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Here we are in the middle of our term, just six weeks away from our well-deserved summer vacations!!! Doesn´t September 2007 seem to you like a zillion months ago?

Having three twelve-week trimesters at Simón Bolívar University in one academic year is not as convenient as having the two sixteen-week semesters most universities and colleges do. I am particularly against this because there is no real time for knowledge to sink in or new skills and strategies to become part of you. Moreover, students are forced to perform what some at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) have called "selective neglect" ... you disregard certain areas to give your full attention to other more pressing perceived needs. Has it ever happened to you?

Well, our topic this week will deal with a word that I don’t think exists in Spanish. I wonder why since we definitely do it, some more than others, but it is there in our culture for sure. What is it? Well it is procrastination. Have you ever heard or read about it before? It is an interesting term to describe what happens when we put off, delay or postpone things we need to do by doing things that are not that important or urgent. We will reflect on what, why, when and how we procrastinate.

Materials

  • Video program
  • Internet readings
  • Grammar exercises
  • Blogger tutorial

Activities


1) First of all watch a video in our class blog about something that happened in 1999 but has been all over the net in the past month.
2) Read this article on procrastination to get a better idea of what it entails. Should you want to read further, you may select this article from Psychology today on ten things to know about procrastination or one of the links about this topic aggregated in Hubpages.
3) Write about your procrastinating experiences in about 300-400 words (what, why, when and how you do it and ways to avoid it). Be sure to have an introduction, body and conclusion or summary. Try to use as many transition words as possible but do not overdo them. Check your subject-verb agreements, verb tenses and verify for missing subjects.
4) Complete the following exercises on make versus do (explanation, another exercise if you need extra practice), subject-verb agreement, adverb or adjective. After completing these exercises, write a couple of sentences in your wiki page about them (if you found them easy, difficult, things you would have to watch out for, things you learned from them, etc.)
5) Write your first post in your Blogger blog about any topic you may choose. You can follow these tips (or these, or avoid making these "five errors that make you look dumb"). Remember that we have decided to aggregate all our blogs at Pageflakes. Write these words in the tag area of each entry: writingatusb, writingmatrix. They will allow blog engines find our posts.
6) NEW, NEW, NEW: We will probably be participating in a joint project with some students in Japan. Check some ideas here and contribute to the discussion.

Benchmarks


I have:
  • watched the video "trapped"
  • read about procrastination
  • written my perspective on procrastination and related topics
  • completed suggested grammar exercises
  • revised one (1) of my peer writings in the past two weeks (May 19-31). Check "peer revision" section in sidebar.
  • opened a Gmail account, created a blog and written my first post (include your blog address in your introduction)
  • contributed to the discussion on collaboration with Japanese students in Nagasaki.