Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Throwing Spaghetti Against the Wall Until They Stick

Hello! Oh my goodness. That's all I have to say about class this morning. Remember the outline that I was stressing about on Friday? Well, we got all of our outlines back today, right before going for a lunch break. I thought I had mentally prepared myself for this week because I knew it was going to be a lot harder, but little did I know just how much work I'm going to need to do. 

Since we had Monday off, this week only has only four days. By 4:30 on Friday, we are expected to produce a 12-page draft -- quality first draft -- of our final paper. That leaves us with a mere 4 days (not even 4 days left!) to finish researching points that were weak and to put all of our thoughts in comprehensible sentences and somewhat logical paragraphs. Although the professor does not expect anything near perfection, I feel the pressure that this draft needs to be honed and completed and self-edited before Friday afternoon. I must accredit this to some of my classmates who are very motivated and competitive. Don't get me wrong, they are fabulous and they push me to do better; it's just that I'm having a hard time processing the amount of work I need to do with my research topic in the next 70+ hours.

We had an interesting analogy today about FDR's New Deal policies. Beulah pointed out a great point during our group discussion this morning that some of FDR's policies were indeed canceling each other out. Then our professor made an interesting comment about FDR's multifaceted plans that were all part of his plan of throwing spaghetti against the wall until some stuck to it. Perhaps I was thinking a bit too much about the paper that I felt it fitted our assignment perfectly. We are not expected to cook our spaghetti, so to say, right the first time. This entire experience is a trial and error experiment and we will benefit from it as long as we endeavor to perform at our best. Well, the only way we can do trial and error is if we have enough trials, right? Guess I should start boiling the water for my spaghetti. Off to the library I go!

But before I go, I thought I should show everyone the books we have purchased. These are some of the materials that we discuss in class, with the exception of A Manual for Writers, which is a stylebook for writing research papers. I would also like to take this moment to thank again the generous sponsors who have made this opportunity available for us and supported us beyond just the financial means. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Yueming,

    First, as I'm looking at the stack of books, didn't we provide a couple of these already? The Gergen book for sure and the Federalist Papers were emailed to you as an online book.

    What your instructor didn't pass on to you was that much of what FDR was doing was 'negotiating' with Congress. Sometimes in negotiations you ask for the moon and then compromise on something less. By sending a whole slew of proposals to Congress for their approval, he probably knew that a number of them would be rejected but gambled that Congress would feel sheepish about rejecting them all so they accepted some of the lesser ones--the very ones that FDR really wanted in the first place.

    Of course, if Congress also accepted some of the bolder and more ambitious programs, too, then that would just be icing on the cake.