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Archive for the ‘The Scholarly Life’ Category

Day 10 Goal: 16,666 / 50,000
Actual Word Count: 36,127

The actual word count wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t consider that between the course of Day 9 and Day 10 I only wrote 315 words. Which is just a few words shy of being a fifth of the daily quota that some Wrimos go by, as all of the different participants write at their own pace. Last year when I was participating, I wrote three projects in one month and just barely made it to my goal of 150k. And I wanted to do it the same way this month, three different projects – but trying to aim for 200k or 250k. Being that I participate in crazy things such as the 50k Weekend challenge or attempt to write 50k in 24 hours or less starting at exactly midnight, I know I could make it.

But then I ask myself: Is it really even worth it? There is always a price to pay. Last year, I wasn’t able to be productive regarding schoolwork because I was too focused on NaNo. Too focused on my goal, when my priority should have been getting assignments done ahead of time and passing all of my classes with decent grades, instead of trying to figure out how to execute the perfect sequence of events in the next couple of scenes of my novel. Yes, I was still able to do well enough last year Fall semester to pass everything, even if just barely – but I could have done much better if I didn’t put all my attention into writing challenges right away, instead of homework.

Normally NaNoWriMo doesn’t interfere with my student life this much, but it’s happening again. I would have had the option to opt out of the third paper for my Western films class if I wrote the one that was due on the second day of the month, and that way I would not have had to worry about writing one this month to submit in December. I would have been able to write up the script for my comics class group project much sooner. It’s due NEXT WEEK and I still haven’t written a whole lot but I do have something to go off of and I’ve written two pages already. Not good enough. Also, I had a paper (and a revision of a paper I turned in back in September) due this week and I skipped class because I didn’t have it and I was working on them last minute but I could not finish the revision and I’m only just starting on it now. I’m going to get ten points off for turning it in on Monday but I need the weekend to work on it, as well as some other things I also need to get done for other classes. I have an exam on Monday that I have two review sheets for, but I doubt they’re going to be any help at all. I have a journal sort of like thing and a presentation to finish for a class, that I’d rather finish sooner than later since I’ve already been putting that off for months.

It’s not the week two slump that’s plaguing me this time around, it’s just that I knew that November was going to be too busy of a month for me and I wasn’t going to write until the 25th and 5,000 words would have been written for each day. I should have gone with that plan. But then all of sudden, I don’t know why, but I decided to start off when we usually do – on the first night. But now we are eleven days into the challenge, and I suddenly realize that it was a mistake to do so and I should have gone with my original plan. I guess it was because I let my past victories go straight to my head, thinking that failure isn’t an option and that I have to win at all costs. Yeah, as though that wasn’t selfish enough of me to torture myself like that.

Now I understand what one of my friends meant when she said she couldn’t finish NaNo the past two years due to being overwhelmed by college stress. While the challenge is a fun way to spend your November, it is more important to focus on your schoolwork and/or other priorities. Especially if you feel like you are already working yourself to death and participating in NaNoWriMo at the same time, it can be tough. It’s tough for me right now – three papers due, (one that I did not write and now regret not writing because I had the choice of not doing the third if I did the second, and one that’s going to be LATE. again.), an exam, a project, and a bunch of other things to worry about – that’s a lot to work with, and I knew that before going into this mess but everyone else I knew, whether in my own region or in other regions, people I’ve gotten acquainted with and/or befriended, was probably going to start right away and I didn’t want to miss out on a “tradition”, for lack of a better word. But there are people who do start late. Remember that. And don’t make the same mistake I made. If you know you’ll have too much to do regarding school or work or whatever – wait until after everything has calmed down (or after Thanksgiving) and then start.

To anyone else that is participating this year and also feels overwhelmed by this sort of stress, I recommend you sit back, relax, take a break from writing for a little while, catch up on work or responsibilities or whatever it is you do, and then come back to it later in the month and still pull through. That’s what I’ll be doing, starting today. I’m not sure when I’ll write again. But I really do need to focus. At least, for now.

To everyone else participating: Happy writing, everyone!

