Friday, June 23, 2006

Is it over yet?

OK. School was fun. But, I'm ready for it to be over. Trying to write a serious research paper while dealing with getting my background check, and still seeming to care at least a bit about my current job, are all adding up to massive stress for me.

I'll be spending the better part of this weekend finishing up the paper. I need to get it in the mail by Tuesday morning at the latest, I think. I've got it about half written. The page I worked on today was utter junk. I reread it after I printed it, just before leaving the office. I think 100 monkeys on typewriters would have come up something more coherent.

I stopped by Borders on the way home. I needed to get a decent style guide aimed specifically at writing research papers. My instructor expects us to follow APA or MLA guidelines. What a royal pain. As if trying to string coherent sentences together weren't enough of a challenge, I need to make sure that my footnotes and bibliography are properly formatted. Several of my sources are electronic. The last time I wrote a research paper, my most challenging bibliographic citation format was for a chapter out of an edited multi-author collection.

I initially had some grandiose idea that I could whip up an A paper with little effort, because that used to be my forte in college. Now, my brain just isn't wired that way any more, I guess. I think I'll be thrilled if I can yank a B- out of this effort. But, I'll be content with a C. Sad, no?

No real worries though. The paper is 40% of our final grade. Another 40% is our quiz scores. Since my quiz average is a 92.5%, I can afford a less than stellar performance on the paper. I'll be a bit disappointed in myself if I get less than an 85%, but I think I'll get over it rather quickly. There is just too much going on in my life right now.

I am really looking forward to putting this class to bed next week. Hopefully, my background check will be cleared up by the 4th. I have some professional development work I want to get through before I start the new job. Plus, I really want some time to myself to clear my head. I've been with my current company for nearly six years. I learned a good deal there. Some of what I learned falls into the category of "What not to do". I also got sloppy and cocky while I was there. I need to unlearn a good deal of that. Its time to be the new kid on the block. The smallest fish in the pond. To get my game face on. And to remind myself that I am a sharp and capable professional.

That last bit may take weeks of meditation and post-hypnotic suggestion.

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