So, lectures started properly last week, and we already have some work to do! For now it’s just a matter of organising notes and doing some readings for each topic we’re covering, but since we have to follow three or four topics at the same time it can become really messy and confusing! I just need to constantly remember what I have to do for what lecture, and although it’s not too much, it would be daunting without a bit of organisation!
Last week we were also given the title and directions for our first essay for this year.
“How does closing your eyes or averting your gaze benefit cognition?”.
It’s a fascinating topic, really, because it’s very broad and applies to many different situations. We had a tutorial this week to discuss various aspects of the subject, and we came up with so many ideas (it was actually a very good tutorial) that I barely know where to start from!
As always, the aspect the interests me the most is the dynamics of gaze aversion in social behaviour. I was planning on focusing the attention on the social consequences of gaze avoidance, like discussing the role of anxiety and scrutiny fears, rather than the strictly cognitive aspect.
Problem is, that’s not exactly what the question asks!
During the lecture, we were told to cover a general background, after which we are left free to focus on one or more particular ideas. I love being given the possibility to choose the direction of my essay (a good fluency is also really appreciated when the essay gets marked)… but it’s very risky! Last year I wrote an essay I was really happy with, but didn’t get a good mark because I had focused too much attention on one single aspect, without fully answering the original question. It’s very easy to commit these sorts of mistakes, especially when you’re deeply interested in the topic and let your excitement take over. I’ll be careful not to make the same mistake, this time!;)