Blog Post

Paying Attention to my Attention (Independent Studies, Time Management, and Web Development)

This first month of my Fall semester has flown by,

and I want to take a moment to just step back and appreciate the progress that I've made and evaluate what I've been doing that is working, and what may need some tweaking. The most challenging and gratifying part of this semester has been the work I'm doing with the Digital Humanities Internship. This semester I am working independently on finishing the Team Treehouse web course for "Front End Development." I've developed my own syllabus and have been working each week at accomplishing my goals and chipping away at the course. 

This is my first experience with an independent study in my college career, and I am definitely learning a lot more in terms of time management. At the same time, for one of my other courses I am reading NetSmart: How to Thrive Online by Howard Rheingold. A lot of what I'm reading is coming around full circle for me as I practice Rheingold's ideas for my internship as well as on a Fem Theory DOCC I am involved with for my Feminist Theory course. Everything is working together this semester in a way I didn't necessarily have planned.

As I navigate the open seas of independent studies, I am finding that my predilection for procrastination must be challenged. To be honest, I never realized how often I tend to procrastinate until I started to be aware  It has been a lot of work and I find myself having to put in a good hour or two a day to really get the most out of it and accomplish my weekly goals, but it is some of the most fulfilling work I've done thus far in my college career.of where my attention was being directed while working on my classwork. Rheingold is challenging me to be aware: to pay attention to what I am paying attention to. In terms of the internship I have had to redirect my attention to accomplish small goals daily. If I don't challenge myself daily, then I wind up focused on everything else for the week that I need or want to accomplish and find myself with only the weekend left to try to cram in the work on Team Treehouse. I now take my weekly syllabus and try to split it up into bite-size chunks which I can daily eat away at. I had to quickly learn this lesson and put it to practice: after the first weekend panic attack as I worked into the wee hours of the morning trying to finish the work for the week, I realized something had to change.

The work on Team Treehouse is very challenging and new to me. I have no prior knowledge of web development or design and have had no practice with programming languages. Each week as I've practiced HTML, CSS and JavaScript I have such a sense of accomplishment. These are concepts I never thought I'd be able to understand, and it's so relevant to my future in my career and personal life.

So far in "Front End Development" I've learned about HTML and CSS as I've worked along on a web page portfolio. I've begun learning how to make my website interactive with JavaScript which has been extremely exciting and interesting. I've found that HTML has been my favorite to work with mostly because it makes the most sense to me, but working with CSS to create interactive and moving shapes was very exciting.


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