Running on Four Hours of Sleep in the Rainforest

This is it.

My Biology Internal Assessment and the final draft of my Extended Essay were due within 2 days of each other.

I had four hours of sleep in those 2 days.

My viva voce, a reflective conversation with my supervisor, was done via Skype today. The Extended Essay is finally over, and I now know a thing or two about APA (American Psychological Association) citation.

I’ve also discovered that I enjoyed science writing immensely. I was particularly inspired by an award-winning essay on the nocebo effect by Penny Sarchet, who has written for New Scientist, Nature, and Cosmos, amongst other.

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My First All-Nighter

I’ve just pulled my very first all-nighter.

Yesterday was the due date of the first draft of my Extended Essay.

I’ve stayed up til midnight, til 1am, til 2am before. There isn’t anything special about these times. Everyone is asleep and everything is quiet. The part of Hanoi that I live in isn’t the part of town that is bustling and “never sleeps.” There was the occasional sound of a motorcycle or a car passing by outside, but it was barely audible from my third-floor bedroom. Mostly I could hear myself think. And the constant sounds of key strokes.

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A Small Light at The End of The Tunnel

As mentioned in a previous lament, I was walking through the valley of the shadow of the dreaded Extended Essay, chased by the impending deadline, along with every other IB assessments that need to be completed. And I was stuck in a rut about a viable topic to even begin researching and writing my EE on.

But no more! There is a light at the end of the tunnel! I’ve finally finalized my research question, and emailed my online Psychology teacher to ask him to be my supervisor. Yes, I am writing a Psychology Extended Essay.

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A Really Long Essay?

What is an Extended Essay? How do I write one? When is it due again?

An Extended Essay is a 4000-word research paper that every student has to complete if they wish to obtain their IB diploma. It is a chance to flex some academic research and writing muscles, and also for most students to curse the high heavens and have a glimpse into their future as college students plowing away late at night writing papers.

Finding yourself in the beginning of your second year of the IB diploma and not having a research question for your Extended Essay yet is a probably a bad situation. I am in that bad situation.

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