Thursday, March 09, 2006

Thinking with my eyes closed

I have to write an essay on the relationship between tourism management and urban conservation. I also have to make up my own question, though I think I may have settled on one now. I'm trying a new (for me) method.

See, my supervisor is flummoxed by the fact that I turn out first class essays in exams without flinching and nary a panic attack, but outwith exam time, essay writing is a hugely traumatic experience for me. He suggested that I try writing my coursework within a time limit. I have been considering this and so I have approached this essay like an exam. I have spent time 'revising', I've prepared a list of questions, and now I'm going to write the answers to those questions. Hopefully twenty questions with twenty answers at 200 words each will equal the essay. I'm mostly convinced by this plan. I have to be because my usual method of essay writing fails to produce completed essays on time.

The time limit? The essay is due in at 4 p.m. tomorrow. I can do this, I just need to keep remembering that I can do it and that writing is something I enjoy, not torture.

Did I mention it's an illustrated essay? Google Images will be getting some hard use later this evening, though if anyone knows of a online source for good (free) pictures of Temple Bar, Dublin & York, please throw its URL in my direction. (As this is research/private study and not for publication I can use pictures as long as I attribute them correctly. So the library FAQ says.)

Oh, and while loads of people get a stunned expression when I tell them my essay topic, I would like to point out that I actually enjoy my course a great deal, and that I feel passionately about urban conservation and regeneration. For me, an urban landscape is about texture and colour, so yes, I do often think about cityscapes in terms of yarn & knitting. My supervisor doesn't regard knitting/crochet as a creative/artistic pastime though his experiences with me may have loosened that opinion somewhat - "Well, I can't sketch that building, but I could knit it for you!" But not lifesize, obviously. I don't have the skills to render what I see in a building through paper & pencil because my brain doesn't work that way. I think in textures first, then colour, then shape, etc.

And the title of this post? I wrote my list of questions then lay down on the sofa with a blankie, shut my eyes and started planning my answers and concentrating on the results I wanted. David thinks I was actually asleep for a little while as I was snuffling but usually the reason I'm still and quiet for any length of time is because I'm sleeping so confusion is understandable. Thinking is very hard work and now I'm sleepy. Anyway, my main motivation is bribery. Once I've answered a quarter of the questions I'm going to play with papier mache for a bit.

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