The semester from hell has finally ended, and I’ve enjoyed several days at home, relaxing with family and friends. I’ve been thinking about the past fall semester and have come to a couple of conclusions about some things:
- Most of my students are only about five years younger than I am, but I guess they think that I don’t know about Google, Wikipedia, or copy/paste.
- Even when my students deserve it, I just can’t bring myself to give them a zero. So, instead I give them something like a 7; turns out that a 7 will freak out students more than a zero will, and then I get to sleep well at night.
- My students know that they don’t have to be completely formal with me, but when I get an email that starts of with “Hey Jakey :)” I just stop reading and hit delete. Smileys in an email? To your instructor? REALLY?
- I found this comic strip that pretty accurately depicts the stages of procrastination:
- I got a study carrel (cubicle) in the library this past semester. It’s nice because at least I know I’ll always have a quiet place to study. But by the end of the semester I realized I had been hoarding about 25 books in there, even though I hadn’t checked them out (so, they would still show up at “on the shelf” if anyone was looking for them online). Normally, I hate when people do this, but when I tried to make myself put them back out of moral obligation, I found myself shrinking back into the dark corner of my carrel, stroking my favorites, hissing “My preciousses…”
- This one is related to the above point: I searched the university’s library for a particular book this semester. It was going to be THE perfect book for a class, but of course, the university didn’t have it. Someone had checked it out. So, I put in yet another ILL (inter-library loan) request to find some other library in the country that had it. And then I added a little snide comment on the request about how I have to ILL more books than I can actually find in the university library. About ten days later, the book showed up for me and it struck me that it looked really familiar. I went home and looked on my bookshelf…Oops. I was the one that already had it checked out from the university library!
- I’ve found out that there are certain words, that no matter how often I’ve had to type them, I cannot spell or type them correctly to save my life: memorial, persecution, characteristic. And one that I usually misspell so badly that spell check doesn’t even have any suggestions: individual. See:
- I hate when my body’s physically exhausted, but when I lay down to sleep, my mind is still racing. So, I try counting sheep. But then I end up wanting to ask historiographical or theoretical questions about the sheep: where are these sheep coming from? What socio-economic forces are causing these sheep to jump? How can I adequately cite & reference these sheep, and who has talked about these sheep before me? Are these even sheep? For that matter, what is a sheep? …. Grad school will warp you.
- I am a stress eater and a stress cleaner. That means that after the end of this semester my pants are a lot tighter, but my apartment is clean as hell!
- Sometime around midterm this semester, when I was overwhelmed and having trouble finding the motivation to write papers, read my books, and grade papers, I found myself thinking, I wish Professor Dumbledore lived in our History tower. I’d go see him right now.
- A few weeks ago, as I was about to submit my final paper, I was proofreading it again to search for any typos or anything else wrong with it. After getting to the end of the first page, I got bored reading my own paper, thought Fuck it, and then hit the send button.
- Once I hit send, I did my happy-history-nerd dance. Yes, I have a happy-history-nerd dance, and no, there is no video to show it.