Sunday, October 03, 2010

My Critique. And Some Lions.

It’s been awhile since I wrote a scholarly paper but the current assignment in my nursing course is just that--to write a critique of a health education resource using APA citation style. Well, I’ve never used APA style. When I looked it up, I groaned at the seeming infinite list of rules required for proper formatting, citing of references, unbiased stance, etc. A good friend suggested that I make peace with APA. She’s probably right. I think what that means I have to decide to be “ok” with it then spend hours upon hours working with it.

To further complicate the assignment, my online tutor (whom I have never met and likely never will) added a further 3 pages of her own crisply stated instructions and APA clarification that students must follow in order ensure papers get done “just so”. Well she’s the teacher, and form is obviously important. From the tone in the instructions, I couldn’t help but imagine her, hair pulled back in a tight bun, wielding a yardstick in her hand. Though I suppose I should come to peace with that too. The instructions go out to many students and on an individual level, she’s been nothing but very encouraging.

Sandwiched between needing to start this assignment, and actually getting to it, have been several busy but fun weeks. It seems our guests from Canada barely arrived when it was time for them to leave again. We decided to celebrate our week of hard work together with a quick visit to Gorongosa National Park on our way to Beira.

Baboons on the entry road

We love seeing all the animals, of course. We saw:

Bush buck

The beautiful Sable Antelope

Water buck (the grass tuck in his horns was just plain funny :P)

Warthog staring at us while we stare at them.

Doing what they do best, tails up and...RUN!

A river valley

What we really hoped to see was lions and elephants, too. The “eles” were elusive, as usual, and all we saw was what they left behind. But we did get an eyeful of lion!

This pair didn't seem to mind us being quite close.

The male even got up to walk past us

Then he found a comfy spot near our vehicle to lay down and ponder life. I like how it looks like he and Dwight are smiling smugly at each other.

Then the lion yawned, big and wide.

This is the season of bush fires and sadly, it would seem that Gorongosa doesn't fair any better than we do.

Huge bush fire on the plains.

The smoke in the air early the next morning made for some rather unique and eerie photos.

When our short visit was done there, it was off to Beira. The only photo I got there was of this old catholic church.

We’re now home and back to the old grind. This means I’ve also been hard at work on my assignment. Let me just say here already that the amount of time I have spent researching my topic, figuring out APA format, and organizing my paper as per my tutor’s instructions, has bordered on the ridiculous. It has been hours and hours and days.

At one point yesterday, to my delight, I realized that I was coming close to meeting all the above-mentioned requirements. I was, however, having a terrible time meeting my own. The paper didn’t flow; it didn’t feel right…it lacked “heart”. I’d rework a portion, then read and reread and move and change and copy and paste and delete and copy and paste again. Then I’d read and delete and retype the portion again. I realized, right there and then, that I couldn’t complain about the requirements that came from without when my own worst critic resided within!

At some point, I suppose I’ll need to find peace with this too. I’ll have to just decide at some point that however it’s worded is “ok”. But that’ll only likely happen after hours of proofing and reworking it. Yes, sometimes finding peace requires effort.

So let me run get back at it ☺

ttyl and have a great week.


Patti said...

I'm assuming that must have been a young male lion as he only had a 'chewpie' on the top of his head & not a full mane?

L. Lagore said...

Yeah, they start out with chewpies. Not very dignified for a lion eh? :P

Russell said...

Very cool pictures mom, and I know how you feel about the writing. Part of the problem with 101 requirements in a paper is that it's very hard to put together a nice, flowing paper.

ruth said...

APA RIP. I have that APA manual around here somewhere...and I've read most of it (you knew there was a text book for it right?). Or maybe it's not here...maybe I burned it!!

L. Lagore said...

I realize there are textbooks, Ruth, just none here :S