Monday, November 26, 2007

The "To Do" List

It's the last three weeks of the semester, and lots of papers and projects are becoming due. This is the type of stress I enjoy - having to write a lot in a short amount of time - but I'm troubled also because there are some papers I enjoy writing more than others, some that I feel better prepared to write. Nevertheless, I need to write them all, regardless of my feelings about them.

due 12/11
ENG 646
Literacy Autobiography
Tutoring Transcript & Analysis (approx. 15 pages)
Journals (one a week for each week of class, 2-3 pages each) & Cover Letter

ENG 509
Literacy Autobiography (at least 15 pages; must also include course readings)

due 12/13
ENG 626
Term Paper (10-12 pages; at least eight secondary sources)

due 12/17
ENG 626
Final Paper (4-6 pages)

I also have two presentations due this week (one tomorrow for ENG 509; one Thursday for ENG 626), one of which (ENG 509) requires a 3-6 page accompanying paper that I have yet to begin. I have a plan for tomorrow's presentation; I have a very vague plan for Thursday's presentation, and that's the one I'm more worried about. After class on Thursday I'm meeting with my ENG 626 professor to discuss the rough draft I submitted the week before Thanksgiving (he'd wanted 4-5 pages; I submitted 2, although I did find 17 possible secondary sources I might be able to implement). I was hoping to have written 4-5 pages to e-mail him before Thursday but I guess I must have mismanaged my time again because I haven't written anything. It seems like I'm thinking about writing constantly and writing every chance I get - at school; at home - yet it's never enough and it seems I have little to show for my efforts.

The literacy autobiographies I am not worried about, nor am I worried about the journals. I can write the literacy autobiography for ENG 509 and rework it slightly for ENG 646; the journals I'm mostly done with and can knock out easily enough. The 4-6 page paper for ENG 626 will also be fine. I am worried about the 10-12 page paper for ENG 626. I've gotten out of the habit of writing for literature classes and I find it difficult to get back into that groove - because I'm procrastinating, of course, because I prefer to think about teaching writing and writing centers, because it's easier. (Stupid vicious cycle.) After I get that paper done, then I'll feel more relieved.

Here's the plan:
* Beginning Friday, 11/30, write 2 pages a day for the 10-12 page (ENG 626) paper; finish Tuesday, 12/4.
* Beginning Tuesday, 12/4, write 2 pages a day for the literacy autobiographies (ENG 509 & ENG 646); finish Sunday, 12/9.
* Beginning Wednesday, 12/12, write 1 1/2 - 2 pages a day for the final exam (ENG 626); finish Saturday, 12/15.

I really wanted to go to the JHUAPL Colloquium on December 14, but I don't foresee being able to go unless I can get all my writing done way in advance. Maybe if I really push myself, that will be my reward.

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