Sunday 27 November 2016

Chasing a finish

This weekend has been a slog, with most of it spent slaving away at the assignment.  Still not completed (or even close to it) by my own self-imposed deadline of the weekend before, and only 3 and a half more days in which to get there in time for the real life deadline.

I'm hoping that it all comes together at some point, and that progress becomes a little faster.  I certainly don't foresee a distinction on this one, maybe the pressure will be off a little if that isn't the case.  Maybe I might surprise myself in the end, but it's getting closer and closer to the deadline with slogging slews of slow progress, so I dunno?

Time to walk away for the night now, and back to it tomorrow night. (and maybe even lunchtime, an hour at lunchtime may be helpful when I am fresher in mind and body).

The Greater Washing Basket looks like a bomb dropped, I can see my 'week off' being spent putting it to rights again before Xmas.  Sigh - the joys of winter!

Monday 21 November 2016

Is Good Enough still GOOD ENOUGH?

That seems to  be the question that I've saddled myself with lately.  I think I am stressing more about the results of this final module than I have about any other part of my OU journey.  The fact that the result of this one will determine that final result seems to have endowed it with some extra significance, but that in itself seems to be creating a spiral of worry that I've not felt before.

Re-reading my old posts, whilst I have always strove to be the best that I can be, and would be disappointed with anything else from myself, I've never put pressure on myself to this extent.  I've found that those moments during this TMA when I can't see the wood for the trees (and you know I've had them in every module before too....) the small seeds of doubt creep in, that I've never allowed myself before.

I had a particularly bad evening's study last night and started to worry more, which of course never paved the way for coherent rational thoughts of any kind, let alone technical ones with data wrangling.

I HAVE to get my head back to the old thinking - all I actually need is 40% - that magic 85% would be awesome IF it happens, but I have to stop worrying about achieving the 85% as it's going to stop me from getting to the 85% with its stressful effects on my brain.

PS - much better evening's study tonight, found the answers I needed without too much fuss once I was less tired and stressed, hence feeling calm enough to put my feelings down in a blog at the end of the night.

All together now - "GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH" - Aim for a good pass and be grateful if the Distinction finds me.  Lather, rinse, repeat....

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Procrastination, Panic and The Final Hope

It's pre - TMA time again - time for my body to shut down and decide that it's not really ready for all this study malarkey, and that there must be 25 million other things more important.

(Including apparently having a cold.....grrrr!)

I'm trying hard not to let the Procrastination Fairy in, trying to make small progress each day that I am capable of coherent thought after the rigours of travel.  But still I worry, is it enough?  Are those small concessions to 'self' and to downtime, too much, is there a brick wall with my name on it?

It's not helped by a particularly negative appearance on the Facebook page, which makes me worry about the final results, will I get the results I so desperately want?  People who were expecting high results barely scraped passes.  Think I need to speak to a tutor and get a little perspective on it all I guess, it may just be a few negative voices which are not reflective of the whole.  Meanwhile I think I need to remove myself from the Facebook group, as I'm not finding it helpful and it's proving to be a demotivator at the minute.

I think the fact that I can almost taste that First has me putting even more pressure on myself, the fact that this result Matters in the grand scheme of things.  Which is probably silly really, I'd still be immensely proud of myself with a 2.1, but the thoughts of a First are spurring me on like nothing else could do.

Saturday 5 November 2016

Making Lists

Well, you know it's "That Time" of year again (already??) - lists are being compiled to be used for inspiration for presents etc, who's getting what, what's been bought etc etc.

We were also talking about lists in our Weight Watchers meeting this week, namely the satisfaction of being able to tick off when something has been completed, and the sense of structure and order this can sometimes bring into the chaos.

Me - I alternate between loving and hating 'lists' - sometimes I can see them as just proof of how much is there as yet undone, sometimes they are the proof that I have 'done something' in amongst the chaos.  I think I like to focus on the achieved rather than the 'still to achieve', I think I struggle with the concept of a 'To Do List' as such as it never feels 'Done' - does that make any sense?

A virtual Kanban Board - completed items are dragged from one column to another to show progress

But one thing I found in last year's study, was that making and charting some kind of progress, whether that was on a physical piece of paper with ticks on it, or moving a virtual 'card' from one column to another of an online Kanban board, was something I did actually find motivational.

So a new online board has been set up for my studies, with checklists and progress and things to do.  Hopefully this can help pull me out of this temporary slump that I seem to have landed in.  I'd so love to finish this module with a distinction and pull out a First at the end of it all!

Feels like I have made some progress this week, getting slowly caught up with the practical work, although I feel that I'll not be sure how much I've taken in until I start properly working on the practical parts of the first assignment.

Got some really good feedback from managers at work in the 'real world' this week, which helps the confidence immensely.  I know 'it's all just practice' in reality but sometimes just helps to hear how things are going from an outside point of view.  Might expound further on that in Beyond the Basket, so keep an eye out over there as I'm trying hard to keep up weekly updates.....