The joys of an academic calendar

Mr. Mark One of the things I’ve always liked about an academic calendar, going all the way back to my days in grade school, really, is the rhythm of change and renewal. Each semester brings new courses, new teachers (or students, when teaching), and new challenges. When the semester is done, it is done. There’s a sense of relief and accomplishment. Then a break of sorts followed by the excitement of another new beginning.

This Spring, as I start what I hope to be my final semester as a student, I’m largely missing that feeling. The months of working on my dissertation has its own rhythm, but has largely been undifferentiated slogging along. It’s another day, another week, of hunkering down, working hard to get it done. I don’t have the usual sense of starting anew.

How about you? Are you enjoying the excitement of a new semester?

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2 Responses

  1. Like Steven, I am in dissertation mode, albeit the proposal stage. I can certainly see how post-comps life can lack rhythym and renewal. I guess there are two factors that keep me in sync right now. First, this semester I am teaching one class which meets two days a week. Second, since my wife and I have small children, my at-home work productivity is practically nill. So I go to campus to get work done, which means going to campus quite a bit. That being said, I do feel the rhythym and excitement of a new semester. Sorry Steven – just keep slogging along and hopefully you’ll be done before you know it.

  2. I’m enjoying the excitement of a new semester…but it is too cold here (Waltham, MA)… :((
    So, I can’t wait for a summer semester (or summer break…well, no break for Ph.D.?) because of a slightly different reason!

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