05 November 2013
Remember, remember the 5th of November. So the saying goes, and it is indeed Guy Fawkes Day/Night... also known as Bonfire Night. Tonight there's to be a big fireworks display at Meadowbank Stadium, and although I'm probably not going to go into the stadium, I may traipse around outdoors (weather permitting) to see if there's a spot to catch them from.
November is also Crunch Time. I feel it deserves capitalization because, as of yesterday, my first essay is due in one month. It so happens that I just wrote the first page yesterday, and although I would like to call that a coincidence, it was more a result of sudden panic. (When was the last time I even wrote a research paper? I don't know.)
My classes also finish up at the end of this month. (This seems awfully quick.) I believe my internship will probably continue more or less through the break, or as time allows, but I think it's good to spread it out. Where that's concerned, I have no set routine at all (yet), but plenty of work to do (eventually). But the overall routine of this semester has been, well... almost nonexistent.
Differences I've experienced in the academic setup alone are vast and varied -- more than I expected, and not necessarily bad. Just different. For a 12 month program, it has not been nearly as demanding as I presumed, but perhaps that says something about my previous experience at university, or about my workload prior to returning to school, or... I don't know what. But having two classes that meet 11 times apiece, once per week for an hour or two, and one graded essay at the end for each, plus an internship... I mean, I kind of chuckled along when a friend of mine at home went, "That's it? You do that for two semesters, then write a 15,000 word paper, and you get a Masters degree?"
I'm well enough into the year (but it's only been about two months, amazingly) to know that my work load next semester will be tougher than this one. That's probably good, seeing that I hadn't been in school for several years and now have sort of been eased back in, as it were. My conscience is constantly reprimanding me for not taking it seriously enough--for not reading and taking notes and writing for four or five hours every day. There are days when I feel like all I do is grab a cup of coffee, wander around, take pictures, go to a gallery or two. Of course there are other days where I hole up in a corner at a coffee shop for a few hours with my laptop and academic journal articles, highlighter at the ready, and pore over whatever it is I'm supposed to be poring over. Those are the days I'm reminded that I'm a student, so it goes both ways.
We also had a "reading week," which was essentially a week off halfway through the semester in order to, well... read. And organize. Or something like that. A lot of people went on trips (myself included), but then in addition to this week off, there was a strike by three university unions against a pay freeze for staff, so my fullest day of class last week was entirely cancelled. As an undergraduate I would have rejoiced at the opportunity for a day off... right now, I'm irritated that I haven't had a proper class in two and a half weeks.
Tomorrow, and there is no complaint here: my Medieval and Renaissance Scottish Architecture class is headed to St. Andrew's for the afternoon. BOOM. Just love it.
So the beginning of November marks a point where academics take precedence. I might not be posting quite as much on the blog while I (attempt to) hunker down and do some real work, but I'll keep the updates coming as much as possible!
Photos are from yesterday afternoon as the sun began to set. The view is from my kitchen, overlooking New Town, the Firth of Forth and the hills of the Kingdom of Fife! One of my favorite times of day, even if it is coming a bit earlier these days... ;)