All posts by Colin Worthley

Progress…

     I was blessed with two snow days this week. Unfortunately, my wife and kids only had one. On Wednesday, I had the house to myself for several hours and was able to get some work done. Not enough, but still. We've all had those writing sessions. The type where you feel as though you just haven't written enough.

     It's hard to look at a few paragraphs and rationalize the hours it took to write them. What was I doing the whole time? Is the clock wrong? On these occasions, it's helpful to remind yourself about the process you just went through. You may not be able to see all of the deleted work you were forced to abandon because it "didn't lead anywhere."

     But in truth, it did lead somewhere. Sometimes growing from an initial idea can be misconstrued as going off topic. Well, your topic just changed is all. You had a kernel of an idea that decided it wanted to be something different. Don't fight it. See where the writing takes you and what develops from it. It's finally starting to hit me that being stubborn stunts the process.

     My wife came downstairs after I had been writing for an hour. I felt embarrassed to show her the half page I had written, feeling it was unworthy of the time I had. An entire page that wasn't working for me had to be deleted and what remained looked pathetic. The abundance of white space on the screen mocked me, daring me to fill with amazing writing. When a new idea surfaced, I began to read about it so I would sound somewhat intelligent. This "research" took up most of my time.

     I looked at her sheepishly, expecting her to react negatively. Would she assume I've been spending all of my time looking at sports news? Instead, she said nothing. I confessed to her, "I had to change a lot of this, I've deleted about an entire page."

     She looked at me and said, "Isn't that how writing works?"

     I'm glad she already understands what I'm finally starting to.

Progress…

     I was blessed with two snow days this week. Unfortunately, my wife and kids only had one. On Wednesday, I had the house to myself for several hours and was able to get some work done. Not enough, but still. We've all had those writing sessions. The type where you feel as though you just haven't written enough.

     It's hard to look at a few paragraphs and rationalize the hours it took to write them. What was I doing the whole time? Is the clock wrong? On these occasions, it's helpful to remind yourself about the process you just went through. You may not be able to see all of the deleted work you were forced to abandon because it "didn't lead anywhere."

     But in truth, it did lead somewhere. Sometimes growing from an initial idea can be misconstrued as going off topic. Well, your topic just changed is all. You had a kernel of an idea that decided it wanted to be something different. Don't fight it. See where the writing takes you and what develops from it. It's finally starting to hit me that being stubborn stunts the process.

     My wife came downstairs after I had been writing for an hour. I felt embarrassed to show her the half page I had written, feeling it was unworthy of the time I had. An entire page that wasn't working for me had to be deleted and what remained looked pathetic. The abundance of white space on the screen mocked me, daring me to fill with amazing writing. When a new idea surfaced, I began to read about it so I would sound somewhat intelligent. This "research" took up most of my time.

     I looked at her sheepishly, expecting her to react negatively. Would she assume I've been spending all of my time looking at sports news? Instead, she said nothing. I confessed to her, "I had to change a lot of this, I've deleted about an entire page."

     She looked at me and said, "Isn't that how writing works?"

     I'm glad she already understands what I'm finally starting to.

Progress…

     I was blessed with two snow days this week. Unfortunately, my wife and kids only had one. On Wednesday, I had the house to myself for several hours and was able to get some work done. Not enough, but still. We've all had those writing sessions. The type where you feel as though you just haven't written enough.

     It's hard to look at a few paragraphs and rationalize the hours it took to write them. What was I doing the whole time? Is the clock wrong? On these occasions, it's helpful to remind yourself about the process you just went through. You may not be able to see all of the deleted work you were forced to abandon because it "didn't lead anywhere."

     But in truth, it did lead somewhere. Sometimes growing from an initial idea can be misconstrued as going off topic. Well, your topic just changed is all. You had a kernel of an idea that decided it wanted to be something different. Don't fight it. See where the writing takes you and what develops from it. It's finally starting to hit me that being stubborn stunts the process.