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So I know I didn’t get a post up yesterday, but that’s okay. Since this is a self-challenge I thought up of I’ll make it simple. Instead of blogging every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, If the week hasn’t ended yet – and for all intents and purposes, this blog’s dates will coincide with those of a regular calendar where the week always starts on a Sunday – I’ll make it so that I can write a post in any three days of the week, so long as I post an entry three times a week. So that way it will remain consistent and Saturday posts are acceptable. However, once the next Sunday hits and I don’t have a third post in beforehand, then I’ve failed the challenge.  I’m just trying to make my blog be one of the more consistently updated things I care about, is all. Like I said before, I can’t abandon every website online.

But productivity is another matter in and of itself. Speaking of which, to anyone who might be reading this who’s starting out college or could use some quick tips – I’ll probably start a series on that in my third day posts. So without further ado, I bring you the first segment.

College Tip #1: Don’t Procrastinate. If you really care about your education that much, then focus and prioritize. Sure, you may have to have your nose stuck in books all the time – but it’s better than not working your hardest to get decent grades. Because honestly, graduating comes down to one thing: buckling down and studying as much as you can and getting all the work in on time. So you wanna graduate? Pass classes. You wanna pass classes? Do your homework and study for exams; when studying for exams, do so in advance. Don’t cram the night before – you’ll end up hating yourself for it. Trust me on this one.

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…Of school has passed. But today was a different first day. Today was the first day of my internship.

I gotta say, even though I’m still learning what to do and everything – kind of like job training in a way – I love it already. Not only does it feel like it’s something I’ve always wanted – but it is. A lot of people tell me I give up way too easily. Yet I saw this through to the end, and honestly I’m very glad that I did that. The internship is a lot of work, but I’m not worried. In fact, I’m confident that it will be a breeze.

Essentially, all I do is open mail up, see what it is, categorize it (determine whether it’s Fiction, Poetry, or Miscellaneous), look at submissions and store each individual submission one by one into a database where we keep track of it all. Of course, that’s only the first step in the process of processing those submissions that our editors have to read and determine the writer’s fate. And if I happen to be the last person out when leaving the office I’m in charge of shutting down the computers, and turning off the radio and the lights, as well as shutting the door and making sure that it’s locked (although from the outside, it should automatically lock, regardless). The internship looks as though it will be difficult, but fun in the long run.

As far as classes go, well I have just completed my first assignment for my Comics and Graphic Novels class – purchase a recent “floppy” (comics of the spineless variety) and read it, then present it. Well, 2/3 completed anyway.  I bought the most recent Batman at Barnes & Noble and just finished up reading it and now am thinking of a way to present it tomorrow.

Speaking of assignments, I have a small response to write up on a Blackboard-like interface for one of my other classes. So I’ll go do that now. I won’t see you, but you’ll see another one of my posts on Friday.

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For about a month now I’ve been in contact with this one literary journal on campus about possibly being an intern there for class credit and it’s gotten official now pretty much. I was supposed to get the stuff in last week, but in any case I couldn’t do it Tuesdays and Thursdays because they’re pretty much booked, although I do want to walk to the building that my journalism practicum was in last spring just to see if I could volunteer for them as well, or maybe I’ll actually get an on-campus job with them and it’ll only be something to do on Tuesday only. But I’m still considering that as an option because maybe it won’t happen at all, and if it doesn’t that’s okay. If it does, great. I do like to keep myself busy with a ton of things all at once, but burning myself out isn’t a good idea. However, I think I can manage all this without it being too bad.

I just hope I’m right.

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What’s interesting about my textbooks this semester is that most of them were cheaper at the bookstore than they would have been from Amazon, shipping cost and all.

I kind of already have homework, but it isn’t really homework. Before adding the internship that I’ve been wanting, I have to write a statement as to how it complements my English education and everything. I have a pretty good idea what I want to write for the statement, too. I wasn’t able to do this today even though I could have, but I’ll do it sometime next week.

This semester is going to be an interesting one. I’m taking British Lit, Western Films, Comics and Graphic Novels, Geology [class and lab], and the internship for credit. But I can’t add the internship until next week since the managing editor of the place I’d be interning at left early today. Not to mention, I need to pick up the Drop/Add form from her and have my advisor sign it – and I don’t know if my advisor’s already back in town, so I think it’s better I come by on Monday anyway since I want to start immediately. However, I still need to figure out my internship schedule.

