2018 is just around the corner, and when this article is out it will already be here. I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions but I do like the idea of a fresh start. The bookkeeping year is over (almost) and the final exam for that is looming in April. While, it is not an exam, per-se, I have more anxiety about it than I ever did about a final exam in my undergrad. 2017 was the first year I moved from the old-school bookkeeping of a paper synoptic and calculator to a computer program, and though it caused me some headaches when, about six months in, I thought I had lost it all, it has, overall, been more productive and much easier to manage.
I was stubborn about moving from something I was comfortable with to something that I wasn’t. I am thrilled I decided to give it a chance and it has made me wonder about my stance on e-texts. I have always been against them, and as I got access to my first Grad course, Current Issues in Literary Studies, LTST 605, the first thing I did was print out my study guide and course guide. I still prefer to learn from paper because I can make notes in the text and connect with the words more fully. However, I have discovered that e-texts do have a certain benefit.
Since I started to intern with Literary Agents I have discovered the immense benefit of being able to read and comment on manuscripts digitally. Beyond being more efficient it makes it easier to go back and find specific notes or sentences.
This searchability is something that I am most interested in moving forward. During my undergrad, I spent countless hours searching for quotes I knew were somewhere within an article or book: a sentence that would perfectly frame my argument. While I don’t think I could ever move to a fully-digital learning experience I take comfort in the ability to combine both the digital and paper versions.
Just like with my bookkeeping that I moved to a digital format, I kept some of the paper practices. It made the transition easier for me. To anyone else, I would be adding an extra step to the process but it is one that makes it easier for me to stay organized. With the paper synoptic, I would take each receipt and write it out into a column, following down the bank statement and making sure everything was accounted for, before adding each column and making sure everything balanced (it rarely did the first time). With the digital version I take the receipts, the statement and I tick each one off, write out the gst, file them all away and then from that statement I punch it into the program, and then check and make sure everything balances (it mostly does).
This marrying of the pencil and paper version to the digital version has given me comfort moving forward and into my studies that I know are going to be a combination of reading from paper and reading online. Where once I was anxious about trying to study from a computer screen or tablet I have found the efficiency in it, the benefit to it.
The stance does not always need to be solidly one or the other: digital or paper; e-text or not. There is an opportunity to appreciate both, to work with both and to have the best experience because of it.