Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Journey of a Thousand Miles...

          In chapter 64 of the Chinese classic text, Tao Te Ching, ancient philosopher and sage Laozi quips, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” How inspirational! That is, until you realize that your average step is about 2.5 feet long, and a mile will take you approximately 2000 steps, which means in your journey of a thousand, you still have 1,999,999 steps left to go. That is why, even after inputting the activation energy to begin the abstract and data summary for Module 1, I had to dig deep within myself and find the mettle to finish the rest of the race strong.

          What I found particularly helpful was to break the assignment into parts. I first made every figure and schematic that was relevant to the project. (I have never used Microsoft Paint this much in my life before.) Then, I went back and wrote the bullet points for each image and discussed the significance of its results. At the end, I wrote my conclusion, and then introduction, last. For Module 2, I will continue to use this method for writing the full research report. I found this order to be particularly helpful for me, and I have diagrammed the reason why here:

Figure 1: Justin's function of Time vs. Fun for when he writes a scientific paper. Roller coaster car included to demonstrate concept of potential to kinetic energy.

          What I do know about myself now, though, is my ability to “tool1” for hours and hours on end when I feel the pressure to complete a task. Given that I’ve managed to start the task at hand, I can set my mind to an assignment and do it to completion, with very little regard for sleep, food, sunlight, etc. Unhealthy, I know. But it works for me rather well. And now I must go on a caffeine purge.

1. For definition, refer to the verb form:

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