For this day I had only 6 tasks on my list:
- Brainstorm ideas for my 30% reflection assignment.
- Fix Prelim course’s examiner’s report.
- Draft Prelim course’s failure rate report (writing).
- Fix Level 1 course’s examiner’s report.
- Fix Level 2 course’s examiner’s report.
- Write MSc course’s examiner’s report.
I got the brainstorming of ideas done. That was the first thing that was knocked out of the way. I’m glad I stopped off at the campus’s coffee shop to have a tea and did the brainstorming there. Sometimes as soon as you step foot in the department you can get distracted with other people’s requests.
I fixed two examiner’s reports (items 2 and 4). I had to postpone items 5 and 6 because I did not expect the drafting of the prelim course’s failure rate report would have taken long.
But this is really my fault. I was simply fooling myself. I should have accommodated for more time on the report especially one when you have to start with a blank page.
I am slow on the uptake but I am realizing that writing, regardless for research, teaching, administration or for my certificate programme will take time. That’s because I follow a writing process for all my writing now.
The report was essentially seven steps in one.
First, collect the information that is required with your main thesis statement.
Secondly, write in the main points.
Thirdly, draft the paragraphs.
Fourthly, review the report.
Fifthly, ask the senior scientist for his feedback on the report. This was the first time I was doing one of these reports so I had to get some feedback as to the expectations of the information for the report.
Sixthly, update the report by incorporating the feedback.
The last and seventh step is to submit the report to the relevant persons for their review before the final submission to the Board of Undergraduate Studies.
I admit that research and teaching writings are more involved with more iterations to create a final product.
But the steps above are just enough for me to write my administrative reports. I will follow this writing process for administrative reports. These don’t have to be perfected. You are simply relaying information which could be used to make decisions. Accuracy and not style is important for administrative reports.
One new item came up because the head of department sent the secretary with a new task – to read the Board of Undergraduate Studies documents and send my comments. All because I’m doing the bloody Certificate in University Teaching and Learning. I worked on this between 8 pm and 10 pm when I should have been preparing to get to bed.
I learnt two main things from this day’s work:
- Once writing of any form is involved then keep at most 4 items on your to do list. One is the writing task. The other three are small tasks that do not need a lot of time or resources to be done.
- Leave some space on your calendar for last minute tasks that come up.
Regardless, you need to be aware of how you write to better estimate the time commitment for your writing projects.