Archive for October, 2008

One: I just discovered the coolest thing. I can touch type well enough to type an email with my eyes closed. Resting and working at the same time!!

Two: This article is quite useful for my potential future lifestyle. Also, I’d like to do a study on articles with the keywords: environment, packaging and climate and see which of the two has a greater hit rate. It would be climate, but not by much I expect. Apparently you can save the world by only addressing packaging since it’s the bad child in this equation (and not, say massive over-consumption of everything. Wait, this is supposed to be a short post, not a long rant)

Three: As a short distraction from my very busy day, which follows on from a very busy week in a very busy month (all at work, socially, it’s dead, but that’s because of study) I took time out to read Mystic Medusa’s astrology blog, as she’s always amusing. Had to laugh at this. And at this description of one of her publications:

Saturn is now in Virgo, a much better place for the planet of fabulous results via non-stop slog than Leo. Mystic Medusa & Kim Falconer once again join forces to bring you 10,000 words of sign-by-sign usable, jargon-free info for turning Saturn through Virgo into an astute and supportive astro-influence. Saturn responds to WORK. Where it is in your chart is where you have to be super-straight and work like a banshee. It is also where you will shine.
Saturnalia will be relevant until October 2009. Yes folks, that is how long Saturn remains in Virgo.

Maybe that explains the overwork in ALL areas of my life, being a Virgo and all. It also explains the need to close my eyes at my desk. See point 2. Bring on November!

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I’m increasingly annoyed by the over-use of the word ‘also’ in reports. It seems to be cropping up in so many of the reports I edit. ‘Also’ should be used to indicate a further point to topic under discussion. It should not be used to introduce a completely different but vaguely related point. It is not a filler word, it actually serves a purpose and just confuses the reader when it is misused.

For instance:

“In 2007-08 the program to encourage the increase in red lollipop production reported a 60% uptake by target companies, which resulted in 10567 red lollipops on the market compared to last year.

Also, a website was developed to encourage member companies to discuss their choice of stick length and the plastic wrapping around the lollipop” [1]

That also, in there, is not necessary, somehow it makes the second paragraph, about design specifications relate the first one on member composition. We have a consultant that we frequently use that seems to insist that the word “also” should be included once per page, and at least 4 pages of the report has to include it more than 3 times. Either that, or they need a really good copy-editor (maybe their London Office is hiring?)

There’s a certain pedantic and somehow poetic joy I get from editing, and you can generate some incredibly bizarre rants. This has been one of them

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I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit recently, as I noticed my exhaustion and stress levels rising to levels that I am really, really uncomfortable with over the last few months. I know it relates to studying, and I know that it is finite, but I wondered what precisely it is that bothers me. I think I have some answers.

Initially I assumed it was the pressure of writing, something I belived I was not good at after a crappy English department at my High School removed my confidence in my ability to write, compounded by an Engineering degree.

However, I now write for a living, and this semester’s assignments are based on the same format that I write to every week at work, so that’s not it.

Here’s what I think the problems are:

  • Higher education essays are based primarily on individual unbounded research. YOu are given some guidance on the subject area, and maybe the key theorists, BUT one of my stresses is constantly feeling like I don’t know enough and have not done enough reading and that I’ve not been able to find the key text(s) that will ensure this assigment is credible.
  • I’m an empirical thinker, I hate theory, being forced to frame my empiricism into a theoretical essay is/was tedious and seemed rather pointless since I have no desire to be an academic and hence this was useless jargon based knowledge that I had to try to understand.
  • I prioritise study above almost EVERYTHING else, and fret that I am not spedning enough time reading and writing, despite the fact that I now know exactly how much time it takes me and what my rhythm is for this process. This means that my house becomes a mess, I stop seeing the people that I like, who give me balance in my life, I don’t plan the other aspects of my life and so they all fall over. Likewise my friends get the impression that I am too busy and get scared to disturb me, despite the fact I probably desperately need company. My points of serenity and stability disappear.
  • I live in my head, which means I neglect the physical side. On Monday all I could think was that I wanted to go and get a full body scrub, then moisturise, and a hair cut and a facial. Essentially I stop feeling attractive. In other semesters, whenever I’ve handed an assignment in my first impulse has been to seek out a snuggle, to just ‘be’ and reconnect with the physical, to get out of my head.

All of these aspects sap. my confidence and energy. In previous semesters there has been lee-way at work to get some headspace, or I’ve been more lenient on myself at home about the mess, or I’d not felt attractive anyway, so didn’t notice the difference.

This semester? They all those factors came home to roost at the same time, and I added the stress of trying to move overseas. I am so very, very glad that my assignments are now over. One exam to go and then I’ll have my Masters, and it will be done!

Someone throw a soft object at

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