Study Week: An Exercise in Frustration

Every term, the university at which I work holds a “Study Week” in which students do not attend classes.  It’s pretty nice for students.  It isn’t quite so nice for instructors.

You see, Study Week follows the fifth week of classes.  There are twelve weeks’ worth of classes per term, meaning that Study Week is more or less in exactly the wrong spot.  Profs who set their midterms for week 5 have only four weeks to work with as far as material is concerned.  Profs who set their midterms for week 6 or 7 can’t mark during Study Week.  I tend to go with Option 1, and therefore, I do mark during Study Week.  It’s very practical, but it’s not very fun.

I haven’t had a Study Week that counts as an actual “break” since I was an MA student.  I usually goof off for the first several days, at which point I realise, with rising panic, that I have 220 midterms to mark in the course of a week and a half.  The pattern is always the same, but do I ever wise up and start marking on the first day of the break?  No, I do not.  That would be far too easy.

I have pledged to start my marking tomorrow.  Of course, tomorrow is a holiday, and I have a lunch outing at noon.  And there’s laundry to get through.  And I should work on Wednesday’s comic.  And I’ve written one of my songs for March now, but I need to think of a concept for a second one as well.  And I should practise the first song.  And I should play my tenor guitar a bit.  And…

Damn you, Study Week.  Damn you to Hades.  I always succumb to your lure.

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