Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Sunday Thirsty from Olson in Oklahoma City. How Does One Find the Strength to Push Through to the End?

I know the Sunday Thirstys are reserved for "spiritual matters." So...

Q: How do you keep your sanity and your energy to push through to the end of an otherwise brutal and dismal semester? Thanksgiving ruined me. I sat in a stupor for 4 days, half forgetting the semester still had its last kick. I feel hopeless and spent. What tricks can I use to make these last days actually worthwhile. I don't want to just gasp to the finish line, I want to use the time left to add some value to my classes.


  1. a) fake it 'til you make it--pretend to be happy. b) if you genuinely want to add value, then you'll need to live/teach day as an individual moment, kinda like the philosophy behind mindfulness. Teach in the present. It's normal to be mentally exhausted by this time of year. In the past I'd get through by using the countdown (you can push through...only two weeks of suckiness!). Now I just do what I can do in a day and move on without beating myself up mentally. That's entirely unproductive to everyone.

  2. Replies
    1. I don't know if it's spiritual, but it is a spirit.

  3. I realize the spirit of this question; it's a connection back to why we do this: we love it and want our students to prosper. But it's so hard, especially at this time of year when the students check out and we are exhausted. Finding that inner push is difficult. I do feel for the poster on this. I get it. Is it throwing pearls before swine? Will your superiors care how much you care at this point? Is it about self-preservation? Is there a right answer to these questions? What do you really want out these last few days? Do it.

  4. I use this last week to make connections between all the material of the course. I have the students try to understand how the various topics are interrelated or why they oppose each other. I also am able to convince them, that there was a reason why we did the boring tedious stuff at the beginning, so that we could get to this point. This also helps on my evaluations. Otherwise, I get, "We did boring and tedious stuff at the beginning."

  5. Stoic by day, Epicurean by night, Christian on the outside, Existentialist within.

  6. Just submit and take a last gasp at the finish line. There is no victory, moral, existemtial, or otherwise to be won.

  7. This time of year, one thing that keeps me going is the prospect of:



    I will not cease from Mental Fight,
    Nor shall my Cs, Ds, and Fs sleep in my hand.

    Particularly not when they're SO well deserved!

  8. Oh my god, I am so there with you. I have basically written off this semester. I'm simply resigned to get through it, put it behind me, and forget it forever.

    I have no answers; however, I do have wine.


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