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Semester? What’s that? January 20, 2011

Posted by mareserinitatis in education, grad school.
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This ‘regular job’ thing has had an interesting effect on my perspective of time. This is the first year in many where I haven’t had to worry about class schedules and exams and grading.

Wow. Now I am getting an inkling of why people really would prefer to work than go to school.

I was reading around and someone made a reference to how things are going this semester, and I did a double take. I had to think about where we are the semester, how much time has passed since the beginning of the semester, etc.

While I work at the university, I am now staff. The ‘semester’ is the time when the undergrads are around some of the time. In the summer, they’re around all the time. During Christmas and spring breaks, very little. Finals, not at all. But there is only one student I work with on a regular basis. Otherwise, I really don’t pay much attention to them because I don’t interact with them much. The grad students are around most of the time as are the other staff.

I have to admit that I like working. There are deadlines to deal with and things that need to be done, but it’s nice to go home at night and not feel like the world is going to fall on me if I don’t have a homework set done. If I really feel like it, going to bed early doesn’t induce a huge wave of guilt. Except, of course, the dissertation is still there, so it’s not like there is no working…just not the stress of getting something done the next day…or even by the end of the semester.

My schedule instead revolves around meetings, lunch breaks, and project deadlines.

Yeah, I guess I got burned out on classwork. I really am having fun with my job and doing my dissertation work. I think homework is for the birds right now, and I’m glad I don’t have to feel like I’m running around like a decapitated chicken trying to get to my classes or be ready to teach. I feel like, for the first time in a long time, I can afford to focus on a single thing and spend a few good hours on it. I imagine that I will start to miss school sooner or later, but right now I’m just feeling relief.

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Comments»

1. Dave Cuthbert - January 20, 2011

How funny. I find myself missing the nice demarcations of a quarter or semester. At the end of a school term, everything is done; next term starts with a blank slate.

In the working world, alas, problems just flow from one day to the next to the next … I occasionally get questions about things I did back in 2005!

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mareserinitatis - January 20, 2011

I appreciate it. It’s nice to say that there is a deadline close by when I get to start over. However, I also prefer being able to focus on a couple things at once rather than the 8 or 9 things I have to deal with because of classes and teaching during the semester. I suspect, however, that it’ll not be long before I miss it.

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Mike - January 21, 2011

Only a couple of things at once? Boy, are you lucky…

While I like variety, I am finding that getting pulled into discussions on six to eight different topics a day makes it hard to focus.

Now, where was I??

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mareserinitatis - January 21, 2011

Do you really want me working on as many projects as you? I’ve already got attention issues.

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2. Dr. 29 - January 20, 2011

Congrats on being class-free! It is such a hige relief. I had the same feeling a couple of years back, when my last exam was turned in and it was all about research from that point on. It hit me one day when I was talking about research and someone asked me how the semester was going, and I was all like whoa, I don’t depend on semesters anymore. Like Dave, I find myself missing those demarcations, but I’m very appreciative of the summer, because UGs are not there, lines at the cafeteria are shorter, and there’s less people around.

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mareserinitatis - January 20, 2011

Ha! It was actually your post I was reading that caused that reaction! 🙂

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Dr. 29 - January 21, 2011

Ha! Way too cool, then.

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3. FrauTech - January 22, 2011

Yeah I am counting down. Having dealt simultaneously in both worlds, I definitely prefer the working.

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4. NJS - January 22, 2011

I’m looking forward to that day.

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