Saturday, January 30, 2010

And So It Begins Again...

The week began with my first rhetorical theory class. Since I'm taking the class online through another school there is the obligatory difficulties that go along with it. Case in point I signed up late because of a clerical error on my part. Signing up late then means that there is a hold on your account since you didn't pay for the class until you are officially a non degree student there. Then once you pay the hold still stays. So by the time I officially was signed up it was the friday before the class started. Being slightly type A I then worry that I'm going to be behind because I haven't done any reading (since I just joined the class and although classes hadn't officially started there typically there is "pre"reading to do). I email the professor who luckily informs me that the syllabus will be emailed on the first day of class. I sit on monday morning waiting for my email and nothing comes....I then get an email on Tuesday from said professor alerting me to the fact that I have an email account through the school and that is the one she is using. Sadly when you sign up for classes or as a nondegree student, noone ever tells you these things. Now I'm a day behind. That night I proceed to set up all the accounts I need for the class (Ning, blog, twitter, wiki etc.) and start reading. Little did I know just how much work this one class was going to be. Journal articles to be read and written about in blog posts (2-3 blog posts a week) a wiki with terms to be updated and tweets to be sent out. Then add in I believe 3 projects for the semester? I'm still lost on that one. But the class will complete my rhetorical theory requirement and is in my domain of interest (computer mediated communication) and will actually coexist nicely with the other CMC course that I'm taking this semester (which can I say also seems like a whole lot of work).

Perhaps this would have all seemed more doable had I not had a looming manuscript deadline. Suggested rewrites had been made however there is always something to be done which means extensive time spent thinking about and writing about social support groups in Second Life. Don't get me wrong, I love my manuscript and I think the rewrites made it considerably better, however the amount of work that has been done on it is daunting. Luckily the manuscript went out the door Wednesday and is officially off my desk until I have to most likely rewrite portions again when it comes back from review.

Sure the manuscipt is off my desk but that opens up my time for thesis writing (although a more appropriate term may be sucks up my time). In less than a month I need to have a thesis perspectus written in a finalized form. This will be approximately 50 pages. At this point 50 pages isn't a big kicker for me. I've written 30 for classes before and in some classes probably close to 60, so its not the lenght that is worrysome, its the fact that although I have done some research in the area of my thesis, what I have done is slightly different enough that it isn't useable. This means more research and more article reading for me at a time when I really have no time. I'm not sure how it is going to get done, all I can say is that I've managed to do everything I set out to do in the past so fingers crossed that the trend will keep.

Last semester I worried that I wouldn't be able to do it all. My classes were difficult and required a lot and I had hoped this semester would be easier. Unfortunately that isn't the case. School is hard and its stressful and I don't think it is imaginable until you actually go through it. The stress is compounded with a full time job with a 3 hour a day total commute. Sometimes it all just doesn't seem feasible. And it seems that when stress hits people find ways to add to it. But I'm learning that you can't control what other people do or say. All I can do is not let them derail me from my goal. I will graduate in May (well I'll walk in May and complete my thesis in August).

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