the end of the semester crutch.

It might not explain Jeremy’s recent behavior, as he’s still slugging through spring quarter, but I’m sure a lot of us are suffering from end-of-the-semester burnout. You know, when you need something mindless to keep you going. Omar’s on the other side of the wall, cleaning his office. I wrote my syllabi for the fall and started filling in next year’s planner (yes, I still use an old-fashioned one, and yes, it’s the same kind I used as a student). I’m about to finish up my students’ final exam. Because I’m not ready to tackle office cleaning, it’s time to add other mindless tasks to my “cognitively easy” list because I just can’t handle anything “not-so cognitively easy” this week. What are some of your end of the semester crutches, those mindless things that keep you moving?

7 thoughts on “the end of the semester crutch.”

  1. I bake. I knit. Doing something with my hands other than typing is awesome, and saves me eye strain. I take walks and see late showings of movies. Whatever is showing after 9:00 or 9:30 pm at a theatre within walking distance is my pick of choice. I do that about once a week during the end of the semester, and that’s more movie than I would normally see. Turning on the TV in my living room/home office would fill me with guilt, but going to the movies feels active and productive, and it gets me out of my isolation and into the crowd. It’s fun to be one among a room of strangers.

    I tell my boyfriend to give me time to work, but after a couple of days I beg him to come over and keep me company, and take me outside of my own head. It’s good to take a break from thinking about/talking about your work. I try to do this throughout the day (although I need to control my surfing) by sending him and my friends articles of interest, as a way of staying connected to the person and the larger world.

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  2. I miss semesters. We’re on the quarter system which is pretty terrible for graduate students. Seeing as I’m still a student, my end-of-the-quarter crutch is furious paper writing for seminars.

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  3. I’ve already checked out a library book (for fun) that I’ve read before, so that I can get through it quickly. And it staves off my longing for a real book another week or so.

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  4. I’m at the end of my first year on the job. While I’m feeling worn down, my end-of-the-semester crutch is just thinking about what is right around the corner: vacation, time to concentrate on a new research project with no interruptions, and no committee or faculty meetings. Can’t wait.

    Quarters vs. semesters: I was on quarters as a grad student and am on semesters now. The latter made a lot more sense for grad students, but I can now see the value of the former for undergrads. 15 weeks is a long time to spend with one group of undergrads.

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  5. Podcasts of This American Life that I have saved up to listen to while I clean my office or do other mindless tasks.

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