Laying Down the Load

Before I was even admitted; no, before I even applied for ISM, I heard that it was a strenuous class. Almost every week I would see students in ISM wearing suits, carrying padfolios, and practicing speeches. Well, it’s been over six weeks since I became a senior and an ISM student and I had yet to truly come across much actual ISM work and class work that swallowed up my time. However, this week reminded me of just how much work can pile up if left alone.

This week was crazy, to say the least. For AP literature I had to read and annotate over 100 pages of a book (nonetheless, I enjoyed it), I had tests in pretty much every class from pharmacology to AP calculus AB, as well as a bunch of labs and reports to do for classes such as AP biology and medical microbiology. However, ISM had four different assignments for me to finish. I recall Mr. Wysong saying that the second six weeks of school is when ISM lays down the majority of its load; however, I didn’t nearly expect this. It was at this point I realized that I had to work on time management the most.

While annotating the book can be sped up, lab reports, tests, and ISM assignments all need time; therefore I need to organize them by importance and the amount of time I need to fix them. For lab reports, I created a template that would organize where information would go and facilitate the amount of effort needed to complete them. By compressing as much information into as few words as possible, I was able to complete a lab report that would normally be very lengthy within 90 minutes.

Tests were also quite the hassle to overcome. While I could forego studying to complete other work, my grades would decrease in the long run. In order to overcome this obstacle I decided to make a risk; I would only study for tests that I could not go in for tutorials. While this did stress me out and while I did lose quite a bit of sleep, I managed to get through all the tests only somewhat scathed. However, the biggest time consumer laid not in the book, the labs, or the tests, but rather the ISM assignments.

I joined ISM because it was challenging; because I wanted to find my way; because I wanted to improve. As stressful as this week was, I feel like I definitely improved my work ethic. This week in ISM the four assignments were the: SMART goals, digital portfolio, research assessment #5, and interview assessment #1. The easiest one to complete was probably the digital portfolio as I had been working on it and updating it ever since it was first created. If anybody wants to see it, visit The next thing I worked on was the SMART goals as they too could be easily written; however, elaborating on the various goals did prove to be somewhat difficult. The interview and research assessment were what I had the most trouble on. While I have completed four other research assessments, they were all on articles that related to any kind of surgery. However, with my topic proposal completed, I decided to only choose articles relating to orthopedic surgery from here on. As for my interview assessment, I had no idea how to write the start, the end, or even the middle. The only solution I had was to write down everything that happened and everything that went on my mind. While these two may have taken a little longer than normal, I now have methods of writing these even faster.

Time management is one of the greatest tools that can bring people success. Even those with talent or those who work hard will fail if they have bad time management skills. Therefore, I need to brush up now, when the stakes are not so high. By inputting various practices and balancing the amounts of time needed for each assignment, I will manage my way to my ultimate future.

See y’all next week,

Saif Haque

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