Saturday, May 06, 2006

Dammit...it's spring!

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous this week. And it's pissing me off, because I feel trapped indoors, studying for exams! Today was the deadline for all written coursework to be submitted to the university...essays/papers. I finished off all my papers a couple of weeks ago and turned them into the department earlier this week. But there was an alarming number of students who had left things to the last minute. Most of my friends were working like dogs the past few days (and nights) to get theirs done to meet the 4pm deadline today. I just can't understand that. We've known about the May 5 coursework deadline since the start of the year! Some departments have their own fixed deadlines throughout the year, and if you miss those deadlines you lose 2% per day until you submit your work - but the university deadline was today, after which no work will be accepted for evaluation. The history department does not have fixed deadlines and basically all work had to be submitted by the university deadline (i.e. today). I turned in my first round of papers in December/January, and my second round this week. But the majority of students were cramming in their second round of work this week. I could never work like that - under a 72, 48, or even 24 hour truncated deadline. It's insane! I guess that's one of the advantages of taking time off between undergrad and postgrad - you get out of that undergrad "all-nighter" mind-set and budget your time more realistically. The only students I know who planned their time properly have been the "older" students.

And now exams are upon us, and it's so frustrating because, finally, after a long cold winter, spring has finally hit! The sun is out in all its shining glory, and all you feel like doing is sitting in the grass in a tanktop and soaking it in...but then you have to go back into the library after a half-hour study break on the lawn. But this is it...two more weeks. I have never looked forward to anything as much as I am looking forward to May 22. This spring feeling makes me feel happy and giddy. Knowing that in two more weeks I can thoroughly enjoy it is enough motivation to get me through it all.

Off topic, my university has a public art gallery in one of its buildings, and this month there is an exhibition of photographs of Kuwait by Kuwaiti photographers (none that have anything to do with my school). I went to check it out today. It was strange...being in my university, in the middle of my life in London, looking at photos of Kuwait. Artistically, they were OK...as a once-photographer myself (life has sucked all the time I could invest into that part of myself away), they didn't really blow me away. There were one or two that were quite good, but the majority were more or less snapshots with good lighting. Anyway, for me though, they were cool because they momentarily let me escape from my hectic life here and go back home. You had the usual stuff - the Kuwait Towers, dhows, old Kuwaiti houses, etc. But there were also a couple of "modern" Kuwait - which unfortunately were just pictures of shopping malls. But the one that I loved seeing, up there on the wall in my uni, was one of the marina at Souq Sharq, because it showed the yacht that I rented out last year for a surprise party for P's birthday. We cruised up and down the coast for six hours at night, and it was such an amazing time - and everyone who was there, many of whom might be reading this now, agreed that it was one of the best nights they'd ever had in Kuwait. So, for a momentary escape down memory lane, I zoomed into the photo and took a picture of the yacht with my Sony Ericsson so that I could post it for you all here.

(It's not the best quality, since I took it with my phone, but oh well...it did the trick!)


  • I remember that boat! Good times!

    By Blogger The Stallion, at 5/06/2006 8:31 am  

  • Good luck with exams!!

    I never connected "budgeting time in university" with "taking time off and learning how to organize yourself (after working)." That makes A LOT of sense! You do learn much in the working world.

    By Blogger Caffeinated, at 5/06/2006 10:56 am  

  • Stallion: I know it was so wierd seeing it on the wall of my university. It brought back so many incredible memories! Can you believe that was almost exactly one year ago? (May 20)

    Caff: I seriously think it changes the way you approach things, like deadlines. I used to work well under pressure as an undergrad, but I can't function that way anymore. Probably because of all the pressure we were under where I worked (which you know!). Deadlines were deadlines - it didn't matter if we had one million things to get done, we HAD to get it done or we'd all be screwed. You get used to it I guess.

    By Blogger Kleio, at 5/06/2006 2:58 pm  

  • I guess you get used to larger consequences at work: If at university (undergrad), you don't show up to class with your work done, it might be a letter grade...but at work, if you show up and don't do any work...It could cost you your job!

    I guess once you are used to such large consequences, it becomes ingrained...that, and the ability to budget time becomes easier through more experience.

    I don't think I'll be able to pull many all-nighters now...I get so sleepy around 10 PM...

    By Blogger Caffeinated, at 5/06/2006 10:04 pm  

  • It IS weird... I just realized that instinctually I now know when I have to start things to get them done and I don't cram. I think my job also play a huge part - if you are not completely well prepared, having 20 six-year-olds with nothing planned and organized for them is pure chaos!!! It is just NOT an option. Plus, when you are in charge of their learning in all areas - reading, writing, math, science, and social studies - not to mention all the other stuff in between - you have to be an ace planner!

    Anyone we know's work exhibited at the photo show? Interesting... Wonder why and how they planned that...

    By Blogger Raine, at 5/06/2006 10:43 pm  

  • Caff: "but at work, if you show up and don't do any work...It could cost you your job!" unless you work in the Kuwaiti government sector...LOL! But yeah, I can't do all nighters anymore. They hurt my brain.

    Raine: Remember those nights in DC when sometimes we'd both have something to do and we'd be spread out in the living room all night, and take study breaks? Fun! But yeah, you can't procrastinate when you've got 20 children in your charge!

    About the photos, no there was no-one I had ever heard of before. Again, they weren't spectacular photos artistically - they were your typical "scenes of Kuwait" type shots. And I have no idea why they organized this in my uni's art gallery - it's up for a month too!

    By Blogger Kleio, at 5/07/2006 4:24 pm  

  • Would be nice to go back to those days! :oP

    By Blogger The Stallion, at 5/09/2006 8:38 am  

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