Ah. The lovely sense of completion when you turn in your last project/finish your last final/have no more academic responsibilities for a semester.
That sense of completion is immediately followed by consternation about what to do next. I have some ideas for you. Continue reading
You might have noticed I’ve been gone for a few weeks. Or you might not have. Heartless readers.
Reason for absence, short version: I had to find and take a 3-credit class in 2 weeks. As in, finishing my bachelor’s degree and starting my master’s degree and having a job at my university depended upon me doing this. Scary stuff.
And pretty much everyone told me it was impossible. But today, exactly 10 days after starting the coursework, I took my final and passed the class.
Your impossible thing might not be classwork. But I pulled a few principles from my experience that I think are far-reaching. Here you go!
How to Do Something Impossible
First full week of the semester = finished! However, it also means I don’t have the endurance for a long, coherent post. Instead, I’m just going to share a myriad of things I have enjoyed recently.
The Iliad ~ The Frozen soundtrack (particularly applicable in below freezing weather here in the South!) ~ French ~ extra credit ~ surprise raccoons ~ quirky professors ~ chocolate ~ Thomas (his posts make me think and always strike some cord of connection) ~ yoga ~ friends who aren’t afraid to challenge me ~ short stories ~ my bed ~ scholastic bowl 😀 ~ jobs ~ overachievers ~ Wikipedia ~ packages (even if they’re just text books) ~ Orion
Actually, the title is inaccurate. This guide also works for the weeks approaching finals.
1. Check out 5 or 6 books from the library. Fiction only, and nothing that will ever appear on your syllabi.
2. Play endless levels of *insert game here* Continue reading
I am sitting in the sun, just a tiny bit chilly. Around my table, the leaves are falling and swirling like snow. The birds are making a racket. An upbeat Irish dance is playing on Pandora, and I am making progress on my homework. I could not ask for a better Saturday. I watched a movie last night. Slept in. Had freshly grilled brats (of the non-human type) for lunch. Good discussion with my best friend about the Christian philosophy of music – thankfully, we’re still friends! Looking forward to a few hours of work this evening, another movie, and hopefully more progress on my homework (computer program – it should only take a total of 10-12 hours).
I’m not sure I could ask for a better Saturday.
I attend a liberal arts university. In addition to the English classes for my major, I am required to attend history, Bible, communications, philosophy, science, arts (music, art, or theater), and math/computer science classes. Sometimes my friends, here or at other liberal arts schools, complain about taking so many classes unrelated to their majors. While I could write a long defense of liberal arts, it would be boring and probably redundant for most of you. Instead, I would like to share a story that illustrates some of my favorite aspects of a liberal arts education.
This semester I am taking (in addition to other things) a philosophy class exploring major patterns in Western thought and a British Literature survey class. These two classes meet on the same day, separated by four hours. One morning last week, we studied Seneca in my philosophy class. Specifically, we read a selection from “On Happiness” and discussed his belief that happiness only accompanies virtue. 4 hours later, I was listening to a lecture on Alexander Pope (totally fascinating, but that’s a different story!). My teacher mentioned some of his writings that we didn’t read and told us that he believed virtue was happiness. In a terrific “ah-ha!” moment, I made the connection: Pope is a neoclassic, almost certainly well-studied in the Greek and Roman writers – if not Seneca, then others like him. When I mentioned the connection, half the class nodded along with me, because they too are taking that philosophy class. Instead of simply knowing that the neoclassics studied the classic writers and allude to and copy them, we got to see it in action.
This is why I love liberal arts. Instead of classes being isolated, individual subjects, they all weave and connect – exactly like real life. In real life, our english is not separate from history, arts from science, philosophy from communication. They all come together to give us a more complete picture of the world. Why would anyone ever resign themselves to one tiny thread when they can view the whole tapestry?
After 1 entire week of no job or classes, I am back at school. I came early for work training, but that’s all over today. Classes don’t start until Wednesday. Work doesn’t start until Monday. It’s just me, alone in my dorm room, with nothing to do.
That’s not quite true. I have books I could read, paperwork I could fill out, organizing I could do, and naps I could take. But I have nothing I must do. And it feels so weird….
I forget how to function when I don’t have a demanding schedule. When my mind is not full of a never-ending task list. I can’t sleep at night, because I’m not exhausted. I could read…but without looming deadlines to make that recreational reading seem precious, I have no desire. It has been like this since I left my full-time job at home a week ago. I didn’t even pack until the day before I left, because there was no urgency.
I am ready for school to start. I want schedules, syllabi, textbooks, an agenda. I thrive on meeting deadlines and completing assignments. I am crazy.