21 January 2011

Ongoing projects

I said I would do a write up of the things I'm doing right now.

First of all there's the Geffrye project which, true to lecturer's predictions, does take over your brain a bit. I keep finding myself thinking of it when I should be doing other things. We had a sub-team (web resources) meeting yesterday (which went really well!), and spent 10am-6pm in meetings or work on the project today. We have to get our proposals for our sub-team's work in by Wednesday, and also write a draft for our part in the brief. Our work, though, will go on later, than that official end date. At the moment it seems to be that me and my sub-team mate are spending 2 afternoons (about 3-4 hours each time) working on it, either by ourselves or with our contact in the museum, and the whole team gets together for most of Friday (like today). Research and work for our individual contributions then has to be done in our own time.

For this module, there are also, most weeks, 2 hour lectures.

Then there's my core module. For this, we have weekly 2 hour lectures for which we are supposed to do weekly readings. This is where I am falling down at the moment in trying to fit everything in. The readings are supposed to compliment our work, but there aren't immediate deadlines or any kind of 'judgement' on us having done it, so if there's a ton of other stuff pressing it's hard for the readings to get lost.

The core module also consists of weekly ethnographic field trips around London, which we have to self-direct. These require research before we go, coordinating a trip, research on-site and writing up findings/uploading photos (the project is based on facebook) afterwards. That's in our own time and there's a weekly hour-long seminar for group feedback.

I have one more module, which consists of weekly 2 hour lectures, plus an hour seminar on a case study. The week after next I have to research and prepare a 20 minute presentation for this. This module also has weekly readings (see above comment on that).

Saturdays I'm at the yard all day. Sunday is my only day off.

So that's my weekly schedule for the next 10 weeks. 3 hour round trips to commute every week day.

In addition to that, we have coursework deadlines. Luckily 3 out of 5 of mine fall after the Easter holiday. The project is ongoing until the end of April, and our individual write-ups and team project brief (5000 words with as many appendices as we have material for) are due on the 6th of May. We have an ethnographic project due after Easter, as well as another essay. I still have an essay due on the 10th of February and a report due at the start of March this term. All essays require fairly extensive readings - they are not 'one night jobs'.

We also need to get this work placement thing sorted! I've sent 5 emails now, but am awaiting a response from every single one. I'm going to speak with the coordinator in person this week, given that I can't get a response from her via email either.

And I need to get an internship application in this week. I always spend an age trying to get personal statement letters right.

At least we've been told we don't need to worry about our dissertations at all yet.

It's not just the hours of work, which honestly you could allow to fill every waking second if I didn't have to, you know, eat and stay sane and things - the hours are manageable, if you work hard, which I fully expected to have to do, although it'd be nice if I didn't have to spend so long on travelling every day - it's the fact that it is so many different things that's tricky. Often totally unrelated things. All of which require significant attention. 50 different deadlines you're working to at once, all of which are spinning round in my head. That's why I wanted to write this up: it's nice to have it set out in one place.

I swear I spend more time trying to schedule and prioritise my work than actually doing it.

On the plus side, at the moment I definitely feel like this course is preparing me for a career right now! They didn't lie about that.

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