Friday, October 1, 2010

Study Summary 9/24/10 to 9/30/10

Well I goofed yesterday and failed to bring you the implicitly promised one post per weekday that I have been doing these past weeks, though that's alright by my standards. My real aim is to publish a certain quantity of posts, so the whole posting once a day thing was a consequence, not a goal. Admittedly, I'm starting feel particularly wary of my writing and haven't been cranking out ideas for things to write about as I used to, so maybe it's time for me to introspect again on what role writing plays in my life.

Anyhow, I managed to accomplish all my study goals this week, but not quite all my personal goals. I've completed chapters eight and nine for The Journals of Ayn Rand along with fourteen conceptual exercises, and I've completed chapters seven and eight for Good Calories, Bad Calories along with ten conceptual exercises. Beyond this, I've also managed to complete a total of thirty minutes of math practice, dedicating seven and a half minutes each to addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and mostly completing the answers in my head before typing them down (which is the point). My copy of The Logical Leap arrived in the mail as well, so I've constructed a list of assignments for it. Finally, I've managed to stay off Facebook and Twitter until beyond 8 PM this entire week, though I've found little benefit in it.

All in all, I feel rather indifferent to these accomplishments. It's been a stressful week for me, as I've been overly bothered by the Circumstance, possibly destroyed a microwave, and feel like crap physically and mentally after a cake binge. Right now it just feels like I'm not progressing anywhere.

I definitely need to vary up my lifestyle more than it is right now. Since I'm doing studying in order to assist with my culinary endeavors, I might accidentally integrate into the emotional portion of my subconscious that my studying is disconnected from reality since I'm preparing for culinary endeavors that simply aren't happening right now. In other words, I'm doing a lot of preparing for cooking that isn't occurring. I should contemplate how to make my knowledge more relevant to my immediate realm of actions so that I can make it so that my learning is applicable to my life as soon as possible. Not only would this fuel motivation for my continued studies, but would also assist me in setting a hierarchy in my study subjects so that I can better determine what I need to immediately learn. I'll be thinking about this more this week.

As for the concern with writing I mentioned above, I think I've been losing track of my purpose in writing here, which is to help improve both my writing and thinking skills. Losing sight of such a pursuit has been making my writing seem more like a chore than an exercise, so not only have I been needing to push myself to write I've also been having a hard time coming up with subjects. The crux of my worry is exactly how much time I'm dedicating to it. A little while ago I skimmed an article that gave advice on how to write well and one of the points stated, "Write, and then squeeze everything else in." I don't want my life to be structured like that. I want to be, "Cook, and then squeeze everything else in." It's unnerving to think of writing as taking up such a great amount of time as that. Consequently, I've been rethinking my dedication to this blog. Perhaps once-a-weekday posting is too much to ask of myself.

My goals for the upcoming week will be set with these specific problems in mind. In the study realm, I'll pursue to complete two chapters of GCBC, whatever I can accomplish with The Logical Leap (I haven't started reading it yet, so I don't know what pace I can function), and to do a pure reading of one chapter of Journals. On that last point, I've come to regret taking up Journals as a formal study subject, as I find there's too much varied content in regards to offering an integrated education on any one subject. I thought about pursuing it regardless, but then I realized I only have one life to live, so I shouldn't spend my time studying subjects I don't think are worthy of intense study. As such, I'm reducing Journals to the status of a book to simply read, and will take notes and do conceptual exercises only as I fancy them.

Additionally, I'll aim to continue my pace with my math practice, but to reduce my obligation of blogging here to four posts for next week (posting two on Friday). Note that I said "obligation," which means I'm going to directly pursue only four posts this week, but may do five or six if I find the time and willingness. This reduction in blogging is to see if I can better manage my time and exert myself towards other things I've been neglecting.

As for Facebook and Twitter, I think any problems I've had before have had to do with the quantity of my logging on, rather than the time of day I did so. The reason why I imposed a restriction on when I may log on is because I've found in the past that I can significantly alter my mentality for the rest of the day depending on when I indulge in a particular activity. Playing video games before my studying was done, for instance, tended to eliminate my motivation for studying for the rest of the day, so I applied a general rule of avoiding certain activities until after a certain time. It's been beneficial, but is a bit restrictive since it prevents brief recreation during a break. As such, I think I'll make it a rule this week to not allow myself on Facebook and Twitter until 4 PM, and then, after logging on, not to allow myself on it again until after 8 PM. Going on after 4 PM can provide brief rest, and prohibiting any logging on after that will prevent me from abusing it.

Finally, I'll aim to pursue a solution to this whole applying knowledge to my life problem, in order to boost my competence and motivation. Right now I'm thinking I could construct some thinking/practice assignments that would concentrate on a specific portion of my learning at any particular time (e.g. looking for a real-life example of a logical fallacy I learned, immediately utilizing a new cooking technique, etc.), but we'll see.

If I add any more goals to this, I'll let you know by the next study summary. Onwards to a better week.

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