[nabs-l] questions about balancing school and work and organization

Mason, Amy Amason at nfb.org
Tue Aug 30 14:48:35 UTC 2016


Carlos,

Good luck, that is a heavy load. That said, I have no doubt that you will be able to excel. Tips I can offer for taking notes on a digital audio player is don't. (At least, not entirely.)	 While listening, find a way to start and stop the device and write down the chunks you need most later. Whether you are keeping notes in a notetaker, a laptop, or with a slate and stylus, or a 20/20 pen, you should create a set of notes that is more distilled than the text you are reading.  I would keep track of what page, or at least what chapter and subheading you found things in, in case you need to review the whole passage, but I found this is very effective. 

The other way to do this, is to use the features of your audio book player to essentially create for yourself "highlights" With or without your own notes attached. If you are using Voice Dream, it is possible, and I would argue, encouraged, to select passages of text and to put your own thoughts alongside them. ( I would probably recommend a keyboard or a braille display for this task, else typing on your screen will eat up all your energy, but I've found that being able to read and review just the highlights is the best way for me to be able to really review what's critical. On devices like the stream, I know it is possible to add many bookmarks and clips as well, though I find that this can be a bit more tedious to deal with for me personally than information that is available in text format that I can review more completely. Much of that depends of course on the tool and the books that you have available. 

As far as distractions and productivity boosts, you might try something like the :"Pomodoro" technique. Set yourself discreet tasks, let yourself work on them for 20 minutes, or 25, then when a timer goes off, you get up for five minutes before either returning to the same task for another block of time, or moving to a new project for that new block. I've found that nothing is quite so odious if you are able to focus on the fact that you are only going to have to go as long as the timer says you have left before you can stand and stretch, or get a cookie, or check Facebook, or whatever seems the best reward. 

May the semester go well. 

Amy Mason
Access Technology Specialist
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-659-9314 ext. 2424
amason at nfb.org

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can have the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

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-----Original Message-----
From: NABS-L [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Carlos Montas via NABS-L
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2016 9:31 PM
To: nabs-l at nfbnet.org
Cc: Carlos Montas <carlos.montas at att.net>
Subject: [nabs-l] questions about balencing school and work and organization

Good evening to all. My name is carlos Montas. I have posted on this list before but I wanted to ask you all some questions about juggling school and work. The first thing is that I have a full time job as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. I am in graduate school working on my massters in rehab counseling. I find my self at the end of most days with not much energy to do school work at night. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I know that when going to school on line organization is extremely important. If you all have suggestions on how to deal with distractions that would help as well. Lastly I would like to know what are some effective methods to take notes while reading books on voice stream and or on a digital book player? I appreciate you all taking the time to read my email. Sincerely Carlos Montas 4078018827 

Sent from my iPhone

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