Friday, November 14, 2008

The Week From Hell

I have not posted since the presidential election, nearly two weeks ago, not because I haven't wanted to but because my schedule has been so hectic as to completely prohibit it.

On the night of Tuesday, November 4th, I jumped up and down screaming with Thomas in our kitchen as my mother and father attempted to sleep upstairs. The rest of the week was spent in a kind of oblivious high brought about by the election results and the knowledge that my countrymen are, in fact, intelligent enough to select a qualified and progressive leader.

Who would've thought, even four years ago, that a liberal black Democrat from the North would campaign on a platform of universal healthcare, tax increases, and multilaterialist foreign policy, and then win the presidency by carrying states like Indiana, Virginia, and North Carolina?

It's still incredible to think about.

The last seven days, unfortunately, have not been quite so celebratory as the seven that preceded them. By sheer, awful coincidence, I had four major deadlines for my four-day school week.

Monday night I spent feverishly studying for two exams, alternating between dense textbooks that, after some cursory efforts at thorough probing, I resolved were simply too thick to fully read and so skimmed.

I didn't have adequate time to prepare as well as I should for either test, but I did manage a brisk and informative overview of the two subjects.

On Tuesday, I took midterms for my Anthropology and World Music classes, which are literally fifteen minutes apart.

On Tuesday night I dove into my Judicial Process texts and wrote in a matter of several hours the paper topic I'd been given a month ago, making my argument in favor of the Supreme Court's DeShaney v. Winnebago County decision.

I'm actually a bit proud of this piece (though I don't know that my professor will reciprocate my optimism about it) and may post it here soon.

I e-mailed the paper in on Tuesday night to "stop the clock" on the late penalty, as I wasn't in class on Wednesday to turn in the required hard copy. My Judicial Process professor, Lawyer Woman, is firm but very understanding, and accepts e-mails en-lieu of the actual thing until we are able to give her a tangible version.

Were I to show up on Monday without the paper, then I'd start to lose points.

On Wednesday I drove from my home to Western County Community College and spent six hours gathering sources for the Foreign Policy paper that my professor, Annoying Asian Man, had said should be "between ten and fifteen pages in length."

After an exhaustive day retrieving statistics and quotes to use, I spend all of yesterday actually typing out my narrative of U.S.-Russia relations in the Bush/Putin era.

We had originally been told to turn in the assignment on November 16th, but when Annoying Asian Man realized that this was in fact a Sunday he thoughtfully moved the deadline up by three days to the previous Thursday instead of the following Tuesday.

"You just don't do that," Journalist Girl replied in shock when I told her of the dilemma. "You can move a paper back, but you never move it...up."

My professor had instructed us to turn late papers into the Government Department, with assurances that they'd be dated by the secretaries there. When I called that office, however, I was met with an irritated response.

"No," the woman on the other end of the phone said in clear annoyance. "We've told him numerous times that we do not do that. He's been informed of this before."

I'm beginning to detect a trend.

On the night of the 13th, the day that the paper was actually supposed to be in by, I e-mailed the paper to both the TA and the professor, explaining in an accompanying letter what had happened.

The reply I received read, "You know full well I do not open student's attachments [the grammatical error is not mine, but I felt that preserving it would reflect more accurately on the character of the man who originally made the mistake]."

Anyway, he takes five points off a day for late papers, a policy that, given his track record, presumably includes the weekends when submission is physically impossible.

I have a third, much shorter paper due Monday for Sociology on a book that I haven't and am not going to try to read.

So, that's been my week. I will post more within the coming days, including the first Journals Section in a very long time. February of 2003 here we come!

I really cannot wait for Thanksgiving Break. That reminds me: I still haven't officially added my Journalism minor or signed up for next semester's classes! Ah! I have to e-mail Western City Newspaper and remind them of my winter internship there, which I'll need to coordinate with working, visiting family, and having my wisdom teeth taken out (the surgery for which is tentatively scheduled for December 17th).

This is a fun time in my life.

On the other hand, I am euphoric (and in disbelief) that the two papers I've been distressed over for so long are finally done!

I will try to post more throughout the holidays. We're going up to Decaying State for Thanksgiving and will certainly visit both there and Native State for Christmas.

How will all of this fit in to my month-long Christmas holiday?

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