Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Writing and Time."
|[a] Dogged RF|
I have broken the assignment into two posts, followed by the logs themselves. It has a story to tell about Writing and Time. read·ing
NOUN: 1. The act or activity of one that reads. 2. The act or practice of rendering aloud written or printed matter: skilled at forensic reading. 3. An official or public recitation of written material: the reading of a will; a reading by the poet of her own works. 4a. The specific form of a particular passage in a text: an unusual reading of the old manuscript. b. The distinctive interpretation of a work of performing art given by the person or persons performing it. 5. A personal interpretation or appraisal: He gave us his reading of the situation. 6. Written or printed material. 7. The information indicated by a gauge or graduated instrument.
|[b] Logged RF|
NOUN: 1a. A usually large section of a trunk or limb of a fallen or felled tree. b. A long thick section of trimmed, unhewn timber. 2. Nautical a. A device trailed from a ship to determine its speed through the water. b. A record of a ship's speed, its progress, and any shipboard events of navigational importance. c. The book in which this record is kept. 3. A record of a vehicle's performance, as the flight record of an aircraft. 4. A record, as of the performance of a machine or the progress of an undertaking: a computer log; a trip log. VERB: Inflected forms: logged, log·ging, logs TRANSITIVE VERB: 1a. To cut down, trim, and haul the timber of (a piece of land). b. To cut (timber) into unhewn sections. 2. To enter in a record, as of a ship or an aircraft. 3. To travel (a specified distance, time, or speed): logged 30,000 air miles in April. 4. To spend or accumulate (time): had logged 25 years with the company. INTRANSITIVE VERB: To cut down, trim, and haul timber. PHRASAL VERBS: log in (or on) To enter into a computer the information required to begin a session. log out (or off) To enter into a computer the command to end a session. ETYMOLOGY: Middle English logge.
|[c] Sunday reading RF|
Once there was a diligent college student who turned in all of her papers on time, organized her schedule well, and graduated with honors. She breezed through law school on the same tightly organized schedule, and only had the slightest sign of a problem when she had to study for the bar exam, a more open-ended commitment than she had confronted up to that point. No worries; she was bright and well trained. She passed with distinction, and joined a fine law firm in her state’s capital city. Now there was one goal left—becoming a “partner” in the firm. She learned quickly what she had not known when studying for the bar exam.
|[d] Legalities RF|
And that is only the beginning. In the coursework phase of graduate school, students often plan their schedules so that they only have seminars two or three days a week. The other days are free for “reading” and “studying.” When they enter their exam phase, they have no classes at all. Every day can be spent “reading” and “studying.” You may have begun to wonder why those words need to have quotation marks around them. Wonder no more: the students are very often not really reading or studying. Much of the time they are watching CNN or Sports Center, petting the cat, checking e-mail or social networking pages, imagining how many people would be interested in tweets about their graduate fields, or thinking about what life might be like after they finish their exams. This is bad.
But it gets worse.
If they pass their qualifying exams, graduate students enter a phase of education unlike any other. They have nothing to do except write a 300-page dissertation. They have no more classes; they no longer even have terms. What used to be autumn term or spring term now becomes interminable—day after day of working on the dissertation. It takes real effort to get up in the morning and find ways to procrastinate until dusk but many graduate students manage to do so. Some, indeed, learn to excel at it. This is bad.
But it gets even worse.
More on that tomorrow.
I have broken the assignment into two posts, followed by the logs themselves. It has a story to tell about Writing and Time.