Tag: studies

A Springtime Refresh

A Springtime Refresh

The first day of spring has always felt like a holiday to me. Not a stay-away-from-work holiday, but a special day that deserves to be celebrated. And this September first is worthy of celebration indeed. It has been warming up over here for the past two weeks, so much so that we’ve been sleeping with the window open, the better to enjoy the chirping and croaking of seemingly hundreds of frogs that had woken from hibernation early.

But my favourite part is when, apparently overnight, almost without one noticing, everything suddenly erupts in the most beautiful and varied shades of green. Spring is a time of new life. It’s time of new beginnings, at least for me, much more than New Year’s is.

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Careful – Men At Work

Would you believe that yesterday I forgot to post?  That’s the truth, though, whether you believe it or not.  My hammer and I have been fiddling about on the inside of if all else fails and I just completely lost track of time.  But it wasn’t time wasted: I’ve given the Song Title Challenge page a little makeover and it now boasts a streamlined index of all past challenges which will update itself automatically every time I post a new story.  It might not impress you but it’s sure going to make my life easier.

Actually I’ve been tinkering quite a lot lately.  I’ve been volunteering in the WordPress.com forums and a pleasant side-effect is that I’m learning much more about how WordPress and blogging works, and I’m trying to rectify some of the mistakes I made in the early days when I did not yet know any better.

Hard Hat and Hammer
Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A consequence of all this tinkering is that things around here might go a little awry, so if you happen to stumble across any missing images or broken links, please let me know in the comments and I’ll be right along with my trusty hammer to whack things back into shape.  I do recommend wearing a hard hat, though.  Don’t want you getting injured by a falling hammer.

 In other news, (at the risk of jinxing it) I finally seem to be getting into my stride with the studies (took long enough!).  It is only natural, then, that the universe appears to be conspiring against me working this week.

First my former boss wants me to check up on my replacement by moderating some of her students’ examination scripts from the mid-year exam.  That means I’m once again grading English essays – something I’d hoped I’ll never have to do again.  At least they pay me to do this.

I’m also suddenly getting inundated with requests for extra lessons by seniors finally realising that their final examinations are terrifyingly close and that they haven’t been paying attention in English for the last eleven-and-a-half years.  Between my inability to say no and my intense desire to have a positive cash flow again for a month or two I’m trying to squeeze them in, but we’ll see how it goes.

And the final cherry on top is that the wife’s come down with a stomach bug.  Which means she’s at home.  Which means when I take a study break I’m playing nurse.  Or washing dishes.  Or cooking.  Or doing laundry.  Oh, the things we do for those we love (though I do the last three even when she’s not ill, but I’m complaining here – I don’t get the chance that often).

But busy is good, right?  Hopefully I wont forget about this weekend’s review 😉

On a cure for procrastination

If you’ve ever wondered how procrastination works, it apparently involves a monkey.  I myself spend many hours every day in the Dark Playground.  But I think I might have stumbled upon a strategy that could keep the monkey at bay (cause let’s face it, if you work from home and get paid on a freelance basis you can’t bank on the Panic Monster coming to your rescue).  (If you have no idea what I just said you really should click on that link.  It’s a much better post than this one.)

I was put onto that brilliant explanation by Timothy Edwards, who reckons the solution is to plan so thoroughly that the monkey doesn’t get a chance to take over.  Sounds to me like something that belongs in the Dark Playground.  We’ll call it the “Spending All Your Time Making Plans To Spend Your Time More Effectively Merry-Go-Round”.

My idea, on the other hand, is foolproof.  I’m going to use a reward-system.  See, I have two major things need doing.  I need to get on track with my studies, and I need to finish the first draft of my novel.  (Okay, I need to start looking at a way of getting paid for counselling as well, and getting clients to counsel (I might have those two in the wrong order) but that’s rather dependant on finishing my degree, so let’s not worry about that just yet.)

Being a good writer de-motivation poster
So easy, yet so hard…

Studies and writing.  Both things that I actually enjoy if I truly get into them, but both things that I also heavily procrastinate for some very obscure reason.  Well, my strategy is to use one as a reward for completing the other.  For every five chapters I finish reading for my degree, I’ll allow myself to work on my novel.  And for every five thousand words I finish writing, I’ll allow myself to dig into the academics once again.

Sounds like a terrible plan, doesn’t it?  So terrible it just might work.  Hopefully it will confuse the monkey to such an extent that he’ll forget about Youtube (where I recently discovered the highly entertaining channel, How it should have ended – they remake the endings of popular movies so they make more sense), Facebook (more coming on their acquisition of WhatsApp as soon as I stop procrastinating) and the family tree I’ve started to construct in an attempt to discover my extended family (my grandfather Kokkie was an orphan, so apart from my father’s siblings and their children I have no knowledge of my extended family on his side).

What do you think?  Is my plan foolproof or am I merely a fool?  Hopefully I at least made you smile 😉