The Kinyarwanda saying muzangaye gutinda refers to the challenge of time management in my Rwandan cultural upbringing, even after decades abroad it remains hard to break! That’s one of mine to break as I learn to apply these great tools and resources.
“I only do what is easy”  How and where? Like on a few other projects that I have embarked on in this life, learning has felt overwhelming. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed the journey of discovery, especially in communities of feller learners doing the daunting together. I was once advised by a friend and Mentor saying, “You jump and build your wings on your way down!” My life, in general, has been the same, and thankfully the good Lord has kept me safe.
“Write exactly one note for each idea and write as if you were writing for someone else: Use full sentences, disclose your sources, make references and try to be as precise, clear, and brief as possible.”  The author makes the writing sound so easy and might be easy for some who have had smooth learning and writing foundations. Mine has always been rocky or simply different. Sometimes I will wonder how much of my ideas would make sense after I have put them down on paper, does my English expression even make any sense? When you explain slip boxes, dropbox, and all the other boxes that make work easy does sound indeed easy to do but wait until I start. When I started school, my family was uprooted from Rwanda where we started wandering as refugees to Uganda. I did not make it to High School till I was past 20 years old. Studied under makeshift classes, and shades (trees), and sometimes ran away after another bomb had dropped near our shade class.
“He regularly mentioned the slip-box as the reason for his productivity. From as early as 1985, his standard answer to the question of how anyone could be so productive was: “I, of course, do not think everything by myself. It happens mainly within the slip-box”
The author describes the slip-box sounds much like the system that would create an amazing organization of one’s work especially if as disorganized as some can be having loads of things to read, write and make sense of. While the work remains challenging, and the beneficial distance learning comes with the challenges to lose control of many other tasks of daily living I am looking for ways to stay connected from a distance and remain in control of the work needed to complete the program.
Looking at the tools and resources at my disposal I look forward to a year of more learning and coming up with a meaningful project that will lead to a successful doctorate program completion. “The best way to maintain the feeling of being in control is to stay in control. And to stay in control, it’s better to keep your options open during the writing process rather than limit yourself to your first idea.” Putting to use the great learning ahead, I look forward to a better way of working organization work and being on time to complete it successfully.
 Sönke Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes.