To be or not to be…in summer school

Last week, I had two term tests and two papers due. This week I have one term test and one paper due. Next week exams start. I want and urgently need a break. My brain is at maximum capacity and I’m not sure how much longer it will be able to function at this level. Yesterday, as I was leaving Sid Smith, I put my extra furry Russian style hat on and then proceeded to spend five minutes searching in vain for my mittens. To my bewilderment, as I turned and caught my reflection in the window, I realized that my mittens were still inside my hat, rolled up in a ball, which gave the illusion that I was trying out a new fashion-forward look of wearing my bangs in a bun.

Need I say more? My working memory is so preoccupied with all of the bits of information I need to remember for exams that the little things, like keys, mittens, cell phones, and wallets are being pushed of the imaginary table and into the dustbin.

You might be wondering why I’m voicing these concerns to you. Of course we are all stressed and forgetful right now. My quandary is that I am currently in a heated battle of wits with myself over whether or not to attend summer school.

Summer school registration is coming soon, so there’s not a lot of time to decide, especially since the final summer calendar isn’t available yet. As I see it, if as predicted by my registrar’s office, the calendar becomes available on April 1st or 2nd, 2011, then I and the rest of those in my current dilemma will have only 9 or 10 days to decide if summer school is for us.

There are clear advantages to summer school. The class sizes are smaller, access to resources like the library and computer labs is easier with the fewer students on campus. Another selling point is that the campus is quite pleasant in the summer. We get so few days of sun throughout the school year, being on campus in the summer is a whole new experience. Add to these tempting factors is the fact that by picking up summer courses you are shortening the length of your degree. It seems like a win-win situation. Right?

Do the temptations of sunshine, small classes and shortened degrees adequately replace the rejuvenating benefits of a proper summer vacation? This is where my confusion lies. The answer must be in how much stress we can manage for extended periods. One of my major character flaws is that I often push myself past my natural threshold for stress. Will the two weeks between the end of exam period and the beginning of the summer term provide a long enough break?

There is a new option this year in the form of accelerated “intensive courses” which are only three weeks in length. These are most likely extremely stressful, because they are condensed. However, they are shorter and would still leave students with enough time to enjoy a proper summer vacation. So, maybe these new quick and painful band-aid courses might work better for some students in the long run.

The preliminary summer timetable is available online now. As mentioned earlier the final version is soon forthcoming. Class registration is April 5th, with mass registration times allotted according to your year (follow the link to view the chart.) For more information visit the Arts and Science Homepage.

I was hoping that the process of writing this post would cure my indecisiveness…I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Exams!

Lori…aka: undecided

One thought on “To be or not to be…in summer school

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