March 19, 2008

Five Stages

I feel oddly calm.

Considering that the estimates I just made amount to about 7 more hours of work I need to do tonight. Maybe I'm overestimating a bit, I'm not sure, I suppose I hope I am though the chances of getting a legitimate night's sleep seem pretty far off. Yet I feel oddly calm, like I have accepted my fate. It made me think about the all-nighters I've pulled so far here, and it also (strangely enough) made me think of the five stages of grief. For those that don't know they are:
  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance
As I sat and thought about the five stages, I realized how closely they mirrored what I had been going through lately. I'm not sure that I've been grieving exactly, but I think the truth in this psychology goes beyond loss, but how people tend to deal with a difficult situation. I think I definitely experienced this:
  1. Denial - I think the speed map was my form of denial. I didn't want to work on another document, I wanted to work on a level, and so I continued to put it off, focusing all my energies on the the speedmap. I ignored the fact that I had fallen incredibly behind and was going to have a very difficult time if I didn't correct this mistake, but instead of dealing with it, I just ignored it and dug myself into a deeper hole.
  2. Anger - Well, I know I experienced this, hell you only have to sit with the C9 LDs for a few hours to realize that all of us were feeling this about this particular project. It wasn't expressed as pure unmitigated rage, at least not by me, but everyone was mad at someone or something. The professor, the school, the other cohorts, the assignment itself. It was unfair, unreasonable, etc., etc. It's not to say some of those complaints were completely invalid. They definitely make us jump through some exceptionally unreasonable hoops. Maybe anger wasn't the right word for me, but I've definitely been feeling frustrated.
  3. Bargaining - Yep, I definitely went through this one too, hoping that somehow God might hear me and plop a fully completed LDD down in my lap. I even considered approaching the professor and asking for an extension, though given our recent conversations, I would have been very surprised if he granted it.
  4. Depression - I think this is where I was yesterday. Everything seemed overwhelming, I wasn't sure what to do, or if it was even possible for me to do it all. I fell apart. I wasn't even sure I wanted to do this anymore or that I could. Maybe not give up game development altogether, but find another path.
  5. Acceptance - I'm pretty sure this is where I am now. Despite having an amazing amount of work due tomorrow I don't feel stressed, at least not consciously. Maybe because my "grieving" is over, maybe because I finally feel like I have a solid grasp on my DFS and all I am doing is putting it down on paper. I'm not really sure, but I feel pretty in control right now. I mean I've had longer nights and probably had more difficult requirements too, so what was I so worried about?
I think that I spent more time worrying about the assignment, railing against it, and wishing it didn't exist instead of just dealing with it. I admittedly don't even understand my disinterest or dislike for the assignment. I've done plenty of docs in the past and I haven't had a problem. there isn't even really that much going on right now. Now, I did dig myself into a big hole with the speed map, and that is a mistake I hope I have learned from and can at least partially avoid in the future. Unfortunately, that doesn't change the situation I am in now, starting a 7 hour block of work and 10:00 P.M. Oh well, anyway, that seems like a suitable conclusion to my little psychoanalysis. Have a good night all!

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