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Monday, 11 April 2011

Deadlines. Non-negotiable.

Gulp. There's 39 days left till my degree finishes. Double gulp. And there's a total of 13000 word demanded towards fulfilment of same. Yoiks.

Calculations show that this means I have to average 333.333 word per day between now and 20 May if I am to successfully complete all the requirements.

In the intervenening time, I also have an interview towards my Post Graduate application to engage with (which for reasons I will not go into at this time is even more a source of stress).

This means I have 936 hours to complete my assignment, a word rate of 13.96 words per hour. The target might seem easy, but in a single day, I sleep at least eight hours. This increases my word rate-per-hour to 20.18 necessary if I am to pass. Looks very achievable you might say.

But there are eight essential soccer matches to watch between then and now, a total of 12 hours. Plus, the inevitable time spent socialising, as I cannot just ignore RHB, regardless of whether she, in fact ignored me totally for three years during her post-graduate. This means approximately an hour per day = 39 hours. Then, there are the cats, which require some attention, otherwise I would be denying some fundamental principles I have come to live by. Call this 1 hour per day = 39 hours.

So, now we have a word rate of approximately 25 word per hour necessary. But writing is not the only thing, there's formatting, editing, submitting, proof reading. Each essay, this usually takes me about eight hours.Then I have to eat, so time out for eating, assuming three square per day is 3 x 39 = 117. I also have to book a holiday as I am going to Greece directly after the last submission date. Last time I did this, I forgot to book a return leg of the journey, and that took my six hours, so assume eight hours total to complete this task. Then there's finding my passport - another eight hours. The maths tells me I now have to produce 35 word per hour for completion.

Other things intrude as well - I spend about eight hours a week in formal exercise and another eight riding. I also teach one day per week, which takes up about 4 hours. Then there's bill paying and banking - say three, chatting to neighbours (one per day), housework (one per day) and watching Survivor and other rubbish on the tv (two per day). By now we are down to a need to produce 68 words per hour, every hour in order just to pass.

This is all fine and dandy, except that I have to have something to write about, which requires reading - two to four hours per day. And analysing the date in the light of that reading - another hour or so per day. Then I need to think about it, decide what to write - another two hours per day. I also need to wash occasionally. And I've promised the other half of Cheek to cheek that I wont stop our music, because the music, quite simply, cannot be stopped. That takes time.

ANd these statistics dont tell the truth about the conditions for writing - the need to be alone, quiet, not bugged by cats, or chatted to by partner. And the window for that is about once per day, if I'm lucky.

I've given up using the calculator by now and am just navigating rule by thumb, but I am truly panicking. A quick re-analysis of what I've just written reveals that my best strategy is to simply give up, as I've come to the conclusion that I need to write all 13000 words in about half an hour, tomorrow afternoon. So if you telephone tomorrow, dont expect an answer.


William Large said...

And how long did it take you to write this?

William Large said...

And how long did it take you to write and calculate this?

MJN said...

Yoiks. I forgot about the amount of time I spent blogging (admittedly not this blog recently) and contributing to web forums etc. That means that this afternoon is also compromised to about an hour an a half between now and three o'clock.

Sue said...

Ha! You're screwed...scally boy
(ps. we love you x)