     My wife came downstairs after I had been writing for an hour. I felt embarrassed to show her the half page I had written, feeling it was unworthy of the time I had. An entire page that wasn't working for me had to be deleted and what remained looked pathetic. The abundance of white space on the screen mocked me, daring me to fill with amazing writing. When a new idea surfaced, I began to read about it so I would sound somewhat intelligent. This "research" took up most of my time.

     I looked at her sheepishly, expecting her to react negatively. Would she assume I've been spending all of my time looking at sports news? Instead, she said nothing. I confessed to her, "I had to change a lot of this, I've deleted about an entire page."

     She looked at me and said, "Isn't that how writing works?"

     I'm glad she already understands what I'm finally starting to.

Feeling Pretty Good

     I'm feeling better about this project after my group's last meeting. I received a lot of good feedback and indications that I was heading in the right direction. The finish line is in sight. The list that I was given of things to work has dwindled and what is left is extremely manageable. Here's to hoping I don't leave it all to the last minute.

     The project finally has a shape to it that I can look at and be proud of. Up until now, I knew the topic I wanted to write on, but I couldn't get beyond the general idea. I'd heard stories of how some people change their ideas completely and I was worried I would have to go down that road. Luckily, I'm still writing about my initial topic, but in ways I didn't think I would be.

     I knew I wanted to address fear, but I assumed I would be focusing on urban legends for the duration of the project. Little did I know that urban legends would be a section of the project, and fear would take center stage. If you had asked me if I planned on researching fake news for this project, I would have said no. Luckily, for the sake of my project, the country has gone to hell in a handbasket, providing me with material (believe me, I wish this were not the case).

     Funny enough, getting started on the last section has found me dragging my feet. Just like not reading the last chapter of a book you don't want to end, putting off writing it has prevented me from saying goodbye to the project. Trust me, I know how ridiculous that sounds. I'm free to revisit it whenever I want and can change whatever I want about it.

     But it also means that I am done on this journey to get my Masters. While I feel that I am a student at heart and enjoy going to classes and completing assignments (really), I will miss the people I've come to know over the past year and a half. Among them I've found encouragement and support that I (unfortunately) don't feel from my colleagues. I didn't mean to get too sentimental about this, but I had no idea where this was going when I started. 

Feeling Pretty Good

     I'm feeling better about this project after my group's last meeting. I received a lot of good feedback and indications that I was heading in the right direction. The finish line is in sight. The list that I was given of things to work has dwindled and what is left is extremely manageable. Here's to hoping I don't leave it all to the last minute.

     The project finally has a shape to it that I can look at and be proud of. Up until now, I knew the topic I wanted to write on, but I couldn't get beyond the general idea. I'd heard stories of how some people change their ideas completely and I was worried I would have to go down that road. Luckily, I'm still writing about my initial topic, but in ways I didn't think I would be.

     I knew I wanted to address fear, but I assumed I would be focusing on urban legends for the duration of the project. Little did I know that urban legends would be a section of the project, and fear would take center stage. If you had asked me if I planned on researching fake news for this project, I would have said no. Luckily, for the sake of my project, the country has gone to hell in a handbasket, providing me with material (believe me, I wish this were not the case).

     Funny enough, getting started on the last section has found me dragging my feet. Just like not reading the last chapter of a book you don't want to end, putting off writing it has prevented me from saying goodbye to the project. Trust me, I know how ridiculous that sounds. I'm free to revisit it whenever I want and can change whatever I want about it.

     But it also means that I am done on this journey to get my Masters. While I feel that I am a student at heart and enjoy going to classes and completing assignments (really), I will miss the people I've come to know over the past year and a half. Among them I've found encouragement and support that I (unfortunately) don't feel from my colleagues. I didn't mean to get too sentimental about this, but I had no idea where this was going when I started. 

