Finally A New Outfit Post!

December 11, 2010

I haven’t done an outfit post in months, but I was happy with this one I put together this afternoon, so I thought I should share.

I am so. close. to being done with this semester. I have four papers due this coming week. Two are completely finished, printed out, and ready to be turned in. The third I revised today and I’m waiting for others eyes to look over it before I print it out.

That leaves the final paper, which I’ve been trying to work on tonight. It’s supposed to be 15 pages. I know what I’m writing about. I’ve read all of my sources. I just made my outline. But I am still a little concerned over whether or not I can get 15 pages out of it. As soon as I finish with this post I am going to write the introduction and hopefully come up with a thesis. If I can get that done tonight, I will feel a lot better about the whole thing.

I’ve had Bones on tonight while working on my paper. It usually doesn’t distract me too much since I know it so well. However, tonight I probably shouldn’t have chosen “The Woman in Limbo.” It is distracting me. Love that episode!

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking lately, and I have some pictures and recipes to share with you soon. 


Cross It Off The List

November 18, 2010

So that book review I mentioned in my post last night? Yep, just finished it!

Maybe I’m regaining momentum for the final stretch.


What Happened to My Motivation?

November 18, 2010

Since finishing that big paper last week, I haven’t been able to recapture my sense of urgency. Granted, I did turn in three things this week, and, as I’ve shown on this blog, I was productive last weekend. But during the week I keep accomplishing very little. It’s because I don’t have weekly reading anymore. That’s making me lazy.

Here’s what I still have to do this semester. Hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything. In no particular order:

  • 15 minute presentation on my historiographical essay
  • The final version of that essay (fortunately the revisions are not too extensive)
  • Museum budget assignment
  • Essay #3 for the museum class
  • Book review of an indeterminate length (I just now wrote the introduction and thesis for this, so maybe . . . I can finish it before I go home for Thanksgiving. Wishful thinking?)
  • 15 page essay on some museum problem of my choosing (I’ve picked my topic and found some of my sources. I’m actually pretty excited about this one. Wish it was only 10 pages though.)
  • 3-5 page essay covering a theme from my course on the US from 1890-1945. (I was not expecting this assignment to be so short.)

The good news is I’m not particularly worried about any of these things. Perhaps that’s also the bad news–and the reason why I can’t get up the motivation to work on any of it. Out of all of those, the one I am most concerned about is the presentation. Not because I have to speak–this semester I’ve gotten used to speaking to my own students, so presenting will be no problem. No, what I’m worried about is dragging my presentation out to 15 minutes. I tend to be pretty concise and to-the-point. I know it’s a good thing to be concise, but I find that means I sometimes have trouble filling time. We’ll see how it goes!


The Writing Process

October 31, 2010

Each year I’ve been in school I feel I’ve become a faster (and better) writer, so my plan for today was to write a comparative book review. I’d finished reading both books and I had plenty of notes I’d taken while reading those books.

I’ve never been one for fancy outlines, brainstorming, or free writing. My usual writing process depends on the type of assignment, but if it’s a short paper then I do the assigned reading and take notes on it. If it’s a long paper, I do research and take notes on it. Then I go over my notes and look for main themes and use that to write my introduction and thesis. Once I have my thesis, I know where I’m going with my paper and the rest follows. For me, a thesis has always been way more helpful than an elaborate outline. Sometimes once I have my thesis I’ll go back and create a very basic outline, but that’s it.

My writing process for this book review, however, got a lot more elaborate than normal. I think this happened for a couple of reasons. First, the differences between the authors are sometimes subtle. Wanting to make sure I don’t get them mixed up, I decided to create a chart of each thing they examined so that I could view their respective takes on it side-by-side. I thought once I did that I would be ready to write my thesis.

I was wrong.

The second reason why my writing process became more elaborate is because my professor included a long list of questions to answer within the paper. Granted, most of the questions are the sorts of things one would address in any comparative book review, but because she specifically asked them, I want to make sure I specifically answer them. So I decided that instead of starting my paper and trying to answer these questions while also trying to fit them into my narrative, I would answer them first, before even beginning the paper. I answered them one-by-one and wound up with 1300 words. The good news is that most of those 1300 words can go directly into the paper. This exercise also helped me to organize in my mind the strengths and weaknesses of each book as well as their differences. Though I still have to write my thesis, doing so should be easier now that I’ve clarified these things in my mind. I will be able to craft a thesis around my answers to these questions, rather than trying to fit my answers into some other narrative.

