10.07.2009

somebody throw me a line



There is so much to read, so many papers to write. I'm having trouble keeping up, and compared to many of my classmates, I seem to be way ahead. Everyone is drowning.

Everyone's annoyed, too. The four courses in the "core curriculum" have a huge amount of overlap, and most of it is so theoretical. It's getting on our nerves. I'm not worried, as many people are, that we won't be prepared for our chosen professions. It's just difficult to stay engaged.

It seems that most students have given up on trying to get all the reading done. I may have to go that route, but I don't like the idea. I've already gone from reading carefully to reading quickly to skimming. I don't want to skip articles altogether.

But it's not just the readings I'm skimming. I feel like I'm skimming everything in my life. I prefer to do fewer things and focus more, rather than spread myself too thin. But I'm loathe to cut out anything else.

11 comments:

Amy said...

I thought I sent a comment, but perhaps it got lost in Bloggerworld??

Anyway, if this is a repeat of my earlier comment, just dump it.

I think what I said was: I hope you can find balance soon. The first semester is always tough when you cannot really tell what is important from what is less important in the assignments.

And I hope this doesn't interfere with your ability to enjoy the baseball post-season! :)

L-girl said...

Thank you, Amy. (This is the first comment so far tonight.)

And I hope this doesn't interfere with your ability to enjoy the baseball post-season! :)

No chance! For better or worse, I'm absolutely incapable of doing any mental work at night now - have been for a long time. So lying on the couch watching baseball and possibly gamethreading is the perfect way to spend my evenings.

Eleven wins to go. :)

Some Person said...

I'm a college prof, and even I have to skim my students' textbooks before I'm set to use them in my teaching. That seems to be a chronic condition in academia, though my references for this are anecdotal, many as they are.

John F said...

My comment is off-topic for your post, but I thought you'd want to see this:

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/10/08/rich-guy-hates-poor.html#comments

Isn't it great when a neocon takes his mask off?

L-girl said...

Some Person, thanks. :)

John F, thanks! As a commenter there said, the honesty is a refreshing change. Pigs.

Great headline, I thought it was an Onion story.

John F said...

Yes, as other commenters on the story have pointed out, the guy featured in the article is about as subtle as Snidely whiplash.

Actually, he reminds me of something else. After reading your recent post on Banned Books Week, I was surfing through various links on the topic. In a librarian's blog, I found a comment thread where someone (maybe Constantine "Connie" Xinos under a pseudonym?) attacked the concept of publicly funded libraries.

Arguing that you should only read what you can afford to buy, he called libraries "welfare book stores". I found this as funny as some of the stuff on the Colbert Report! In fact, it reminded me of a Colbert rant about Halloween, where he called trick-or-treaters "pre-hoboes" and claimed that, instead of candy, he handed out copies of "Atlas Shrugged".

L-girl said...

In a librarian's blog, I found a comment thread where someone (maybe Constantine "Connie" Xinos under a pseudonym?) attacked the concept of publicly funded libraries.

Arguing that you should only read what you can afford to buy, he called libraries "welfare book stores".


Now I know what the trolls will sound like when I am a librarian!

impudent strumpet said...

My favourite line from that article:

"Xinos, who says he never had children in part because he wasn't sure he'd be able to support them..."

New rule: If you can't afford to support a reasonable number of children, you aren't rich enough to hate poor people. Not saying you should have children (in fact, I enthusiastically laud this gentleman's choice to be childfree), but an essential factor in not being poor is being able to afford to raise an average-sized family.

Back on topic:

My unsubstantiated theory is that this phase in any degree program is intended specifically to make people who aren't that into it get annoyed and drop out.

Possible strategy that might work depending on what your readings and assignments are like: check which of your readings are indexed on Google Books or other searchable services, and prioritize reading the ones that aren't searchable. I assume if they're relevant to assignments you'll have to revisit them anyway, but the searchable ones you can just search for the relevant bits, whereas with the non-searchable ones you'll have to be more familiar with the content.

L-girl said...

New rule: If you can't afford to support a reasonable number of children, you aren't rich enough to hate poor people.

Totally true.

My unsubstantiated theory is that this phase in any degree program is intended specifically to make people who aren't that into it get annoyed and drop out.

So why do they want to do that? These schools are all vying for students (and their dollars). UofT iSchool has evaluations after everything, asks for feedback on an hourly basis (slight exaggeration). Why do they want students to drop out?

prioritize reading the ones that aren't searchable. I assume if they're relevant to assignments you'll have to revisit them anyway, but the searchable ones you can just search for the relevant bits, whereas with the non-searchable ones you'll have to be more familiar with the content.

Hm, this might be fairly easy to implement, as 100% of our readings are given to us online as pdfs. Thanks for the suggestion. Do I have the nerve... I wonder.

impudent strumpet said...

Maybe they're either intentionally or subconsciously culling on behalf of the profession? I'm totally projecting from my own experience here, but I noticed that the people who in school got most annoyed by the more annoying parts of the program also tended to be the people who (as I look back with some real-life professional experience and 20/20 hindsight) wouldn't make good translators or wouldn't enjoy working as a translator.

L-girl said...

Interesting! We'll see.