Positive side effects of ignoring word limits


My tendency to ramble and ignore word limits on assignments has served me well for once. I had to cut back my school assignment (puny word limit of 1,500 words for which I submitted about 4,000) – but this means that all those words I cut can be refashioned to do the second half of the assignment. Happily I now have a head start (for once since starting this degree program)!

When I was younger and constantly enrolled in study programs, I never imagined myself functioning outside of a study program. That is, things were so smoothly flowing I scheduled my life in a way that always accounted for school, work and all my other obligations. I still schedule my life around the priorities, but it has been such a long time since I was in school at this level (and took it seriously – I often enrolled in university programs in Iceland and did not take them seriously at all).

It is misleading to say that I have a “second half” of the assignment to do. In fact it is more like the final third of an assignment that required a written introduction to a topic, two peer reviews (I had to read and critique two peers’ papers and two peers will do the same for mine), which is followed by writing a conclusion based both on my continued research/learning and the input from the fellow students. I try to be constructive in my peer review critiques – sometimes what people write barely even makes sense because their English is questionable (always makes me feel relief that English is my native language and even greater relief that I am not trying to write papers in another language – I admire these other people’s willingness to do so despite the language not being their own). Of course, I also fail on the word count front in the critiques as well; I am supposed to deliver 500 words (nothing!). I don’t think I have ever managed to submit a critique under 700 words, if not many more… sigh. When will I learn?

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