Studying for exams: week 8

When I was a kid, and I still played organized sports, my basketball coach used to make us run these things called “suicides.”  Thinking back…that’s kind of a horrible name for an exercise that you want a twelve year old to do…

Anyway, you had to run out and touch the free throw line, and then run back to the basket.  Immediately after touching home base, you would run out to the half court and back, then out to the further free throw line and back, and finally all the way to the other end of the court and back.  It was the final  “out and back” that always got me.  Not even my flash neon bicycle shorts and Louie the Lightning Bug T-shirt made me feel awesome enough to do that final sprint without trepidation.  I would always stand up, feeling kind of dizzy and rubbery, and stumble back out onto the court.

And that’s kind of how I felt this last week of studying for exams.

It was a dizzy rubbery week.

I did pretty much nothing at first.  Sort of lazily graded three or four exams a day, and managed to upload my midterm grades on Wednesday. But I was in a daze.

Then Thursday I stumbled back out onto court extended metaphor and such.  But seriously, something happened.  I hella picked up speed and I have no intention of stopping any time soon.

From Thursday to Sunday night I wrote the first draft of the fundraiser narrative. I attended an amazing talk by a brilliant scholar (more on his topic later), and I walked right up to him and introduced myself! I also walked right out of the reception past both free wine AND free soda…boom.  I completed a full section of my British field in a day, I wrote up my initial thoughts on the conjunction between STS and medical history, I worked around my apartment, and I rebooted my exercise program.

When I went to campus on Monday morning, I felt great.  I checked in with my world history professor to make sure I was on track with my minor field exam, and he told me I was right on target.  I’m solidly hooked on my STS stuff, prepping for a final check in on Wednesday.  I’m covering a lecture for my TA professor this week, I’m reworking pieces of the WPCS narrative, and at the rate I’m going, I feel like I could probably grade the midterms coming in on Friday in a night.

I don’t say this to be all “what now, ye slovenly people!? Get thee to similar haste!!”

Rather, I just have to share my excitement.

I…was not expecting to feel excited at this point in my study process.  It’s true, my brain feels a bit like it has shin splints, at times, but that’s only because I’ve been working it so hard and filling it with such awesome stuff.  I feel alive and productive.  And although I’m ready to be done with the damn exams, I feel good about what I’m going to be able to write in that final week.

Best of all, I can totally taste my reward coming.  I can taste the creative writing, the spring cleaning and reorganizing, the visit from my mom and sister, the time with friends, the concert attendance, study groups for fun, academic planning for fun. 

I am totally ready to commit fully to my projects, throw myself into my life, tackle new reading lists for my dissertation, and explode outward in enthusiasm.

All the enthusiasm!!!

I’m giddy.  It’s ridiculous.  But I am.

Just goes to show that the more you tell yourself it’s “ok” to love what you do, the more you will, the better you’ll be at it, and the more you’ll want to make it something special and shareable.

*   *   *

Week 8/9 Plan:

1.  Finish Sismondo’s Introduction to STS.  As I’m reading the book, I’m building my repertoire of method, theory, and current research questions, and then fitting the other STS monographs I’ve read into the outline.  Going really well.

2.  Submit practice essays to my STS readers by the end of the week.

3.  Proctor midterms on Friday, and then grade the exams (at least over the weekend, if not the same day, hehe).

4.  Pull out my World History notes from teaching last semester, and outline the methods, theories, and research questions here, too.  Build that outline up in conjunction with my World History colloquium.  And then finish up by pulling historiographical touchstones from my reading list.

5. Meet with WPCS choir council and trouble shoot the narrative and possibilities for the fundraiser.

*   *   *

And about that fundraiser…

Where In the World Is...?

Check out this link for information, ticketing, and maps to the event!

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Historian, novelist, musician, and imagination professional.

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