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Archive for April, 2011

… and occasionally it drags along at a snails pace.

Thu 14 Apr 2011 23:33:06 2 comments

Today I finally submitted my second law assignment, just a week after the first. The weeks since my last post seem to have dragged on forever. I’m hoping that this represents the peak in work for the semester and I can get back to the reading and learning that I find more enjoyable. I also hope to have more time for blogging.

Somewhere over the last two weeks university ceased being a fun and inspiring journey and transformed into burden to be struggled with. It probably hasn’t helped that work has been increasingly stressful due to technical issues and approaching deadlines. Initially the obligation of being enrolled provided an inspiration that focused my energy into a strong interest in the subject matter. However the specific obligation of the assignment seemed to cause so much focus that the task became unpleasant. This was to the extent I experienced some serious writers block on the weekend when I had the free time to actually write the second assignment. I only managed to do decide on a direction for the essay and do the bulk of the writing throughout yesterday during lectures, tutorials and breaks. While I’m reasonably satisfied with the outcome, my perfectionism makes me continually consider the endless improvements I could have made if I’d spent more time on it.

Procrastinating to such extent is an old habit I’d hoped to avoid this time around. It’s a habit that probably typified  by the experience of writing my 12,000 word engineering thesis in the two days before it was due for submission. Having managed to graduate with 1st class honours despite my best efforts its unlikely to be something fatal to my studies, however it is of concern given the higher expectations I have of myself this time around. I’m quite proud of the sense of professionalism I’ve developed so far through my career and I want to see it reflected in my studies. The approach I took to the first assignment seemed to be much more inline with this plan; so perhaps the longer term accumulative stress was of significant effect and is something that requires better management. I’ve been quite happy with the weekly schedule I organised at the start of semester.

Being a strong natural learner, perfectionism is also an old habit I have when engaged in study. Well at least it was before I lost focus during my last degree. Unlike procrastination, its a habit I’ve planned to take full advantage of. I let my strong sense of perfectionism loose on both assignments once I’d completed the bulk of the work producing over 6 drafts (3 printed) for each. I suppressed my instinctive evaluation of the legal citing standard as arbitrary and pedantic (while noticing none of the sources I cited were in compliance) in order to ensure each cite was consistent with the standard. I spent time reading each sentence and word aloud to better detect grammatical errors due to writing tired and stressed.It’ll be interesting to see if these approaches stand the test of time or present a unhelpful stress. In reviewing a few of my earlier posts, grammatical errors are sticking out as if encased in a <blink> tag. I’m also noticing a distinct lack of footnote feature in wordpress1.

Waiting for marks on my first major assessment items will probably cause a bit of anxiety over the next few weeks. The case I read for tort’s tutorial this week already gave me a bit of a nerves. One of the judges described a tort differently to the rule I applied in the assignment. However it turned out he was the only judge to rule in that way and as we discussed in the tutorial the judges approach was inconsistent with more established law. Compared to the relative certainty of correctness I had while studying engineering, this could take some getting used to.

Since I seem to have almost written enough for another essay in less than an hour I think I should take a break and get some sleep.

1. Yes I can create them manually like I did here, but it’s a pain in the butt compared to a regular word processor.

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