“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

― Albert Einstein

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Learning Curve - more like vertical climb . . .

Day 11:  Last time I went to school there was a card catalogue to find the books.

I've only left my room twice today: to get a hole puncher and some food for lunch and supper and in search of a yummy treat.  I found peanut butter ice cream with chocolate bits.  It was delicious.

"Why have you been in your room all day?" you ask.  Well, it wasn't really my plan when I woke up this morning.  I had intended to work an hour brainstorming about my learning plan (the 20 page paper) and then spend a couple of hours finding and organizing sources for my reading list.   The reading list took 3 times that long and its still not done.  

They describe adult education as an ice berg because people only see or recognize a small portion of all the adult educating that is actually happening.  Well, the amount of topics, journals, books, articles, etc is another iceberg . . . or two . . . or three.   Not all sources are equal though - more recent, more relevant, primary source vs. secondary, peer reviewed or not, all these play a part in determining is a particular source is actually worth the time to read and annotate.  With that in mind, maybe "the needle in a haystack" comparison is a better one when it comes to research and compiling a reading list.   For such a small field they have a great deal of data.  

Did you know that nearly everything you need can be found on line?  I kind of miss those tiny drawers and cards - it kind of felt like you can found a clue to a mystery or you held a piece of a treasure map in your hand.  Now all periodicals, or journals, are on-line.  Book chapters and sometimes even whole books.  There are several data bases with search functions - not just the libraries.  Did you know there was such a thing as "Google Scholar"? You can refine your search to only look for peer reviewed journals.  Amazing, isn't it?  You would think researching would be faster, wouldn't you?  NO.  There are so many things to look through, so many considerations to make.

Did you know that there is a online program that will keep a list of all your sources - like a research notebook.  You can click a button on a database page and it automatically sends the reference to your online research notebook.  You can link this program to word processing program and click a button to have it fill in your citation for you AND at the click of a button it can insert your bibliography.   AND if you need to change the style say from MLA to APA, with the click of a button it will change everything for you.   Can you imagine?  No more writing each source on a card, no more referring repeatedly to your notes or bibliography to transcribe accurately the authour's or publisher's name. They just pop up in a window and you select the right one.   It's not always perfect, it can make mistakes, but for those of us who did it the old fashioned way - wooo-hooo!!  this is amazing.

BUT it's been a huge learning curve!!!  
my room this morning . . . 

my room tonight.
only i could tell the difference,
but this is where I spent the day.

No lessons or quotes today, except - i hope this gets easier the more i do it. 

walking:40 min  NO cardio and i couldn't tell you how many abstracts I read today. 

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