This is a bizarre time of year. The sun has finally returned to us up here in the north and seems to be here for the long haul till November, even out in dreary Indiana. There is birdsong in the morning again and warmth seeping out from the pavement and the air. The world is gilded with sunbeams. I am happy again.*
However, it is also the end of the semester. Today was my last day of classes. Tomorrow is reading day and Thursday is the beginning of finals week. Next Monday I take my last final, move out of my house in Indiana, and move back into my parents' house for the summer. In that time, I have to write a 20-25 page term paper, take one real final exam,** redye my hair, find an evening gown (and matching shoes, jewelry, and purse), meet with my study abroad advisor to make sure everything is working out for Jordan next semester, finish my paperwork for Cyprus this summer, acquire and fill out job applications for summer, find a rat-sitter for the next seven months (because my mother doesn't want to deal with cleaning Steve McQueen's cage), and pack up all my worldly possessions for transport--twice.
And I am not the only one facing this dichotomy of interest. Check out my flist. Everyone who's in college is posting something along the lines of "OMG SO MUCH WORK JFKDJFKDSJFKDSJFKDJSDSS WANNA GO PLAY IN THE SUN" while the people who are not in college are posting things like "Man, sun rocks. Life is good."
I think the obvious solution to the sun/work dilemma is to make college shorter. Say, ten weeks in a semester. Those ten weeks might be an extra special hell, but then it would be done, just in time for proper spring. Summer classes do something similar; IUP runs three sessions lasting five weeks apiece, in which classes meet every day for twice as long as usual. It's intense and it's a bit hard to get excited about (being, after all, a more intense version of the sun/work dilemma). However, the system works. One of my summer classes was Beginning French, and in this context it was practically an immersion course. My Comics Lit course was similar; for how inept the prof was, I learned a remarkable amount.*** And there was still time for me to complete my final project, a comic script, such that I was proud of it. A shorter semester may interfere with research projects; however, I would gladly put in the extra time and stress every day of getting my research done if it meant I could finish each semester sooner.
What say you? Would you temporarily give up some degree of emotional sanity in order to have more time to yourself in which to cultivate greater inner peace?
*Seasonal Affected Disorder: bitch in the winter, but gods above, if it ain't a treat all summer long.
**The rest are papers. Don't be envious; I'd rather stuff myself with information and then vomit it into a Blue Book than have to pull it out of my ass in a slow, painful, supposedly intelligent and synthetic manner. And I apologize for how disgusting that metaphor turned out.
***In part, this may have been due to my relative newb-ness to comics. I only started reading them in high school, for all that I've fallen hard in love with the medium.