I have a fresh train challenge. I am going to endeavour to write four essays in six months. Now, that might not sound like too bad a challenge. That’s what university students up and down the country are doing whilst also maintaining their daily lie-in. However, my challenge is to do these four essays on top of full-time work and 2 hours of commuting a day.
Like many industries, mine has a ‘Diploma’ qualification that takes three or so years to achieve. I have completed years one and two. I then moved jobs and moved down to the bottom of the country (only bottom in geography, not in quality of location!) and swiftly forgot all about the third year as I grappled with the new politics and procedures of my new work place.
New year resolution was to get back on track with this qualification. I then found out that the awarding body are now phasing out this qualification for a different one which is pretty much the same except for the title. This means that if I do not complete the final stage (4 assignments) before June 2007, I lose the work already started and have to re-qualify.
How ridiculous is this?!
However, I have always been someone who strives to work to deadlines. There is nothing like a speedily approaching closing date to get your butt into action.
And so, I have commenced what I call ‘Operation Commuter’. The essence of this plan is to complete as much work on my four essays as possible while travelling on the train. I have two hours a day where I sit there doing nothing much except read, sleep and think. Therefore, if I use this time productively, I could get myself a Diploma in no time at all.
So, I started this week. It’s hard. People keep on sitting next to me so I have to reshuffle my bags and extra papers and place them under my seat. I try to concentrate but I keep wanting to sleep (especially on the evening journey). I am most productive in the morning before hoards of people get on at a stop on my journey. I have written about 4 or so pages (handwritten of course) which seems a good start. However, it’s been years and years since I attempted to write an essay by good old fashioned pen and paper methods. At university I would do the whole thing on a computer – right from first thoughts all the way through to completed document. It makes editing much easier. Already my papers are full of scribbles and crossings out. It’s messy.
Once I’m happy with what I have written down on paper, I am going to attempt to put all of it into work on my little handheld thing. A slightly lengthy process as there is no keyboard as such, but at least it means I don’t have to do it at home.
Well, I’ll keep you posted as to when I give up with this process and just take it all home with me!