Introduction

Fly the coop, it’s winter break!

Fly the coop, it’s winter break!

When I was 10 years old I had two turkeys. I named them Fred and Ethel because I was mildly obsessed with “I Love Lucy” that year. That and they kind of looked like Fred and Ethel. I used to run to their pen after getting off the school bus and study geography sitting on top of their feeder. They would peck me to say hi. It hurt, but I understood that it was a friendly hello.

We ate Fred and Ethel at Christmas that year.

I was traumatized. But I knew it was coming. I grew up on a farm and the only animals that weren’t bound for a plate were my dog and cat. Since that fateful day, every time I see a freeze-packed turkey I can’t help but cringe. I am not opposed to eating turkey. I am just opposed to eating pets.

So as the holiday season approaches, along with the winter break, I once again must remember my beloved, tasty turkeys. I only mention this painful memory because for me December and turkey go hand in hand. Just as December and exams go hand in hand.

The excitement of an upcoming break is overshadowed by ever encroaching exams. As I see more turkeys in the stores I know that the break is fast approaching and soon exams will be done. But what happens once exams are over and I have nothing to read or memorize?

I have had my school brain on for the past four months and I am very nervous that getting back into the groove after break will prove problematic. I have been trying to think of ways I can exercise my study skills over the break.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
1. Write a critical summary of my holiday shopping plan
2. Buy all my texts for next term early and read them all on break…ya right.
3. Construct a diorama of Henry VIII’s Christmas court for extra credit in my mediaeval history course.
4. Write an essay on the roots of western holidays… just for practise.
5. Choose the most obscure research topic imaginable and then attempt to find articles about it on scholar’s portal (I’m thinking, “The hobbies of Genghis Khan’s son’s fifth wife’s sister” or perhaps “Literature of the Ancient Inca”).

I could just enjoy my break and let my brain go into hibernation for a few weeks. But I fear that the result will be a slow, lumbering emergence of thoughts in the New Year. Perhaps it will be enough to try to keep my schedule at the same pace as it is now. If I busy myself enough then I may be able to trick my brain into thinking it’s studying. I’ll let you know how it goes. Enjoy your break and do try to read at least one page a day of anything, do a crossword, or try to add something without using a calculator. It will help to keep your brain sharp and might make the transition back to school in the New Year a little less painful.

Enjoy your break!

-Lori

Photo courtesy of http://public-photo.net/birds/turkey-poultry-birds/attachment/turkey_poultry-birds_45074/ under creative commons licence.

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