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Christopher Douce

A233 Journal - April 2024

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7 April 2024

I am procrastinating in a really productive way: I’m reading ahead! I’ve been reading Startdust. It is interesting note that there are a number of different versions. I accidentally downloaded the text only version. What you do need is the illustrated version. The illustrations add a huge amount to the text, since on its own, I found the text quite hard to follow.

I’ve made it part way through the chapter that I shouldn’t be reading.

It’s time to begin to collate all my notes, to prepare for the writing of the TMA. I’ve got notes in two different places: pencil scribbles in the set text, and digital highlights on the PDF version that I’ve been reading using my Kindle. I’ll see how I get on.

12 April 2024

I’ve downloaded an audio book of The Dispossessed. Today I’m helping a friend get settled in his new house. Since it’s quite a drive away, listen to The Dispossessed whilst I’m driving. I found the first couple of chapters unfathomable, and I have no idea what is going on.

13 April 2024

I’m stuck at home with a dodgy ankle that was caused by too much running about, and the messing about with furniture didn’t’ help it one bit. Subsequently, this gives me a bit of time to complete TMA 4! I edit together a set of notes from my reading, I then have a go to edit up my story, and then cycle round a loop of editing a few times. I’m quite pleased with what I’ve written, but less happy with the reflective section, where I’m really struggling with word count. 

I really like Propp’s actants, but I feel pretty dumb, since the extent of my reflection seems to be: ‘I like them, and they have helped me’. I think I know where I’m going to let myself down in the TMA, but it has nearly got to that point where I’ve just got to submit it.

14 April 2024

It’s ‘listening to The Dispossessed’ day. I’m making reasonable progress, but it’s slow and long going. I’ve really got to concentrate to understand what on earth is going on. Since it’s all a bit weird, I don’t know what detail is going to be important, and what detail adds to the overall atmosphere. I don’t think I like it. I glimpsed at the module materials, and there is a comment that the text places demands on the reader. I’m struggling and I’m not even reading it.

It really isn’t good that I’ve fallen asleep twice. On the second occasion I slept through half a chapter. This has never happened.

15 April 2024

One hour of listening before I start work. The Dispossessed has become very weird. Let’s say: I appreciate it, but I don’t like it. I appreciate it’s difficult to predict the future, but spacemen reading books and sending letters? As for all the faux physics, that bit is really starting to grate.

16 April 2024

Another chapter first thing in the morning. The further I get into it, the more I’m drawn to it. I’m surprised at how much action there is!

It’s time to get back to studying a bit more systematically again. I’m back to the online module materials. There are bits that I’ve missed in the previous section, but I need to keep moving forward. It’s onto the video and audio material that relate to Stardust. There are interviews and videos to work through. I’ll skive off a bit of my day job, with the justification that everything I’m doing here is connected (in one way or another).

I’m on a roll: I’ve reviewed all the audio and video clips in the Le Guin weeks, making some notes. My next activity has been to prep a TMA 5 document. Noticing there’s a fair amount of supplementary material, I start to download articles from the library.

Before I’ve finished today, I’m going to have a quick look in the Shakespeare section to see if there’s any audio or video materials I can have a look or listen to.

17 April 2024

Struggling with ankle aches and pains, I join the queue to the GP, whilst listening to chapter 11 of The Dispossessed

When I get back from the queue, I make the following post to the A233 ‘laid back’ Facebook group: “I think I've done a 180 turn when it comes to The Dispossessed. I've gone from: 'this is really tedious, and is continually making me fall asleep' to 'this is really amazing stuff!'. Two chapters on the audio book to go. Keep with it; there are Urasti propetarian dividends to be had, even though it initially might sound like a lot of nonsense (if it is your kind of thing).”

I’m now browsing through the Journal of Science Fiction Studies, when I really ought to be browsing through the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. 

It’s all related, right?

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