Thursday, January 22, 2015

Back To School Time For Me...



This week I started a new semester of classes over at the California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB).  I'll be going here for at least another four semesters after this one.  I try to keep to just 12 units at a time which allows my wife and I to qualify for campus housing.  CSUMB has what they call East Campus Housing which is more like a duplex than an apartment.  Being a family we have the place to ourselves rather than having to share our space with others.

The rent is reasonable and our gas, electric and cable are all included.  So you can understand my wanting to stick around here for a few more years while my wife Helen (who just earned her Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics) finds work and we can start building up our savings again.  BTW, if anyone knows any good job openings for a Mathematics wiz in California please let me know.  She's sending out resumes and applications like crazy and is eager to find more opportunities.



Anyway, what does all this have to do with anything.  Well, taking classes eats into my writing time so I may not be as productive some days as I'd like.  However, I'm going to try and keep things going as much as possible.  I will be aiming for at least two blog entries a month, but I'm hoping to do more.  Especially when one of my classes is a Professional Writing course.

Before anyone gets excited, I'm not talking professional writing for novels, or short stories.  This writing class is about writing in a 'professional' environment such as business, non-profit agencies, and professional journal magazines.  

However, I'm finding the class and what I will be facing rather interesting. Although the tools of the trade are very similar (good grammar, formatting, editing, research, etc.) one must use a different type of mindset.  For instance, I'm going to have to choose a topic and do research on it (sounds familiar so far, right?).  But I have to use peer-review journal articles, respected websites (no wikipedia), as well as non-fiction books.  From there I have to create a proposal letter, an oral presentation, then a 10-12 advocacy report (single-spaced).  This paper will involve a lot of research and rehashing of information that has already been done on the topic while also trying to add some new insight about the topic.  I will have to use the APA style formatting that is required of professionals, as well as have certain number of citations and a reference page.  After that I have to create a "Letter of Appeal" calling for action/support.  Then in the final steps I will have to condense my 12 page report into a one page Executive Summary.  I will also have to create a e-portfolio and visual presentation for the class.  

I am also expected to have a separate blog just for my class and create 15 blog entries over the course of the semester talking about my topic, or my class itself.

Doesn't sound like too much for one semester right?



But never fear, I'm not going to let it get to me.  Instead I'm actually gaining ideas for blog entries about the differences between the types of writing and how I have to change gears mentally from one to the other.  

I'll also be posting about my work on the novels and what's going on in my head.  I won't be neglecting those kinds of entries.  

So stay tuned, have a great weekend, and keep writing.