Well, as I have said before, studying has been a bit hard going since the birth of our daughter six months ago (the fastest six months of my life!). I have found it particularly hard to strike the right balance between studying for my course, and fulfilling my responsibilities as a parent. This has become increasingly difficult over recent weeks as my daughter has started to slip into a regular sleeping pattern. Until recently, she usually went to sleep quite late and would normally be awake to greet me when I got in from work. Just recently, however, she has started going to bed much earlier and there have been many occasions when I don’t see her at all when I get in from work. As a result of this, I tend to try and spend as much time as possible with her on my days off. Unfortunately, these were the days that I used to do the large bulk of my studying. I find it quite hard to study in the evening when I get in from work, it’s very hard to concentrate on studying after a busy day in the library. I try to do at least an hour in the evening whenever I can, but it is not the same as dedicating a day to some serious study.
Due to the studying I need to do, and the decreased time in which to do it, I have had to cut some things out of my personal life for the short-term. For example, I used to play football every Tuesday night without fail for the best part of 16 years. I have temporarily stopped going now whilst I use the extra time this gives me to catch up on my studies and get some serious work done. Sadly this has had an impact on my rapidly expanding waistline…by the time I get back to playing football I could well be subject to ‘who ate all the pies?’ type chants. Not good for the old self-esteem! Depressing though this is (it’s amazing what kicking a ball around can do for your stress levels!), it was a necessary move to give me just a little more time.
My progress has not been helped by the two modules I have been working on: Collection Management and Research in the Profession. Yep, I thought Information Retrieval was a tricky module to plough through. I think I can safely file these on the shelf marked ‘irksome’ (there’s an underused word!). To be fair, I don’t know if that is down to the content of the modules, or just my state of mind whilst trying to complete them. In fact I should find the Collection Management module very interesting as I have been doing a lot of work related to this module in recent months. Maybe it is my state of mind. Anyway, I think the end of the tunnel may be within sight. After some fairly arduous drafting (I’m sure it wasn’t this difficult on previous assignments!), I think I am almost at a point where I can stuff my assignment in an envelope and pass it onto the Royal Mail. Here’s hoping anyway.
Once the Collection Management module has been sent off, I just have the Research in the Profession module to complete before moving on to the optional modules. Easier said than done, but I aim to get both complete by the end of the month. I’ve just got to the point now where maybe it won’t hurt to send-off a couple of duff assignments. After all, I understand that getting good marks in the coursework is not as important as getting a good mark on the dissertation so maybe that should be my priority. I am fortunate enough to be in quite a good position at the moment in terms of marks so surely a few sub-60s aren’t going to hurt are they?? I think I have been saddled with this ‘must maintain good scores’ mentality when what I should really be doing is getting the assignments done and focus my energies on researching for a good, solid dissertation. It all seems so easy when you written down. If only putting that into practice was as easy!