Sunday, March 15, 2009

Homework Hell

When I was accepted into the University of Washington as a transfer student from the second best Community College in the nation, the orientation they required all new students to attend made sure we knew that the degree program we were entering would require more reading and writing than we had previously been expected to do.  I am an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and as a bonus, I read pretty quickly.  Writing has always been something I've enjoyed and it isn't a huge struggle for me to put words to paper.  (You're completely shocked by this, I'm sure.)  So I naively assumed that I would be able to handle the additional reading and writing necessary to complete my degree of choice.

Oh foolish foolish me.

This quarter has knocked me on my ass.  I've read one textbook, one collection of historical American documents with explanatory essays by a noted historian, two non-fiction books about adolescents in American high schools and four 2 inch binders full of scholarly journal articles, essays and other various works of writing.  I've written so many words I can't begin count them and today I finished the second of two final research papers for this quarter.

The first paper was for my ED456 class, Adolescents in School and Society.  It's title is Adolescents with ADHD: Strategies for Schools to Improve Performance and Increase High School Graduation Rates.  It is ten pages long and has eleven peer-reviewed journal articles and books (all of which I had to read in addition to the regular class readings mentioned above) in it's bibliography.

The second paper was for my BIS338 class, Political Institutions and Processes.  It's title is Present Day Iran and the United States in the 1930's: Policy Making in Response to Economic Crisis.  It is fourteen pages long and has fifteen peer-reviewed journal articles and books (all of which I had to read in addition to the regular class readings mentioned above) in it's bibliography.

I'm exhausted.

I still have a final exam on Tuesday afternoon for my BIS330 class, Democratic Capitalism, but after the two final research papers, that exam is going to feel like a walk in the park.  When I am teaching I am going to remember that final research papers are much more work and require a much deeper understanding of the material than final exams and I will only assign final research papers to classes I hate and want to punish.

Husband and the offspring are highly relieved that I have (after Tuesdays exam) almost two weeks off to catch up and there is a LOT of catching up to do.  Husband has been doing almost 100% of the cooking and he (with a bit of help from the things and hardly any help from our exceptionally lazy daughter) has also been taking care of the lions share of the cleaning.  But my office looks like a bomb went off, I haven't turned in the tax forms to the accountant, the garden is desperate for some spring cleaning and every closet and drawer in the house needs to be emptied of junk and reorganized.  I also need to spend time with Grandmother who has slowed down a lot lately and misses our regular outings and games of cards in the afternoons.

My goal for next quarter is to figure out a more balanced way of getting my schoolwork done and still keeping up with my other responsibilities.  I know something has to give while I am in school but this quarter EVERYTHING else has given and it's making me very cranky.

We will have to wait until The Great Grade Race Winter 09 Edition to see whether or not all my hard work in school and slacking off in everything else has paid off.  Grades come out next week...


Kate said...

I wanted to tell you to Hang In There. Then thought I should tell the whole family - except lazy daughter.

I say to her "get the lard out your ass!" ha ha ha ha ha!

ChiTown Girl said...

Oo, girl, I remember those days all too well!! Except that there was no spouse to pick up the slack, and I was working two jobs in addition to graduate school. Even I don't know how the hell I did it!! But, it'll all be over soon, I promise. It's hard to believe that almost two years has passed since I graduated!

Hang tough, you're doing an awesome job. The closets will always need to be cleaned, as will the rest of the house. Thank Hubby in bed for all the "extra stuff" he's been doing (that way you BOTH win!). The only thing I would focus on is how to spend that precious time with your grandma. I'd give anything to be able to have lunch and play cards with mine again.

ms. changes pants while driving said...

i got to the foolish foolish you part with no problem. then ass. then words. and counting them. bibliography. exhausted. gah, numbers. research. relieved. and cranky.

can you warn me next time you're writing a post about the things you're reading and writing? and then add pictures to break it up a bit?? please?

you're a fecking genius. i'm sending my nephews to you. they'll be there next week.

OOOO. or, we could bring them with us for thanksgiving. they do dishes. and vaccuum. vacuum.