Apr 30, 2005

Home stretch.

This will be the last assignment progress log I post in here for this semester, as I am sure it doesn't make for interesting or useful reading for anyone besides myself (assuming this journal has any readers left).

World economics:

Field research project on location of an urban service--written report poster and group presentation. Due May 10. We got an extension on this assignment, and will be presented on the last day in place of a final exam. I don't mind that too much. We haven't done anything about it, and it's been the least of my worries. I can see us all scrambling to finish it all within the last two days. So be it.

Interpretation of Geographic Data:

Final research paper on methodology in hydrology (10 sources, 10 pages), with 5-minute Powerpoint presentation. Due May 5. I have 9 of the 10 pages done... and it doesn't even have to be exactly 10 pages. I imagine I can come up with a well-rounded conclusion that will fill the 10th page, though. It's finished, with a typed bibliography and all, save for an hour or so of tweaking. She canceled the presentations, too.

Natural Hazards and Disasters

10-page research paper on access conditions and differential vulnerability relating to Hurricane Andrew, with 5-minute Powerpoint presentation. Due May 7. I have 8 out of 10 pages done on this one, and I will probably fill most of the rest with charts. And formulate another thorough conclusion. I don't see much point in bothering with the presentation, either.

Cultural Geography

Research poster with presentation. Completed. This was an interesting project, if only because it demanded a fair amount of artistic creativity. I produced a decent poster, though, and I am quite glad it's over with.

Writing for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Essay 3 (includes panel presentation). Due May 11th. Yet another research-intensive essay, 10-15 pages. 6-8 pages. Mercifully, she changed the required length of this essay given the amount of time we had left when she assigned it and the university's policy. Though, honestly, I don't know how I am going to be so concise when formulating and defending my argument about global warming being an anthropogenically-propelled real and severe threat while relating it to the concept of shifting paradigms. It is my very last essay of the semester, though, so I view it as the icing on the cake. Interestingly, I am actually looking forward to working on it. ...Not just getting it done, but actually working on it. I am going to be quite the perfectionist when it comes to this paper, and would like to draw from only the finest peer-reviewed academic sources and compose a stellar essay that is worthy of framing on the familiar walls of the hallways in the environmental sciences department. And hey, it's worth 30% of our total grade.

I have this semester whipped, for the most part, with a few relatively minor things left to take care of. My primary worries were centered around letting myself procrastinate too much and having to deal with too many assignments at one time, all with imminent due dates. I am quite proud of myself for not allowing that to happen. One of the principal challenges of being a university student is learning how to manage one's time effectively. The work load requires me to go against my instinct and plan things out rather meticulously, and operate on a very rigid schedule. Does it ever pay off in the end, though. I am thrilled that only three days of regular classes are left, giving way to a nice four day weekend. My goal is to completely finish all my projects (save for the economics group project, probably: I consider it one of those last minute rush job-type projects) by the end of next week; the week before finals. I have only two traditional in-class finals, as well. The paradigm paper is my final for English, the group project my final for economics, and my cultural geography final is a take-home and I'll have a week to complete it. Splendid. This is the home stretch, and that alone is enough to motivate me to get everything done. I am looking quite forward to enrolling in a fresh set of classes that begin later in the day, and starting anew in a couple subjects I am more interested in.

I did enroll in another class for summer, as well: Composing Music on the PC. It's three credits, and I saw no harm in adding music to the wide range of liberal arts subjects I have taken. That means I am taking 9 credit hours in a period of less than a month, which is ludicrous. There will be five hours of class a day, five days a week, big exams every week, and a heavy amount of reading and written assignments each evening. Essentially, it's cramming all the content of a course that would originally be conducted in a regular four month semester into a four week semester. I can always drop a class, though, and am expecting to do so, unless I decide I am able to and want to keep up with such a demanding pace. Maybe I can, though... it's not as if I have a social life to worry about, and taking one more course in the summer means I can take one less in the fall. A benefit here is that I can choose to drop my least favourite of them all.

With my seemingly incessant chattering about school, it may be hard to believe I didn't touch any schoolwork on Saturday. It was, in fact, my official designated day off, and Sunday may also serve as another day of rest. I have adapted to a comfortable routine of riding my bike around town each afternoon. The mornings have been very bright, warm, sunny and unpleasant lately, but the afternoons have been just the opposite: overcast, cool, comfortable, and inviting. Twilight has been simply spectacular. The air is always a perfect cool temperature, heavily saturated with ocean moisture and sea salt, so much so I can almost taste and smell it. It's very unlike any air I breathed in on the mainland. Late Friday afternoon, I decided to play the album, There is Nothing Left to Lose by the Foo Fighters on my iPod. I was reminded of just how fond of the Foo Fighters I had been, and what a stellar piece of work this album was. I found all the songs to be either good or excellent, and most of them made me very nostalgic, notably "Breakout," "Learning to Fly," "Gimme Stitches," "Generator," "Aurora," and "Next Year." Listening to this music and exploring unfamiliar neighbourhoods on my bike in the drizzling rain as darkness descended upon me was a very enlightening experience; something I needed.

It may be time for bed, but first, "Emerald" by Scott Bond vs. Solar Stone is an amazing song... and it's only eleven minutes thirty-two seconds long!

http://scintillation.timbershadows.com/2005/05/tranquil-waters.html

1 comment:

Xuphansa said...

Sigh, I still have to cut off my procrastination habits and get myself into gear. I have really felt the euphoria of work until recently; better late than never.