Books, books, and… more books

It’s been a while since I updated, and while I would love to say it’s because I’ve been off on a great adventure, it’s been… much the same around these parts lately. Then again, college counts as an adventure, right?

The semester is winding down, and once again, I’m left wondering where the months went. I could’ve sworn I just got back from winter break last week. The 80F weather would say otherwise, though. As is customary to the end of the semester, the amount of work to do increases rapidly, yet the hours in the day stay much the same. Hysterical laughter is common in the apartment when looking at to-do lists and calendars.

I’ve spent much of the last few weeks working on a paper for one class, and at this point, it’s safe to say the paper has been kicking my ass through the various drafts. I’m not ready to give up just yet, though. I’ve still got another week or so to come out on top, and I intend to do just that.

Besides that, I’ve spent most of my time the way I usually do: with books. Reading them, buying them, wishing I had more shelf space in the apartment…

I suppose I’ll end here with a bit of a round up of my recently read, reread, and purchased books:

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, JK Rowling – Sure, I’ve read it (literally) about a hundred times. This time, though, it was for a paper. (The one that’s been winning all the matches.) Finally, a chance to combine academia and HP.

Passing, Nella Larsen – Read for my Literature of the Harlem Renaissance class. Very interesting and quick read. We had several very interesting discussions and debates about the book in class. Worth a read if you have a few hours to spare.

The Laramie Project , Moises Kaufman – Fantastic read. Assigned for my Feminist and Gender Theories class, but it’d been on my To Read list for a while. It’s a play, so it reads fast, but damn, it packs a punch. A lot of the time I was reading through teary eyes.

And, of course, I had to buy a few books recently. I went up to Brookline Booksmith last night and and wandered around the bottom floor’s used books. I came out with two for $4.50: Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and Michael Crichton’s Sphere. I’m looking forward to getting a chance to read them.

Before I can do that, however, I’ve got to read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson for class. I’ve heard a lot of things (not all good) about this book and the author, so I’m interested to see what it has to say.

Read anything interesting lately?

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A Well-Timed Message

As the semester moves closer to its end, all the things that I’ve got to do before that time have started to roll together. Every time I  look at my to-do list, it’s packed closer and closer together and I feel more and more stressed.

By the end of the week, I’ve got to have a (minimum) ten page draft of a paper combining literary analysis and feminist theory (that I’m still trying to unravel and understand) ready to submit and revise. Before the week is even over, though, I’ve got a film to watch and a long list of film-related terms to define and give examples of for one class, a presentation to give on Langston Hughes in another, and a research project to develop for a fourth.

On top of that, I have to do things like eat, do laundry, and, apparently, find the Sword of Gryffindor in order to slay the Basilisk that is trying to come out of the shower wall.

I'm convinced this leads to the Chamber of Secrets.

The tiles have started a rebellion. One of them slipped out and landed on my foot the other week, and last night four more were on the verge of jumping, so I took them down to avoid any more foot-related injuries. Of course, now I’ve got to go fill out a maintenance request, and in the meantime, find a plastic bag or something so we don’t damage the wall while shampooing. Ugh.

So, I’m feeling a bit stressed. As soon as I finish one thing, another comes up. As soon as I think I’ve fixed one problem, something else says, “Hey, fix me!”

It’s not all bad, though. After my roommate was gracious enough to let me back into the building this morning (I forgot not only my keys, but my entire wallet when I left for a meeting two hours earlier. Really off to a great start this week.), I was greeted by a little card. Thank you!

It was a completely unexpected, but entirely welcome, little message from my site manager at work. There was no reason for it that I can discern–it’s been business as usual at work, really. It was just a little note expressing her appreciation for the work I’ve been doing, but it put a smile on my face on a day where I was really feeling stressed out and panicked by all of the work that I’ve still got to do before the semester ends early next month.

Perhaps I should find some time to send a few notes and cards to friends that I know are going through the same stressful end-of-semester blues as I am. I’ve also got to remember to stop and take some time to relax, even if I don’t think I can afford the break. Do you have any simple and effective tips for relaxing during a crazy busy time?