Feeling Pretty Good

     I'm feeling better about this project after my group's last meeting. I received a lot of good feedback and indications that I was heading in the right direction. The finish line is in sight. The list that I was given of things to work has dwindled and what is left is extremely manageable. Here's to hoping I don't leave it all to the last minute.

     The project finally has a shape to it that I can look at and be proud of. Up until now, I knew the topic I wanted to write on, but I couldn't get beyond the general idea. I'd heard stories of how some people change their ideas completely and I was worried I would have to go down that road. Luckily, I'm still writing about my initial topic, but in ways I didn't think I would be.

     I knew I wanted to address fear, but I assumed I would be focusing on urban legends for the duration of the project. Little did I know that urban legends would be a section of the project, and fear would take center stage. If you had asked me if I planned on researching fake news for this project, I would have said no. Luckily, for the sake of my project, the country has gone to hell in a handbasket, providing me with material (believe me, I wish this were not the case).

     Funny enough, getting started on the last section has found me dragging my feet. Just like not reading the last chapter of a book you don't want to end, putting off writing it has prevented me from saying goodbye to the project. Trust me, I know how ridiculous that sounds. I'm free to revisit it whenever I want and can change whatever I want about it.

     But it also means that I am done on this journey to get my Masters. While I feel that I am a student at heart and enjoy going to classes and completing assignments (really), I will miss the people I've come to know over the past year and a half. Among them I've found encouragement and support that I (unfortunately) don't feel from my colleagues. I didn't mean to get too sentimental about this, but I had no idea where this was going when I started. 

An Interesting Day

     When my phone rang on Wednesday night, I checked Caller ID to see if I should avoid the call as per my routine. I was curious as to why my school was calling, but let it go to voice mail anyway. The district was informing everyone that due to the day of protest, taxi would not be operating in town and to adjust travel plans accordingly. I was quite confused by this bit of news, so I checked Facebook.

     I soon found out about how Thursday would be a day to protest the treatment of immigrants in this country. All businesses in Perth Amboy would be shut down as a sign to the president of just how needed immigrants are in this country. While I admire the intent behind what was being "organized", I couldn't throw my support behind it.

     For one, the organizers were actively encouraging people to: a) skip school and b) keep their kids home from school. This interruption of education (especially in a group that is behind as it is) serves no real purpose. Participants were not marching, holding rallies, or in any other way actively protesting. Over half of my students were out today, only to sleep in and watch television according to the students who did show up.

     It's also very dangerous to only use the term "immigrant" to define participants in the protest. By doing so, organizers are not recognizing the difference between immigrants who are here legally, and those who are here illegally. That leads some people (my easily-excitable students included) to think that America is against immigration. Whatever your thoughts on the president may be, I have always understood him to want to go after the "bad guys."

     The other issue is that it was for one day. No lasting message can be sent when the powers-that-be know you intend to return to work tomorrow. An indefinite strike would send more of a message. Unfortunately, most participants in Amboy can't afford to miss more than a day's pay. My students also seemed to think that shutting down Amboy's taxi service was going to send a message to Trump. I somehow think he was unaffected. In fact, I think no one in the establishment was affected. Only students who rely on taxis to get to school.

     So I'll return to work tomorrow to hear how kids took the day off and spent it doing nothing. I can only imagine the outrage when I let them know that the day may not count since over half the students were absent.

An Interesting Day

     When my phone rang on Wednesday night, I checked Caller ID to see if I should avoid the call as per my routine. I was curious as to why my school was calling, but let it go to voice mail anyway. The district was informing everyone that due to the day of protest, taxi would not be operating in town and to adjust travel plans accordingly. I was quite confused by this bit of news, so I checked Facebook.

     I soon found out about how Thursday would be a day to protest the treatment of immigrants in this country. All businesses in Perth Amboy would be shut down as a sign to the president of just how needed immigrants are in this country. While I admire the intent behind what was being "organized", I couldn't throw my support behind it.

