Burlap Sack: Scrap fall reading week

Hour 1 of 259 of my reading week started at 2:00pm on Thursday. It’s about time, I feel old as shit and I want to go home.

But, remembering what it was like without fall reading week a couple years ago, this year isn’t as good. Every reading week I get books from the library and I bring home all my work, but I just end up watching porn and playing this online baseball game.

The fact is, courses are often scheduled to get midterms, assignments and/or papers out of the way before the break, or midterms, assignments and/or papers are waiting right after the break ends. This means there’s probably more work to do around the time of fall reading week than a regular week, along with a strong temptation to not do any of it. If you’re in more than three classes and your stars don’t align, the workload you do could be some crazy combination: two midterms in the days before the break, a novel during the break, and two midterms and a paper when you get back. Or one midterm before the break, two papers due the two days back, and two midterms each of those days. The mental health argument makes sense, but in practice, the workload might be most burdensome to those fall reading week is trying to help.

Making fall reading week means organizing the schedule so that classes start earlier and/or end later than in previous years. Finals season is without a doubt the most stressful time of year, and this year class doesn’t end until December 7th. That’s three days into the second week of December with everyone wishing they could get on with their lives. That also means getting started on finals is later, and possibly writing finals is later. Every 2/7 years the finals schedule would be like it was previous to 2015/2016, but every 5/7 years guarantee pushing finals back at least one day, at most three days. It doesn’t matter how much time you’ve had to study, writing late finals is disgusting.

All things considered, it’s better to take a long weekend this week, grind for a few days, then finish class and exams earlier in December. February reading week makes sense because students have been at it for so long and things get weird without it, but with fall reading week we’re only two months in. It’s better to have a more consistent workload halfway through the semester and finish earlier.

Anyway it doesn’t matter what I think because I’m graduating soon.

One Comment

  1. I would disagree. I always find that I need the break in October. I’m usually really stressed, all my midterms have just ended and I need to start working on my final assignments. I always feel behind around this time of the year. I never felt as though I needed the break in February as much as I need this week. It has always felt a bit too early for me. Regardless I too am graduating soon, so it doesn’t really matter.

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