Old Ghosts and Demons
It's October, the month of Hallowe'en and the spooks and spectres of the past. I sit here in my dining room, working here rather than in my office in order that I concentrate on my assignments rather than get distracted by the six million other projects which have representation in my office. And while an unusually sunny-and-warm 80-degree day, one we might have called "Indian Summer" in a less politically correct time, progresses in the yard beyond the window I struggle to make sense of my class and what I'm trying to accomplish here.
So far I understand the need to build my degree program, and I even understand the "Area of Depth" and the "Area of Breadth" and all that. What I don't understand is where to begin in this process today, and also how to distribute my old classwork across the requirements tables.
So I sit and try to read through the various hand-outs, and the returned homework, trying to piece these things together into a coherent set of requirements, and I run smack dab into my old study-habit demons and ghosts.
Last week I experienced the joy of trying to read from a textbook. Now, we'll just skip over the whole thing where I was doing THIS week's homework because, well, because I'm stupid sometimes. But there I was, trying to read from this book, and I could not make myself do it. By the time I got done, I was reading one sentence at a time, and rewarding myself with each sentence by eating an M&M.
At this rate I'll be five hundred pounds by the end of the book.
Anyway I slogged through most of it before class, only to discover I'd done the wrong week's homework. I guess that's okay as it allows me to focus more on what I'm trying to do right now, update my degree plan document.
Of course in discussing this during class I started to sound (to my ears) all whiny, and as usual people offered the usual suggestions and then gave up out of frustration and pointed out the counselling service. I can't blame them - I haven't been able to fathom my problems in 25 years, it would be a bit much for an answer to spring out of a five minute discussion. Still, I found myself back in that Same Old Place, with the demons of book-learning and the ghosts of twelve years of frustration, self-discovery, and acceptance.
Anyway I'm now working on updating my degree plan, based on feedback from the instructor, and running into another little demon: making myself read all the way through the critique before making changes. I read one thing, and I immediately want to open the source document and make a change or correction. But no, no, I need to hold back and and read all the way through the critiques and then make comprehesnive changes.
Sigh, but that's a little one at least, a little demon. I ought to be able to hold myself to read all the way through the responses before making changes. All I have to do is make myself read them... and to do that, I have to stop procrastinating by doing this...