After finalizing all that, I’ll be at 16 credit hours, 3 of them being the internship for credit.

It’ll be fun.

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At this very moment in time,

I just can’t sleep tonight.

And thoughts dance in my head

Of us all lying dead.

The next day we awake

The choices we must make

Await us in the end.

Now is not the time for silly rhymes. No matter how creative one can be, now is the time for more pressing matters and issues. Rest is not allowed. In one’s life there comes a time where they are faced with the first step of becoming an adult, or something close to such: A little thing I like to call responsibility. Nobody wants to do things because they have to be done. Nobody. But just because none of us hold the desire to, does that mean we shouldn’t? Absolutely not. It seems get yourself in gear, and focus on what lies ahead, not what will stay behind after you move on. You’re not supposed to look back. You’re never supposed to look back. You’re supposed to keep going. I learned that the hard way.

My high school experiences had not been the best ever, and were certainly not the worst ever. Essentially, I was still very young and learning to grow up, and even though I didn’t like a great number of the people there, I made friends as well as possibly a few enemies, but that was okay, because both of those types of people back then helped shape me into the person I am today, and I have to admit I think they did a pretty good job. I’m surprised I’m still around, actually. I probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my good circle of friends (and although I think they will never see this, there is a slight chance that they might somehow stumble upon this page – I just want to say to you guys, if/when you get the chance to read this, that I love you all and I wouldn’t trade our friendship for anything in the world. It’s not just something I can throw away. And I hope that you’ll be with me. Forever. Supportive and all that good stuff. Thanks for being there for me since 7th grade. You’re all pretty amazing.) Anyway, in May 2009, I will admit I kind of felt…guilty about going on with my life. I was going to go to college. At first, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, “Oh my god. I’m going to be a college student in August. I don’t…I don’t believe it. I never thought this was going to happen.” And all my friends left for different colleges, either a college in a different part of the city/town/whatever the hell where I live is considered, or in colleges that were either out of state or in a different city, even. Anyway, we all said our goodbyes, and I was pretty much the only one who stayed in town. I was so depressed. This meant I’d have to find new friends. That scared me for a little while. I really didn’t know what to do. I’ve always had a problem socializing, and this was no different. I just didn’t know what to do anymore. It was like….It was like I didn’t want to go to college now. Nobody really wanted to go to college if it meant leaving everyone and everything behind. I still have the terrible memory of graduation night, where before the ceremony even began and hours before we had to be at the venue for it, I recall either having lunch or sitting in the car with my mom, talking about this whole mess. The following conversation occurred.

“Mom?”

“What is it?”

“…Do you think I’ll ever see any of them again? I mean, Lynn and Debby are going to college in another state. Anne and Kelly are going to be going to the same college, but in a different city. And everyone else….I just feel like it’s not meant to be. Like I’m not ready for this. Like this shouldn’t happen. Why must we all separate, and then drift apart?…I don’t want to make new friends. Probably nobody would like me anyway. I don’t think I can do this.”

I say to myself,

Why do I look back?

The yearbooks on my shelf

are a part of my past.

Both covers signed, by people thought to be friends

turns out at the same, signing yearbooks was just a trend.

All hopes shattered – nothing mattered.

New life and new friends would form over time.

And I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it. I made it to college. I made friends. I went to classes. I studied, did homework. I hated leaving all my other friends behind (even though I never moved, they’re the ones that left me), but…for some reason I can’t stop thinking about them. When I moved on to the chapters of my life reflecting on all four years of college, I told myself I wouldn’t think about them or high school at all because it didn’t bring back many good memories. I didn’t want to remember them. I don’t know why I did. But I did. And now, I keep looking through old photo albums, and I miss every single one of them. Even if I see two out of those friends almost every day at the most random times, we’re supposed to be close friends, and we pretty much drifted apart after graduation occurred. May 19th, 2009 was a terrible day for me, and a wonderful day for others.

They say, “It’s not ‘goodbye’. It’s ‘see you later’,” but that doesn’t change the fact that it makes it even more depressing to think about it. Because, I can tell you right now, it’s been “later” for me for a long time – and I still haven’t seen them all.

Return to me, my friends.

I miss you.

You were a great part of my life, and I want you back.

We shall cross paths again in due time.

The last four words.

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