[Round Two O.C.T.O.B.E.R. XIII] Working on the railroad

This post, in some sense, is a follow-up to my post “Efficiency” in my first M.A.P.L.E.  I decided to write about it after having a little bit of efficiency when riding the train today.

Like usual on Sundays, I took the L part of the way to League, via the Red and Orange Lines.  I give props to the CTA for the new 5000-series cars, because even though a lot of people despise the aisle-facing seats, they are perfectly set up for a Dahon or other folding bike to fit underneath them.  It makes it a lot less awkward than hoping that I find a train car in the older trains with the “Hobo Corner” (popular words in CTA lore, not mine) unoccupied for me to place my bike there.  On the train, I got a significant amount of reading done that I must do for a Thursday discussion session.

As mentioned in the “Efficiency” post, I often do reading and/or writing on the trains.  The first time that I took the train and bus to League in Chicago, I attempted to do notes transcription on my computer.  That miserably failed, due to the fact that my hard drive was loose and so the rocky ride made it so that it wouldn’t stay.  Thankfully, my computer didn’t get stolen on the ride, but I realized that it’s not a good idea to pull out electronics on the train.  You might become a target!

However, I started attempting to do math homework on the train.  This generally did not work out very well, not only because of the bumpy ride making my writing illegible, but the different people on the train prove to be quite a distraction to me.  I need an office or quiet room setting in order to do research and/or heavy-duty math.  Else, I am attempting it half-hearted, and that rarely works out well.

Other people will also be seen reading on the train, and I always wonder whether the literature that they are reading is for fun or for a purpose (e.g. class assignment).  One of my least favorite assigned books from fifth grade (“Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry”) I saw someone reading on the L a few years ago.

I have no problem doing Hebrew homework, journaling, or reading newspapers on the train, because those all require comparatively small amounts of mental energy and focus (to me at least).  Again, the writing may become illegible due to the bumping, but since I am not attempting to turn in what I write on the train to any particular instructor or, really, anyone besides myself, being able to read it afterwards is all that matters to me.

Today, however, I attempted “academic” reading again, and think that it went relatively well.  I was reading about learner-centered environments, assumptions that teachers make, and ideas about prior knowledge that can help OR hinder learning.  Context is a huge thing, and a lot of knowledge that is learnt is later taken out of context, or suppressed and rendered unusable.

Of course, I think Dr. Hilliard (my freshman honor seminar teacher) would read this and comment how this just goes from “one darned thing to the next.”  Well, my blog posts often are intended more as free-writes, and although that’s not really a good way to publish, it does in some sense show how I think.  Actually, in the near future, I’ll be writing a blog post about this idea…


Today is the thirteenth day of O.C.T.O.B.E.R.  That makes one week and six days.


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