     For one, the organizers were actively encouraging people to: a) skip school and b) keep their kids home from school. This interruption of education (especially in a group that is behind as it is) serves no real purpose. Participants were not marching, holding rallies, or in any other way actively protesting. Over half of my students were out today, only to sleep in and watch television according to the students who did show up.

     It's also very dangerous to only use the term "immigrant" to define participants in the protest. By doing so, organizers are not recognizing the difference between immigrants who are here legally, and those who are here illegally. That leads some people (my easily-excitable students included) to think that America is against immigration. Whatever your thoughts on the president may be, I have always understood him to want to go after the "bad guys."

     The other issue is that it was for one day. No lasting message can be sent when the powers-that-be know you intend to return to work tomorrow. An indefinite strike would send more of a message. Unfortunately, most participants in Amboy can't afford to miss more than a day's pay. My students also seemed to think that shutting down Amboy's taxi service was going to send a message to Trump. I somehow think he was unaffected. In fact, I think no one in the establishment was affected. Only students who rely on taxis to get to school.

     So I'll return to work tomorrow to hear how kids took the day off and spent it doing nothing. I can only imagine the outrage when I let them know that the day may not count since over half the students were absent.

Well, I’m Just Terrible

     I can't believe I've forgotten to post an update for the last two weeks. As soon as I mentioned it this evening, my wife made sure I sat down to write one. At least one of us has it together. My trusty MacBook Pro proved to be anything but by completely crapping out on me early last week. As in, it won't even turn on. I would take it in to the Apple Store, but I've replaced the hard drive on that thing twice in the last year and I'm traumatized to waste any more money on it.

     So I'm writing to you from my brand new Surface Pro 4. So far, so good. I'm still trying to get used to all the new features. I definitely like how it can go from a laptop to a tablet. Plus, the pen is really cool. Ok, did I convince you to buy one yet? Moving on.

     So I already established I wasn't working as effectively as I could have over the winter break. I tackled the scientific look at fear as my last section and I think it made me hit a wall. It was the most academic and technical of the sections I'll be writing and I think it momentarily derailed my motivation.

     Our class didn't meet due to illness (hope everything is all better) so I didn't get the normal feedback on that section. I'll pick the next section and start working on that on Sunday. Hopefully it will rekindle my passion for this project again. Don't worry, this is not my despair blog. I'm just putting it into words that I need to step it up.

     I also want to put it out into the world that I won't miss another week. With the amount of work I've put into the classes for the last year and a half, one blog post each week shouldn't be as difficult as I'm making it.

Well, I’m Just Terrible

     I can't believe I've forgotten to post an update for the last two weeks. As soon as I mentioned it this evening, my wife made sure I sat down to write one. At least one of us has it together. My trusty MacBook Pro proved to be anything but by completely crapping out on me early last week. As in, it won't even turn on. I would take it in to the Apple Store, but I've replaced the hard drive on that thing twice in the last year and I'm traumatized to waste any more money on it.

     So I'm writing to you from my brand new Surface Pro 4. So far, so good. I'm still trying to get used to all the new features. I definitely like how it can go from a laptop to a tablet. Plus, the pen is really cool. Ok, did I convince you to buy one yet? Moving on.

     So I already established I wasn't working as effectively as I could have over the winter break. I tackled the scientific look at fear as my last section and I think it made me hit a wall. It was the most academic and technical of the sections I'll be writing and I think it momentarily derailed my motivation.

     Our class didn't meet due to illness (hope everything is all better) so I didn't get the normal feedback on that section. I'll pick the next section and start working on that on Sunday. Hopefully it will rekindle my passion for this project again. Don't worry, this is not my despair blog. I'm just putting it into words that I need to step it up.

     I also want to put it out into the world that I won't miss another week. With the amount of work I've put into the classes for the last year and a half, one blog post each week shouldn't be as difficult as I'm making it.