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 Je pense que my academic writing does not look very organized and thematic, is all over the place, has very dim focus, needs a lot of practice and improvement. During a consultation session yesterday, I asked Dr. David Yoong (who taught me Research Methodology during my first semester — I was only 23 and was surprised that I had a lecturer who looked 24, no kidding, he looks YOUNG. That doesn’t cancel the fact that he’s one of the few lecturers who knows what he’s doing, has a significant amount of publications, is incredibly helpful, very passionate about his field and totally balanced as an academic) how I could improve on my writing and he said what I am sizing up as follows “Read through. Ask yourself if you’re making sense. Edit. Repeat.” My current issue with writing is that I’ve my data etc and I know what I want to do with it except that it comes out not very coherent. Sure it sounds fine in my head but I’m not too sure if the other person gets what I’m saying. Academic writing is very different from poetry and prose so in a way, it’s as if I’m learning to write from scratch. Never mind that I have never stepped into a CDA class before (because really, I think reading enough and not quitting on adding to your knowledge of a field is so much MORE than taking a course), I am confident that this is absolutely do-able. Plus this is my first paper and I’m sure that by the time I’ve reached my 3rd or 4th paper, I’ll be okay. It’s all about practice (and reading, editing, repeat) and not quitting. My game plan is to spend two solid hours on the research paper everyday #discipline! To be honest, I am starting to enjoy research paper writing. Uber fun. 

My best friend and I sneaked out and bought a bag of books over the weekend — Test your IQ 2nd ed. ( 400 IQ questions – I’m SO HOOKED that I’ve to get Danielle to hide it from me), Dragon’s Den: The perfect pitch (on how to sell your business ideas), Negotiate to Win (title says it all) and Psalm 119 (a novel about the Middle East). I’m promising that I’m giving 80% of my focus to dissertation writing and research paper writing (and all the reading both of that entails) and only reading those books during what snatches of time I can get (between teaching classes, meals, work, before bedtime). I went to bed at 1+ a.m. doing the IQ tests. 

I started going to my sister’s gym and nearly died doing cardio for 50 mins. I literally keeled over after the first 15-20 mins and the instructor had me sit with my head between my knees. It was very humbling. I’ve been living in the delusion that being a former competitive tennis player and one-time varsity kayaker, I could still hold my strength even after more than a year of not working out (yoga and belly dance doesn’t count as REAL exercise, trust me!). Turns out, I’m such a weakling. My sister, Danielle is such a powerhouse (gym thrice a week, tennis twice a week and sit ups before shower time) even though she’s only 13 (eleven years younger than I am) and she’s been egging me to not quit. I’m trying to squeeze in 2-3 sessions of gym time every week, TRY to go running when I have the time and if I reach a good level of stamina in 3 months, I’m gonna reward myself with kickboxing classes.