Finals are to Curry Powder as Winter Break is to ____.

Curry in the spice-bazaar (egypitan) in Istanbul

Image via Wikipedia

The end of the semester is so close I can smell it. In case you were wondering, it smells like hot madras curry powder.

Today’s the Sunday that leads us into the dreaded Finals Week. I’m currently at my desk sipping on pumpkin ale while I commit my schedule for the week to paper. Vacation is right over the horizon, yet here’s what I have left:

  • I have a prospectus due tomorrow on Sissy Bounce. It’s about 80% complete and I’ll finish it tonight.
  • I have 60 pages worth of lecture notes and a teaching philosophy due in the morning. It’s finished, but since I have ’til the morning I’m going to do a few last minute edits tonight which will take an hour or two,  including the addition of some potential audio/youtube clip links.
  • I have two exams this week. 1. bibliography – I have most of the week to prepare for this.  2. a global listening exam. While it doesn’t hold much weight, I’ll spend most of the week prepping for this.
  • A stack of 300+ papers to grade ranging from 2-12 pgs each.
  • 1 exam to proctor

This list is so much smaller than it was just a few days ago and that makes me a very happy grad student. My house looks like a tornado swept through it, I’ve been eating junk for a month, and my sleep patterns are ridiculously erratic. I’m ready for a break.

Of course, being the perpetual self-reflector that I am, I am already thinking of ways I can take things up a notch next semester. My biggest obstacle is time management, although I’m excellent at it when I’m under pressure. It’s not that I under-manage my time. I tend hyper-manage it. During the first half of this semester, I actually charted out each day by half hour segments. I was incredibly productive, but by October I had to tear myself out of the box and I haven’t been quite as productive since. It was a strangling experience. I need to find a balance.

In the spring there is a built-in time management system for my mornings in place as I’ll be TA’ing pop music courses at 8am five days a week.  I’m also taking on a wee bit more with the addition of two more ensembles, a Buddhist-text study group, and (if I get the okay) sitting in on two undergrad courses: Tibetan Historiography, and Ancient Tibetan Religions.  I also wanted to sit in on a Bollywood course being offered because I think it would integrate well with the Music of India course I’m registered for, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

I feel like I should personify my blog and thank it for being here for me to vent all semester. One almost down, a hell of a lot more to go –



  1. 300 exams? Really?! That’s a freaking lot. You are totally earning that vacation.

    Re: time management I’m posting about that all this week, but if you can already do it under pressure you’re one step ahead of people who can’t do it at all!

    Also, suggest scheduling by larger units than half hours as this provides a little more wiggle room

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