Posted: March 2, 2015 in DigiLit, On Life
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

No excuses, no bullshit, no way out:

I’ve been slacking in my Independent Learning Project.

Joe Athialy Photo CC-by Joe Athialy, and how I feel right now

Why is that? I feel like a fool for admitting this at all. Why is it so difficult for me to commit time to something I wanted to do? I’ve not just been slacking in my ILP, but even in my own writing. I don’t think I have senioritis, it’s way too early for that.

I think I need to ask one T.Hust to be more stern with me about my assignments / due dates or something. I can make excuses all day, but I just haven’t put the effort in that others have been. That’s not fair to her, and that’s not fair to everybody else. I chose this – so I should be stoked and rearin’ to go every day, right?

The fact is, when I get through with my classes, my (immediate) homework for those classes, practicing for my guitar lessons, straightening up the house, and just general random responsibilities, the first thing I think isn’t “I wanna do my Chinese homework!” It’s usually something more along the lines of “Hey, darlin’, let’s sit and play video games for 3 hours.” Or “hey everybody, let’s stay up until 2 playing D&D and have tomorrow morning really suck!”

It just isn’t super high on what my brain has dictated is my list of priorities. I vastly enjoy sitting and doing nothing (see: vidjea games and reading). It’s how I cool down. I’m up and about a great majority of the time, and when the dust settles, I also intend to settle.

Did I just not choose the right project? Am I the only one feeling this way? Have others in the class before me had the same experiences? Maybe I do have senioritis. Mid-term is here. What follows is the last 8 weeks of my college / schooling career in the foreseeable future. Maybe there are things pressing heavier on my mind than the terrible way I pronounce tones 2 and 4 when trying to read pinyin.

The thing is, I’m not trying to complain, I’m not looking for pity, and I’m not completely trying to justify my absence of results. I’m mostly speculating. Why is this so difficult for me?

To my teacher (one T.Hust): I apologize. I’ve been a terrible student, and you have shown infinitely more prowess as a disciple than I could hope to at this moment.

To myself: quit your bitching and get in gear. Limping to the finish line guarantees weak-ass results.


  1. Personally, I’ve been pretty stoked about my independent learning project, but mostly because practicing yoga was something I was already committing time to; taking it on as my independent learning project simply gave me the determination to keep going, even if it meant not getting to sleep in for an extra half hour. I would suggest (even though you probably already know this) designating a certain time to your Chinese-writing practice, such as right after dinner or after you’ve finished cleaning the house. And think about it– 2 hours a week may seem like a pretty big commitment, but all it is is 30 minutes four times a week or 20 minutes five times a week. I don’t know about you, but that makes it seem super manageable to me!

    • jamcfarland says:

      I think you definitely had the jump on some of us by making your Independent Project something you were already doing regularly. I know I need to block out a timeframe to do this in and stick to it as opposed to do it whenever I feel like it. It seems significantly less monumental split into 30 or 20 minute increments.

  2. angietemple says:

    I also have been behind but I am mostly caught up now…..I hate being behind. I hope I can get caught up tonight. For me I have struggled because I am a non-traditional student. Allong with my studies, I take care of my son, my grandma, work and try to stay involved in my son’s many activities. It just gets incredible complicated when you have to juggle all those things and go back to school.
    My biggest regret in life is that I didn’t just finish my degree years ago just after I graduating from high school…STAY IN SCHOOL

    • jamcfarland says:

      Props to you for being able to juggle all of those chainsaws at once! That makes my laziness / stress seem more like whiny procrastination than anything else. I do hate being behind, though, as well. I hadn’t planned on cramming this week’s lesson into Sunday night – but I literally left for Albuquerque on Monday and just got back this evening. Yikes.

  3. I can totally connect to your feelings here…didn’t I want to play with my dehydrator and explore what I can do with it? Of course I did! You wanted to learn Chinese! I have a theory about that…when your wonderful hobby becomes a job, it just becomes work, not so much fun. (for me it’s Theater). Maybe when your interest becomes “required” then it’s more homework – it loses some of it’s luster. So maybe that’s where you are now…(plus you just took a Spring Break)…time to get back at it! Enjoy your accomplishments!

    • jamcfarland says:

      I had this exact same thought! Crazy. My time off has also definitely done me no favors. We had Spring Break, and I just returned from a week in Albuquerque – so my brain is definitely not in the “school” gear right now.

  4. I think this is an important post because this is what happens to most of us: it’s difficult to make the time for the things we want to do, even when those things are important to us. I have no idea why that is, but it’s a struggle for me too.

    • jamcfarland says:

      This isn’t meant to sound like complaining, I’m still super thrilled about the fact that we got to do something as cool as “pick your own learning project!”

      But, could it be because in our brains it’s still, at the very core, homework? Technically speaking, I mean. We’re doing what we want, but we’re still expected to check in weekly. We’re being graded on said check-ins. Just something to think about.

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