A few years ago I went back to university to get another degree, a Master of Enviromental Science. I had planned that for even longer but couldn’t afford it earlier. Since 2007 I’m enrolled at the only state-funded distance teaching university in Germany, because there was no way I could go back to a ordinary university with classes scheduled in the morning full-time or even part-time.
I was a rather studious student in my first years (as much as my budget allowed it), but I started to slack off last year and neither signed on for another class nor finished the assignments for the previous course on time. Some of the slacking can be explained (and excused) by various health problems I had, but the main reason was that I was just lazy. And unfocused and procrastinating. like I was in so many other aspects of my life too.
I have only have two courses to complete and to write a termpaper and the master thesis. So it shouldn’t have been such a big obstacle to conquer, but my mind just wasn’t in it. That is changing bit by bit now and I’m really happy about it. I think the whole “mindfullness” concept is starting to work for me. I don’t know.
I had actually planned to finish reading and working through the complete set of study material I got for this course “Enviromental Medicine” (which I had already started almost a year ago) and just afterwards start working on the assignment, which I need to write to get the credits. That was the way I always did it, because only reading the parts I need to be able to finish the assignment felt like cheating myself, because I went back to university to actually really learn more and not just to pick up another degree.
This time though I had a difficult time to actually get motivated to read all the stuff and I was dreading to pick up the course material again. Professional procrastinating, I know. But some of the stuff also was difficult for me to grasp, because I’m not good at biology, physic or chemistry when it goes further than the general stuff I learned in highschool 20 years ago.
But to finally get myself back into some kind of routine and to finish this course I decided to tackle the work load by doing it the other easy way this time (only read what I need to read for the assigment) and to just accept the fact that I might miss out on learning some interesting stuff, which I don’t need learn to finish this course. I think that might have been the right choice, because the workload seems so much less insurmountable. I don’t have to read about or even understand the cell biology of a hypersensitivity reaction as the first stage of any allergy, because allergies are not a part of the assignment I have to write. Neither do I have to write about electromagnetism or sick-building-syndrome or something similar.
The three parts of the assigment actually all just deal with various aspects of only one “substance” and that substance is: drinking water and to be more precise: mineral water :-). Once I’ve realized that the assignment is about a topic I can tackle without needing too much scientific knowledge I was so much more motivated to actually start working on it right away. And I was almost beating myself up for avoiding the assignment for so long, because I’ve wasted so much time. But as I know that these negative thoughts won’t do any good (neither to the assigment and especially not to me) I managed to keep those at a minimum. Yay me!
The fact is, it really seems like an interesting topic to write about and it really seems doable to answer the various specific questions about…
- nutritional physiology aspects of various ingredients of (mineral) water,
- problematic ingredients of drinking water,
- contaminant levels,
- various enviromental aspects of bottled water (waste, transport etc)
I honestly really like this topic because it’s about something from our every-day life. We all drink (mineral) water every day and I’d say most of us don’t think a lot about it. So it’s going to be fun to delve into that topic some more over the next few weeks.