. Then again, maybe I’ll find a way to be more concise. That is a good goal for these years of study. And it is nice to see the pages ticking away all the faster as I go.

So, friends, what is your vote? Clearly e-mail, blogs, etc. are procrastination. But is painstaking attention to citation that blocks the flow of writing also procrastination?

I think my vote is that it is productive procrastination.

I need to eat some lunch. That is not procrastination. That is necessity- the baby tells me so.

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