November 16th, 2009
This weekend, I decided that it's way too much work wasted to try to analyze stories using only my own notes. About halfway through analyzing my first subject, I took a break to check google for publically-available screenplays. I found that there are entire databases with complete documentation for almost any movie ever released, but unfortunately, I haven't found anywhere that includes the time stamps I need. This project is awesome in that my data collection consists of watching movies, but it is horribly time-consuming, and all this minescule dissection is starting to ruin my appreciation for the movies I'm evaluating. I've decided my favorite part of creating a project is presenting it. I've been putting off doing data collection too long, and I hate doing it. I'd rather keep refining my plans for doing the work. That happened last year too; it took forever for me to finish getting data, and I hated my project and myself for choosing it. Afterwards though, I would go back to writing/explaining my project whenever I was bored with regular work, and could never present too many times. I used to hate presenting, but it really isn't so bad anymore as long as I know what I'm going to say of course.
I did my 5 minute oral at Wilde Lake last Friday. It went fairly well I think. I got there early enough to go first. I'd only practiced about three times beforehand, but I decided to read from the sheet, so I was fine. The timing was perfect even the first time I practiced: plus/minus 5 seconds around 5 minutes. My presentation didn't follow the model, but frankly I think the "what I will talk about"/"what I talked about" format is pointless. I had a total of about 7 slides. (They're all on the Presentation tab with corresponding commentary.) That's about it. I'm behind schedule, as always, and I need to work more efficiently. I also need to meet with my mentor again; I haven't talked to her in a very long time.
December 7, 2009
I am still behind in terms of doing my actual project. I should be writing and editing my first draft, but I still don't have all the data I should have to draw a conclusion. I've been trying to switch over to the second component of this project also (designing the story), but it seems like I'm only redoing what I've already written, but in a poorer form. I recently read over my freewriting pages I'd snuck in APL when I should have been working out bugs on NTP timestamps. I'd forgotten how much I did - nearly 40 pages but with 1.5 spacing. Most of it is garbage, but I'm pleasantly surprised at the perception behind even some of the garbage. I realized fatal problems with my construct early on, and came up with solutions quicker than I'd remembered. There were a few paragraphs that read so fluidly that it seemed strange to me that I didn't remember obsessing over them. I love reading my own writing, especially when I haven't looked at it in a long time. It's so satisfying to be able to plagerize one's self. My old words say exactly what I think, and are occasionally good enough to allow me time for more enthusiastic editting, because the main ideas are already there. The worst part of any project is coming up with the original description that is concise, articulate, simple, etc. These lines can be practiced into memorization. The problem is that this flow can get disturbed if someone asks an unusual question. The longer and more times one prepares though, the less that happens - thus the less one thinks, and the less capable one is to answer those kinds of questions when they do come up. At some point, every over-rehearsed project must be abandoned for the sake of learning something new.