Thursday, November 09, 2006

Working hard or hardly working?

One of the big issues I find I have with school is that there's always a lot to do, and yet there are definitely days where I don't have enough interest to really get any work done. Part of that is that right now my work is preparation for my comprehensive exams - a big exam based on 80 or so texts - which basically entails a lot of reading and notetaking (and sitting.)

It's certainly nice to have so much to read, and not to be expected to do a lot more than read. But, on the days where I'm supposed to be reading, sometimes it just doesn't click. Sometimes I'm a little too tired, and the books are a little too boring, and I tend to wander or doze a bit. Sometimes I feel so much pressure to retain what's going on in the texts that all I can think about is trying to remember it, which makes it really hard to retain it (funny how that works!)

Studying at home can also be a bit of an issue. While being at home is somewhat of a luxury, it can also be difficult when I have to work and I'm surrounded by distractions such as books, music, mess (closely related to cleaning), food, and bed. There are always other things I could be getting done, and if I'm not totally into work, then getting to it instead of Everything Else isn't always the easiest thing in the world. These are all the "hardly working" days.

All of that sounds rather like a rant. But, today, everything clicked. Today, I was "working hard." I got a lot of work done, no problem. I sat down and read multiple chapters and finished off a few books I've been working on for awhile, and started making notes for another.

I feel so much better.

I've been stressing and sweating over how little I've been doing, since teaching's been pretty hectic this month. But all it takes is one good work day to help me feel like I'm back on track and to settle down a bit more about the whole thing. And, thankfully, once I've started to settle down I wind up getting more work done overall. I'm sure I'll slip up again, and start stressing, but the more I learn about how I work, the better this all gets. And really, I'm pretty sure this is education in and of itself.

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