I had hoped to write the entire paper today and turn it in Tuesday. It’s not due until the week before Thanksgiving, but with my big historiographical essay draft due next week, I wanted to get this one out of the way sooner rather than later. Well, barring some huge flash of inspiration tomorrow, this paper will not be turned in Tuesday. However, tonight’s prewriting exercises mean the paper will be better than it would have otherwise. If I can at least get an introduction and thesis written tomorrow, that will be a major accomplishment and the rest shouldn’t be too difficult to write. I can then focus on the historiographical essay for the next week and then come back to this book review with the hardest part already done.

So now that I’ve elaborated on my writing process, what’s yours? Since writing is kind of what I do, I enjoy finding out how other people approach it.


The More Things Change . . .

October 10, 2010

This afternoon I sat on my couch, writing a paper and watching the Braves playoff game. It gave me pause to reflect on constants. I think throughout life, one always has constants–people, places, things that one keeps coming back to no matter how life might otherwise change.

Though I consider myself a White Sox fan first and foremost, the fact is that I did not grow up a Sox fan. I grew up a Braves fan. It is my dad’s favorite team so thus it was mine as well. Though I know I went to a Sox game as a child, I have no memory of that, but I do have many memories of going to Braves games. Sitting on the couch this afternoon, watching the Braves play had a sort of timelessness to me. Bobby Cox’s retirement once the Braves’ season ends marks the end of an era, but I think Braves games will always conjure up memories of my childhood. In that sense, they will always be a constant in my life.

The afternoon also gave me a sense of deja vu. Though the team is different this time, I couldn’t help but flash back to my freshman year of college, when I spent October writing papers and watching the Sox on their way to becoming World Champions.

In other news, the past week was crazy busy. I worked extra hours on Friday. After nine hours of reading student papers, I was dreading working on my own this weekend. I felt a bit panicked because one of the papers I have due next week is a comparative book review and I hadn’t even finished reading the second book yet.

I came home Friday night from work and felt too exhausted to do homework. I went to bed super early for me–10 pm. That actually worked out really well because I woke up at 6 the next morning. I finished reading the rest of the book (about 100 pages), made pizza crust, went to the gym, had a phone date with Alyssa, and wrote all of my paper that’s due Monday night. All I can say about that is thank goodness for NCIS marathons on USA. I wish there was some way I could wake up at 6 everyday, but my schedule just wouldn’t allow it.

Today has been fairly productive as well, though I didn’t get started until much later. I went to church and the grocery store, made bean & rice burgers and sandwich rolls, went to the gym, and wrote 2/3 of my paper due Wednesday. I likely could have finished it all tonight, but I was starting to get really sick of looking at it so I’ll finish it up in the morning before work, then wait until Tuesday to revise so I can come at it with fresh eyes. I’d like to thank my Mentalist dvds for getting me through another marathon writing session.

I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures from last weekend.

Lincoln’s Home

This house is down the road from Lincoln’s. I really want it!


How Do You Write?

December 7, 2009

I’ve probably already had this discussion with my regular readers, but I find it interesting so it’s worth having again.

The other day I was reading a book about essay writing and the author said that you should have a minimum of three drafts before your final paper. Until last year, there was always a part of me that thought I must be doing something wrong because I never had several distinct drafts of a paper before turning it in. Not until last year did I realize that it’s just that my writing style is different.

I tend to revise and edit while I’m still writing the essay. So when I get to the end, it’s usually pretty close to being final. I don’t have multiple, distinct drafts. That’s not to say that I don’t make changes or corrections after that point, just that they don’t tend to be very significant.

So I’m wondering, what is your writing style? Do you write your whole paper/essay/story and then go back and edit and revise and then do that multiple times until you reach the final product? Or are you like me, where you make tiny revisions and improvements while you’re still working on the “first” draft?