ROW80 Update – Drowning in papers

It is Sunday today, right? I mean, I’m pretty certain, but I’ve been busy, so if this is next week Thursday I wouldn’t be surprised.

No, it is Sunday after all. I just checked. Well, ok, that means it’s time for another ROW80 Check-In.

First of all, I need to alter my Goals slightly.

I’d previously said that I needed all university papers completed by February 19. This is no longer the case. as I mentioned in my Weekend Coffee Share yesterday, I had to call my university this week, and I explained how I had been busy with work and how SAD has affected me negatively. I was given an extension until the end of April, so that’s a bit of the immediate pressure relieved!

Nonetheless, I have spent Friday night, Saturday and today sorting university stuff. I bought new binders, so I  now have one per course. I made templates for “Module Sheets” that have a green border and contain all necessary info like Module name, Course, Professor’s name and contact, course dates, reading material provided (and format) and assignments, with extra space to note the dates I submitted the assignments and the grades I received for them.

I’ll put these first in my binder, with the reading material behind it in the order listed.

I also made templates for “Assignment Sheets” which are basically the same, but with magenta borders. They again list course, module and professor, as well as what the assignment is and anything I need to know (required length, etc.). I left space to note when I submitted the assignment, the grade I received and I can circle whether I submitted it by email or through the learning platform (as that does differ from assignment to assignment).  The magenta border makes them stand out in the binder, and attach the finished assignments to this “cover sheet” so they’re all in one place.

I’m doing the same now for reading materials. I made a template with a paisley border because I got bored of block colours. My entire degree is by online learning, so I don’t really have textbooks and handouts, I get PDFs of journal articles and links to websites. On the reading material cover sheet, I’m listing the course and module and then all relevant info about the publication (author/s, title, publication, year, volume, page numbers, links, date retrieved and so on). That way I have all the necessary info right there when I write a bibliography. It’s actually a pretty good APA Style practice to try and list the info as if I were citing it.

It is a lot of work before you can actually get any studying done, but I just printed out the last bits, so I can start properly tomorrow.

I’m also still perfecting a new weekly schedule. I’m hoping to trick myself into thinking of 3 hours study time per day as “Class” or “Lecture”. That this is the non-negotiable bit. Then a short break and the rest is “Study Time”, in which I go over my notes, work on papers or research further.

Remember that interview I did in December with author Alex Hofmann? Well, when we met up, we actually interviewed each other. She recorded her interview with me for a university paper. My questions were mostly about cultural differences, but her paper and presentation is actually about space travel. It included questions like: “what would make a small, multicultural team work well together?” and “why travel at all?”

Alex has just sent me the intro she recorded and mixed for her podcast. It’s only 3 minutes, but it sounds amazing. It’s weird hearing your own voice, though. That’s one of the reasons I never considered radio for myself. She took quotes from all of us and added background music and the official launch countdown as well. I can’t wait to hear the finished product!

My writing is still going well. 500-ish words per day. It’s not a lot, but I’m writing every day and that was the goal.

This blog is also going extremely well. The Blog Blitz Team visited on Thursday and left more than 100 messages for me. The posting schedule seems to be working well so far, although I have now come up with at least 3 more blog posts I want to research and write to share more study tips with you. I’m hoping to get around to that in the coming week. One of those posts will include my Module/Assignment/Reading Material Covers I talked about earlier, as I’m sure I’m not the only student who needs to organise their papers.

All in all, I can tell it’s getting lighter outside again, the days are getting longer and there’s more sunlight. I finally got some motivation back and I’m making the most of it!

Check out how the other ROWers are doing!

A Round of Words, 80 Days, Writing, challenge, ROW80, author, novel, book
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