Individual Projects – Its Love/Hate

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Well, two weeks gone and I’ve decided that individual projects require a “Love/Hate” relationship. Reasons to hate them are many and varied.

To start with there are Gannt charts. They’re a little like brussel sprouts: good for you, but that doesn’t stop them leaving a foul taste in your mouth. Although, in the case of the brussel sprout, that taste is caused by a chemical called sinigrin, and in the case of the Gannt chart it’s caused by the slow realisation that your beautiful crafted plan is likely to be the greatest work of fiction since “The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush”.

(That’s a real book, by the way!)

Then there’s the increasingly unhealthy amount of time you’re likely to spend in the library. When does it become unhealthy? The moment you utter the words: “I think I’m really starting to know my way around.” Seriously, the place is like King Minos’ labyrinth. I keep expecting to encounter the minotaur lurking around the scientific journals. Or maybe reading them. Some of those journals are surprisingly addictive. The University of Beijing researches some strange stuff.

Oh, and once you’ve followed your ball of thread back to the library entrance and staggered off home with enough reading material to fuel your heating system through another Winter of Discontent, you’ll remember the monster waiting for you at the end of this long, winding, and often backtracking road. You’ve got to write a report. A proper report. Without spelling mistakes.

But in the midst of all this doom and gloom, what keeps you going? For me, it’s a sort of bizarre, childish glee that this is MY project, born out of MY head, and I’M going to get it done. And it’s going to be the most amazingly fantastic interactive-whiteboard-based-demonstration-software-for-IGCSE-physics that has ever graced a British school classroom. Or possibly just the only one.

Now to find my way out of the library. I must have taken a wrong turn at engineering…

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