Last week, when we played around with the GIS tools, I had little difficulty getting them to do what I wanted. I’ve used Google Earth for years as a fun way to see the pyramids from my living room, and now I get to do image overlays and play with data? Awesome.
When I actually sat down to do the work, though, I felt as though this human being who was actually looking at the assignment requirements and trying to piece them together was definitely not the same person sitting in class on Tuesday, comfortably tapping away. So I did what I usually do when I need to relearn a process: procrastinate. Not to say that I wasn’t doing any work, simply that I wasn’t doing the work that I probably should be doing.
Ways to procrastinate while still doing work:
- Reread the source material which inspired your work
- Research the geography of the area and consider what might be relevant information to complement the data
- Look at every government publication regarding geographical information for the relevant country and carefully consider each one
- Research the naming conventions and interpretations of the area and compare to the source material
- Do a Google search for that one literary travel blog you read, like, ten years ago that totally had an entry on this exact thing
- Realize that if you haven’t found that one literary travel blog on the 30th page of a Google search, you probably won’t find it at all
- Arrange the useful resources you did find in those 30 pages of the Google search and mine them for useful information
- Create citations for each page
That’s a pretty sizable list of suggestions! You’re welcome.
Over the next few days, I added a few locations each day and bookmarked web sites where I found the best pictures and summaries, and I also did an extraordinary amount of close readings to determine where the events in the books actually take place. A few of the locations (Clywyd Farm and Prichard’s farm) are completely fictional yet still described in detail, and the climactic confrontation takes place on a real road at a very specific point to allow for a key event to take place.
Here was the big kicker, and this happens regularly: when I sat down and added locations or worked with the text, my anxiety from earlier vanished and I once again became absorbed in the work. Any frustrations that came up meant that I took a five minute break and tried to do it three or four different times before dropping it and moving on. I ended up having to do that despite having an impeccable image overlay. It simply wouldn’t show up in Google Maps.
Anyway. Getting the work done is good, even if you’ve procrastinated leading up to it. Very few things come close to that feeling of accomplishment and knowing that you’ve totally tricked yourself into doing something.