The end of the semester is always a hectic time. Students are frantically completing end of the semester projects and readying themselves for tests; faculty are preparing themselves for end of the semester grading and student questions about missing grades; and, staff are trying to tolerate increasingly stressed students and faculty.
The semesters always start optimistically for all concerned, but the initial optimism fades and is instead replaced with the reality of meeting the demands of the semester. The pace picks up, patience diminishes, and everyone wilts a bit until they get within sight of the finish line. Then it is a mad dash to finals week and graduation. Wash – rinse – repeat…it is the same cycle over and over again.
Still, I have never fully adjusted to it. I don’t know if I ever will. And yet, I forget about it after a few weeks off and go into the next semester with the same kind of amnesia that allows women to forget how delightful labor was. So, when I ran across the below infographic last week, I knew that I should save it and perhaps post it in my syllabi to remind students and myself of the phenomenon.
I do not know how factual this infographic is, but I dare say from my anecdotal observations that it has at least a grain of truth. It makes me wonder if I should weight my course toward the first two months of each semester to maximize retention and minimize stress. I think I will reflect upon that…it may just make crazy sense. In the moment though, it is back to the mayhem. Just a few more days until I collapse into a corner having uttered a satisfied, but exhausted, “I’m done.” Then just a couple weeks after that until the whole end of the semester things starts to fade from my mind. 😉
Day one thousand four hundred and six of the new forty – obla di obla da