God's Word for today

Saturday, 18 September 2010

... he slowly emerges, battered and bruised, from the depths of assignment hell ...

Wow - I feel like I've been in a time warp, where a whole chunk of September has simply ... disappeared!

Part of the reason has been an arduous journey into the debths of assignment hell, with four (or was it five, or six?  I can't remember...) assignments all falling due within the same week.  Added to that was yet another bout of 'flu, so perhaps the drug-induced haze was also a contributing factor.

Then again, my innate sense of overkill probably has a lot to do with it - with Ross normally being the unfortunate victim.  The reason for this is that (a) Ross gives the most interesting and challenging assignments, and (b) he doesn't believe in setting word limits - "do what you have to do to answer the question" is his mantra.

So this week we had to complete an assignment for the course "Christian Holiness in the Wesleyan Tradition" which was based on a paper written by Jimmy Dube about the silence of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe in the midst of the crisis in that country.  Our task was to write a similar "prophetic"-type paper on a topic involving our own Connexion (the MCSA).  With the bit between my teeth, I set about my task, and in the process broke my own record with a paper comprising 9215 words and including 32 entries in the bibliography.

Past history has shown that I have normally done well with these "thud test"(*) assignments, with marks in the mid-80s.  Likewise, some of my colleagues have done equally well in submitting 3-5 pages and being rewarded with 75s.  Clearly I have failed to comprehend the law of diminishing returns!  Yet the strange thing is that when I sit down at my desk and start writing, the creatice juices just begin to flow and flow, and before I realise it, another 15 page treatise has rumbled out of my printer.

I REALLY need to get out more...

(*)  For those readers who absolutely HAVE to know, the "thud test" is a throwback to my internal auditing days, when we had to submit regular reports to top management.  When you had completed the report and printed it out, you had to drop it onto the desk from a height of two feet.  If it went "thud", it was ready for submission.  I still want to compile a tome that will crack a glass top when dropped ...

2 comments:

markpenrith said...

My last three assignments required 1500 words. I was marked down on two of them for not developing a specific idea far enough! I long for 9500+ free reign . Glad for you it’s over.

Steven Jones said...

Hi Mark

One of the most difficult assigments I've had this term had a 500 word limit! I mean, how does one express oneself freely with just 500 words? Discipline, I guess. I'm grateful to be exposed to both methods, though.