“Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle of lotteries, dating & religion.”
To the above I am tempted to add postgraduate studies. It seems that for each paper I go into the workload is equivalent to an entire undergraduate semester, except that we have to do four at onceBut this is good news, I came out of my degree feeling that I didn’t really know enough, and now that I am in PG its as if everyone is saying “Surprise, you’re right, now go read these 20 articles by next week and you may be able to keep up” As you can tell, I am really being challenged. Despite having nearly abandoned my job, I still don’t see how there are enough hours in a day. So as usual its time to strategise, here’s the plan thus far:
Lectures: Now I’m no stranger to attending lectures, in fact (despite usually not arriving with a pen) my attendance was stellar throughout my undergraduate career. But it is attention that I need to sharpen. Accompanied by my beautiful Moleskine notebooks and the trusty Cornell method, I should be able to stay on top of the valuable insights given in class. Readings: Never have I had so much to read, and it’s only day 3. There’s not much to say in this space other than that I plan to do it all, I’m used to rushing off to work after a lecture, so in theory all I have to do is redirect my energy to the library and get into them. My first plan in this area is the gathering stage, I like to batch process practically everything in my life so before I tackle the vast amount of literature I want to have it all in front of me. This however requires the right… Tools: Now I could talk about these for far longer than you’d like to hear so I’ll keep it brief. My current weapon of choice is my black Macbook running Mac OSX Leopard. For managing task lists and generally Getting Things Done (GTD for the uninitiated) I use the awesome programme Omnifocus. Storage and reading of articles is managed by Papers. I do all of my writing in the seemingly perfect Scrivener with the final publishing managed by Word which really sucks Nisus Writer Pro. There are of-course many more but this is my primary Academic software workflow. Peers: Fortunately it would seem that everyone is as desperate as I am to cope with the material, so everyone is keen to make friends. Arrangements are being made to go over the readings the day before, this should help us grasp everything and encourage us to actually get them all done on time. Lecturers: There is an impressive ratio in these classes. In one I have two senior lecturers present with only 24 students. They also seem to offer a lot more time to PG students, this means its time to use those office hours, I’m already booked to discuss the first assignment.Well that’s about all for now folks, good luck with the work, study or play.