Day 1: And so it begins

Today is OFFICIALLY the first day of my Masters’ Studies. It’s sort of a subjective day – It’s not like I am attending classes or tutorials, and I can, more or less, study at my own pace. And I have been starting – albeit slowly – on my own, so while today is the symbolic and official start date, really, it’s already begun.

The View from Here
The View from Here

The nice thing is that I now have due dates, so there are some hard deadlines ahead that will (hopefully) keep me accountable. I’ve chosen my first Essay topic, due mid-November, and am into the readings for that course. I am taking a quick break from the online self-assessment in Writing I am taking.

What I found entertaining in a weird way is the Academic criteria I was forwarded in my MA Handbook, particularly how I will be marked on my assignments, and for what I can have marks docked. Besides the usual late marks deducted, I can also have marks deducted for going over a word limit. My previous experience (and my own practice) has been that the teacher (or I) just stops reading after the designated page or number count. Not so here – I get docked 1 mark for every 50 words over limit I write.

Now, as a friend of mine pointed out – part of academia is being able to say what one needs to say in the specified number of words. But it presents an interesting dilemma – if 2000 words (for example) isn’t enough to get my point across, how much is it worth (in real terms) to just get the deduction? According to the chart, 15 marks deduction buys me an extra 750 words…

Of course, I will do my best to get the work done in the specified amount of time and words. Brevity is, after all, the soul of wit.


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