I haven’t made much progress with my thesis recently.
Telling myself not to stress out. Then feeling guilty because I’m not stressed out. Then stressing out because I’m feeling guilty.
Comparison between my writing on my Profile assignment (one that we’re asked to write about someone else) vs. one in my thesis (on multimedia long-form journalism). Still find writing especially hard – and I will probably forever feel it this way.
About a million years ago, before I ever knew advertising exists, I stumbled upon an article that analysed Coke and Pepsi as brands and their brand positions and how Pepsi strategically went up against Coke and (kind of) succeeded.
I couldn’t remember the details of the analysis but I’ve got the big picture. And I thought: shit this is sooo smart that it’s actually mind-blowing.
Fast forward to a million years later, I have been working in advertising for 7 years. In my master advertising class earlier this week, the lecturer had a question about Coke and Pepsi. I answered it based on what I read ages ago. And it was the right answer.
Mike asked: so will you be able to answer that question based on the things you’ve learned and known by now? Chance is yes I probably can, but I will need 5 minutes to figure that out or perhaps never if I’m not smart enough.
When I first wrote my literature review last year, I was overwhelmed with the amount of data, research and reports returned by Google and the library portal based on some simple keywords. I thought: this is easier than I thought, I can always find an answer by searching for it.
Thing is, how do we know what we need to know or learn until the moment we actually need that knowledge for a purpose? For example, I would never have known that I would someday use the understanding about Coke and Pepsi from the analysis I read years ago until for some reasons it happened to me this week and I need that piece of knowledge at that very moment.
Secondly, how did all the great grand philosophers and scientists learn without the luxury of available materials and studies from the Internet like what we’ve got today?
This has brought me to realise that we can’t actually depend on the fact that we can always search for something. That is the sort of lazy thinking that Google and many technologies being the convenient tools that help us access information and knowledge quickly, easily, widely and cost-effectively spoil us. They don’t motivate us to pro-actively learn. We think there are always answers to everything somewhere on the Internet and we assume we will get an answer when we need to. So then we only ask questions when we need to. And we don’t ask questions out of curiosity anymore.
Having said that, I think it’s absolutely critical to be learning independently, proactively and consistently. To me, all knowledge is knowledge, doesn’t matter whether it’s general knowledge or specialised knowledge. It will either be utilised some day, or it will make people better knowledgeable ones. So if there are opportunities to learn about anything, just absolutely anything, I will make an effort to go and learn it (when I can).
I’ve been using Google Drive and its tools (Doc, Sheet, Slides etc) for every single thing, personal and work-wise. Often, I feel happy enough with its functions and don’t really bother checking out their add-ons as I don’t really want to be overwhelmed with all the coolness and get rid of it the next day 😀
But today I checked the add-ons out, because I’m procrastinating… 😛
This is going to ease up every writers’ nightmares: referencing.
After a year of writing what seems like countless papers, I have learned by heart how to use APA reference properly. However, what I have still struggled with is looking for information about the book’s publishers and what edition to use.
EasyBib makes it so easy for me, all I need to do it dropping the book’s / paper’s title to the search box, select the referencing style (eg: APA) and ta-da! the result appears and what’s left is just adding the bibliography to the doc. Too easy really.
(Tool is great, but don’t get lazy. Maybe it’s good to learn how to reference manually anyway! 🙂 )
This is another easy and super useful tool that I’ve just found. What I like about Thesaurus is it not only helps me find a replacement for the word I’d like to change but also gives me new words to learn. Way to go with my writing duties! 🙂
Now, looking at your sleeping face, inches away from me, listening to your occasional sigh and gurgle, I wonder how I could have ever thought glory and prizes and praise were sweeter than life.
I went to see my supervisor today to discuss my thesis topic. Somewhere along the line, we got carried away and she mentioned Fergal Keane. The next thing I know, she all teared up and in her catch-up breaths, red eyes and fanning fingers to cover the overwhelming emotions, she affirmed: when this was aired, every Brits who were driving had to pull over and cry. That’s the power of journalism.
Had a brief chat with Prof today and with the programme coordinator, next steps are:
Currently looking at:
Last week I had two final lectures for this semester. Looking back, that was the right choice to pick ‘Global crises and media’ and ‘Asia Pacific journalism’. What I’ve been engaged these past 4 months are global and regional issues: climate change, human rights, media censorship, politics, refugees, financial crisis, transgender rights, etc and etc, and even the American president election, which I would have ignored if not for taking up the classes. While I looked into climate change specifically and intensively to work on the classes’ assignments, I have also made an effort to read up about other issues as well. They are all connected and inform each other. What I have come to realise is perhaps I connect mostly to the humanity angle of all issues. I have felt extremely upset learning some Pacific islands are sinking and the people have stopped hoping. I was also angered by the mass shooting in Oregon that has happened recently. I am absolutely anxious about the domestic violence issue that’s happening in Vietnam and New Zealand. If I can sum up my feelings, I have sympathy for people who suffer and who die in these events. Nobody deserves to.
This realisation leads me to thinking about looking into how media touches on the humanity angle when reporting these issues. My recent mini-researches indicate that news often emphasises on the event itself and its damages, including the calculus of death. However, news that is not event-based, how does it cover the humanity side of the issue? Surely, we know climate change causes environmental extreme conditions that directly impact on human lives; however, how is it reported in media news that discusses climate change?
I’ll be jotting down my thoughts here as I go.
I have started sem 2 with less excitement as how I had with sem 1. This is what experience does to you. I had actually looked forward to going to the lectures and learning about new things (in this case, global crises, media, and journalism); however, the thought of assignments and how I struggled with assignments in sem 1 had then put me off.
After the lectures this week, I can confirm that the assignments are not going to be fun. Fret not, let’s just deal with them head-on.