Friday, May 12, 2006

Living la vida loca

Phew. I'm still alive. A cause for minor celebration, I'd say. Something like allowing myself to go and watch a little bit of Bride and Prejudice or something. Basically just kick back and relax for a short while. I think I've deserved it.

This May seems to be turning into a month of all work and no play, with the prep course going on (we're already two thirds done with it, as far as the materials go), the first week of the month having been a week of triple work (my lessons at school, my mom's lessons at school while she was in Paris and the prep course in the evenings) and now all the essays & 7th grader exams are piling up on my desk, just waiting to be graded. I could use some five extra hours in my days right about now. I'd probably use three of them for sleeping, mind you. But it'd be all for the best anyway, I'm sure. As it is (without the five extra hours), I'm feeling pretty battered. (And hug-deprived, but that's another matter entirely, heh.)

The prep course, no matter how exhausting, is solid good fun. Highly motivating for me, and challenging, too. This year's group is a bit livelier than the one I had last year, possibly at least partly because there are several students that are a bit older than this year's graduates from high school. They seem to have the nerve to interrupt me and ask tough questions, which is such a good sign. Although they do tend to stick to the more irrelevant questions, like the names of people in lower positions in all sorts of committees during the 1840's in Finland - which is so not the point of the book. There is still some historical thinking to be learned there. I keep telling them to think about the questions "why?" and "how?" so that they'd get the required depth to their essays, but it seems to be a tough nut to break, finding the relevant "chains" of cause and effect. But it's great to see how they start getting better results.

What is going to be interesting is to wait for the results of the entrance exam itself. At this point I think there are several students who have a very good chance of getting in, some that have a good chance if they keep working hard and a few who really need to work on their essays. But that's the way it was last year, and most of them got in just fine. I'm just going to be probably almost as nervous as the students will be, waiting for the day when the results come.

Having said all this, I must admit, once again, that I'll be sooo relieved when I'm done with the course. Which'll be on the 30th. I'll be so ready to not have to teach anything for a while. I can just concentrate on my own stuff, according to my own schedules (hmm, I think I may have to spend some time soon just planning that schedule). I'm actually quite looking forward to it. I just hope I'll get my research well on its way soon, meaning that I hope I'll be able to get all the materials I need without too many problems. If that happens, I can just sit down and write, write, write. (And read, read, read.)

But until then, I'll just try to keep my head above the waves, so to say. There are things that need to be done before June 3rd, and there can be no excuses. However, now it's time for some silly Bollywoodish entertainment or something, tomorrow is the day for the next ton of work.

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