I'd like to think that I've pioneered the "procrastinate by doing other work" method because I only really have my history of physiology paper left to do and a really short paper on career development theory. Except for the first time ever (seriously - I think I might've been the only person in AP Euro my year who did ALL of the supplemental reading), I didn't actually do all of the reading for one of my classes just because there's no feasible way of reading three books of Nietzsche, two Decadent novels, C.S. Lewis's Til We Have Faces
and all of Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents
in a three week time span with two presentations, five papers of varying lengths and five finals, three of which are take home. Strangely enough, I don't feel terribly guilty as I don't know of anyone else, even my roommate, who's had time to do all of the reading, either. I have to admit, the class has really grown on me - the professor is the only one I've come across who doesn't use any notes, can consistently keep everyone's attention and actually address all of the random questions students throw at him without deflecting any. We ended up having an interesting discussion after class on Monday about what the Decadents would have thought of dystopian science fiction. Thanks to the f-list, I was able to not sound like a total airhead. I swear, anything I know about culture has come from Livejournal - I'd never be able to pick up on all of his Firefly
For the educators on the f-list: from a student's perspective, take home midterms are only less stressful when you're given the same amount of time to finish the exam that you would've been given if the exam was held in class. If you have to write at least a page-long response for seven questions and you're supposed to cite specific lecture note dates and pages in the reading, then trust me, it's more stressful. Take home exams are generally a bad idea if they follow not long after the deadline of a major paper (page length > 5 pages). Just something to keep in mind next time you devise your syllabi...
I've come to the conclusion that I rely on luck far more than any sane person should to get work done; if my physiology professor hadn't granted everyone an extension until next Wednesday, I'd be sunk. But from a terribly egocentric point of view, much of luck is setting up the likelihood of situations to be in your favor, or learning to predict the probability of certain events and preparing yourself to capitalize on those moments.
On the whole, I've feel like I've learned more than I ever have this semester. Generally all of the classes I've taken have been pretty good, and the ones I'm taking now are no exception, although I'll be really glad to be done with the honors core requirements soon. But just having the opportunities to spend time with peers and learn from them - now that's been the most rewarding. I really cut back on activities last spring just because I was so burnt out from the fall, but the stuff I did and continue to do is rather solitary. Doing research has only deepened my interest in psychology, but as the perpetual observer-scientist you feel distanced from the interactions and behaviors you're supposed to be analyzing. Sure, you gain perspective. And all of the admissions recruiting stuff is a lot of fun (they actually think you know what you're talking about), but the interactions with prospective students are fleeting. That, and you never really know if your individual contributions actually make a difference in helping them figure out where they want to go for college.
What's been the most incredible was being a TA for CIRCLE. Sure, there's the incredibly pretentious satisfaction of being able to tell people, "I basically taught a non-credit seminar called Critical Issues in Race, Class and Leadership Education," but I'm not kidding you when I say I can't believe I got paid to do a job I would've gladly done for free. Even from my brief work experience so far, I think I can safely say the people you work with make or break your job satisfaction, and the APASS office has become my second home on campus. I was so lucky to have a great group of students in my discussion group and Sumi, the head of the department, to be our faculty facilitator, and on the whole my co-TA and I had a good work dynamic. After participating in this program last fall, I've gained a new perspective on how people slowly absorb new views on how institutional barriers relating to race, socioeconomic status, gender and sexual orientation really play out in this country and how cultural factors facilitate our understanding of these issues. Retreat three weekends ago was really
intense - I've never seen so many people cry as they began to intellectually and emotionally work out how damaging these prejudices can be. But it was incredibly worthwhile to learn about the experiences of those who've grown up in much more diverse circumstances and who haven't been sheltered as I have their entire lives. Thankfully I didn't run into any situations where I couldn't answer participant's question, although Sumi fielded a lot of the complex academic stuff; I was able to pull a lot of stuff from research and some of my course readings. I really am excited to see what these kids (funny I should call them kids when at least half of them are my age or older and the other half's but a year younger) end up doing and how they take action on these issues.
Each year I tell myself that life can't get any more mind-bogglingly complex and maddening, and each year I'm proven wrong. That's not necessarily a bad thing, although there are times when I think I might literally keel over from exhaustion. Emotionally, I keep being stretched in all directions and have to constantly evaluate whether or not I can actually do what I'm supposed to do. I know I've disappointed a lot of people as I try to figure out what my limits are, but you have to learn to compartamentalize and find a way of separating the emotional from duty so that you can function. In a funny way, though, the most effective way of building up resiliance is when you don't think you have a way out.
Once again I have to figure out what the heck I'm doing next semester and the year after and the year after. My course schedule; the big debate is work vs. research or some combination of both. I'll still be volunteering with admissions and copy-editing writing for a quarterly news magazine (which, really, is less work than it sounds) although I'm really tempted to become a weekly columnist for The Daily Trojan
. There's this other part of me that just wants to veg out and get back to finishing all of the scraps of writing littering my desktop, but the only thing I get out of that is personal satisfaction, and I'm afraid it won't be any help when applying to grad school and looking for jobs. I actually had something of a social life this semester, which was a first, and I don't know if I'm willing to give that up although with CIRCLE being over I suspect my opportunities to spend time with a more diverse crowd will greatly diminish. At the same time, I'd like to claim back more time for myself for no particularly noble reason other than to relax and recollect myself. But then I look at everyone around me and think wow, if they can handle everything, then why can't you?
And now for some study break stuff, although I should finish editing this paper due at noon today.
Recommended by st_crispins
: Scorcese paying homage in a Hitchcock parody for a champagne commercial
Seriously, this is the only time where I've watched a commercial more than once and couldn't stop laughing. Unfortunately, I don't spend enough time with the cinema students anymore.
If anyone's curious, the musical cues used from North by Northwest as played by the orchestra are:
The Elevator (up to 0:11), briefly interrupted an unidentified bridge passage reusing the fandango fragment, quickly cuts into
The Information Desk (intro played a little slower in the Scorcese film)
Unidentified cue when the lightbulb's broken (the closest I can come up with is "The Balcony," but I think for this orchestral suite it's just a bridge passage)
The Knife (the brief introduction recaptiulation of the fandango prelude when Thornhill's running away from the U.N.), quick transition into the end part of the fandango of The Wild Ride
Finale (roughly the end 0:30-0:46; the orchestral recording for the Scorcese film is the most different from the original score recording as the former is a little more legato on the love theme but draws out the concluding notes a little more slowly)
On another film music-related note, I'm not a member of doctorwho
, but I know someone there was looking for the lyrics for "My Angel Put The Devil In Me"
- seeing as Doctor Who
is the most popular show on my f-list, I was wondering if someone could pass the link to this entry with my transcription of the lyrics as non-members can't post? Thanks!( My Angel Put The Devil In Me )