Sunday, 9 February 2014

Day 31: Sunday is not a day of rest

Since I did pretty much nothing (like, 2 hours of reading) yesterday, today was a rather industrious day, in preparation for a full & exciting week next week:

At least with the two free dinners, frozen leftovers, and going away for the weekend, I won't need to go grocery shopping next week!

What went well? 

  1. Felt like I got a lot done: I did my Sociology of Mental Illness readings in the morning, started some research for my (other) mindfulness paper in the afternoon (started building a research database as Cal Newport recommends, see end of this post for how I adapted it), practiced for my singing lesson tomorrow, and then continued some more research for my "meaning of mindfulness" paper.
  2. Watched this highly thought-provoking video: A French Film Showing Men What Being A Woman Feels Like Kinda Nails It

What did I learn?

  • It is super handy to have access to the research databases of two university libraries. For some reason, several articles I've tried to track down are apparently not available online through the Penn databases, so the solution is just to log onto the UniMelb library website and search it on Discovery, and it generally works.
  • The human brain now registers emoticon as real facial expression. It's amazing how we've adapted to technology at a neurological level.
  • Apparently, no one has done any research relating to mindfulness & grit or mindfulness & character.

Miscellaneous thoughts 
  • A major difference here is that students are actually expected to turn up for class. In fact, none of my lectures/seminars are recorded (other people have some recorded classes though, but it seems pretty rare), so you actually have to go. Also, people are in the habit of asking questions during lectures here. It is super rare to see that in Melbourne, but people here are really actively engaged in class and aren't afraid to ask.
  • Oh my god this first month has gone fast. I've been here for a month already!! Which means I only have 3 months left of exchange!!! Insane.
  • So this is what my version of Cal's Research Database looks like. I added a column for key words so I can quickly see what the reference covers, and a column to rank how useful I think it will be, so I can sort and prioritise what to read first. Normally, I would do those steps after downloading all the sources I think are possibly going to be useful, but I am now being more selective and doing some basic processing of the sources as I find them.

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