Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year and a Complete Plan

The New Year is always a time for resolutions.
Today I got to thinking of next year. As you may know I have recently begun a Master's degree.  My first resolution for next year was to plan out my courses. I need to take 9 more.

This morning was spent planning out what classes I have organized to take so far and then what classes I need to take to complete. I have now completed the plan and scheduled my time for the next fourteen months.

Yes, it will take fourteen months of formal classes at least to finish all classes, my scheduled final class is a thesis class which runs for two months December 2012 to February 2, 2013. I then have up to one year to complete my final thesis paper.

It seems a long time, but experience tells me that it will fly by. It does include three rest months, March, July and November. These are months when no really interesting classes appeared or where I have planned other things. For instance July is my wife's birthday so may do something that month.

Taking classes is all about planning really, a little like running a Marathon. Pacing is important, sprinting the first few hundred yards does no good but sprinting the last fifty yards can win you the race.

National University doesn't leave much pause between normal classes. As one ends on Saturday the next begins Monday. That is the reason for my choosing three months of work with a one month break.  Even those breaks are filled with work, I have to scan books, begin some readings, and look for ideas for each classes final paper.

My experience last month showed holes in my time management, mostly due to underestimating reading times. A twenty page chapter could take an hour, but some chapters were sixty pages long and I only allowed ten hours to read three or four chapters. Not enough. So long nights ensued as I posted late into the evening.

The next class begins January 9, 2012. Modern China. I am really looking forward to that. Loved the class in my Bachelors class.

Among my other classes are US history, Modern Middle East, Modern Africa  and Modern Europe. Also there are three theory classes on historiography (how and why history is written as it is, theories and ideas of historians from Ancient Greece to today.) then research and planning completed by the Thesis class that I mentioned earlier.

So with New Year almost here, at least I have one New Year's Resolution fulfilled. It feels good to have that done. Now to plan on losing weigght and saving more money.  The perennial broken promises to myself which rarely pass muster by mid January.

That is probably it for 2011. 

Happy New Year Everyone. All the best and Prosperity to you all!