A Distinct Lack of Steam

It is now two days until the end of term (humour me – let’s pretend Monday has finished already, and let’s not mention the three supervisions, two lectures and two essays I have after term has officially ended. Please).

Eight weeks of intensive studying, of lectures and essays and four-foot reading lists and choir practice and singing lessons and tutoring sessions and laundry and cooking and cleaning and all the myriad other things that appear out of nowhere and swallow up a day.

Today, I got up for my 9am lecture through a feat of superhuman strength, mostly because I didn’t want to miss the mid-lecture general knowledge quiz. I came back from the lecture and spent three hours reading contract cases, interspersed with forays to the kitchen for multi-stage lunch. Then I went down to the bar to attend a meeting about the current occupation of one of the main faculty lecture halls. Then into town to collect a newly-shortened ball gown and pay in a cheque, which took three quarters of an hour. Back to my room for a bit more perfunctory reading before printing some worksheets and cycling off to tutoring.

After a pleasant hour talking about Christmas foods, different religious traditions in winter, Advent vocabulary and magazine advertising, I cycled back to my room. Twenty minutes of warming up my icicle hands before back out again to a training session for an e-mentoring scheme I blithely signed up for when my weeks contained a full 168 hours. Back home again, with a leisurely en-route chat to a girl from college who I’ve known for ages and only just properly met. Dinner into the oven, two dozen emails dealt with, paperwork strewn around the room, dinner into the stomach, a short phone call with a friend, and I can’t find any motivation to work.

This was basically an average day. There is usually a bit more work, because there is usually a bit less time spent in the bank/at emergency political meetings, but there is never nothing other than work.

At the start of term it was nice to have a busy schedule. It broke my day up into manageable chunks of three-hour work sessions. It gave me an excuse to draw up a pathetically organised hour-by-hour day planner. It made my diary look full without actually being a problem. But somehow as term has progressed, those hours have got shorter. Or maybe fewer. Perhaps it’s the weather. Perhaps it’s the lack of light. Perhaps it’s a sleep debt to rival Greece’s fiscal worries.

Whatever it is, it’s sapping my enthusiasm. It’s making me long for the end of the week, when I don’t get any less busy but at least I don’t have to read any more case law for a few days. All I have to do is show up and get on a bus to whichever town we’re singing in that day. I don’t even have to know which town it is. For once, I’m looking forwards to not having to be organised.


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