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January 25, 2014

Here Are Some Things I’m Doing



Maybe because I’ve done posts like this before, it hasn’t really occurred to me this year to write about the things I do basically every day, because those things seem, well, a little boring to you.  Especially if you’re a high school senior trying to work out what you want to do with college next year.  But I thought about it a little more, and I think maybe it will be useful.  I remember when I was thinking about colleges, I really had not much of an idea about what college would actually be like on a day-to-day basis.  When would I wake up?  When would I go to sleep?  What would I care about and / or do during the day?  Earlier this week, Jeremy took a crack at what Clark is about on a macro level.  That’s the big stuff.  This is the little stuff I do every week, and might give you a bit more of a sense of just how different college is from high school.

Mondays: Mondays are pretty light.  I start out at 10 with my thrice-weekly French 102 class, which is in a really nice classroom (seriously!) in the BioPhysics building, one of the oldest on campus and right across Maywood Street from my residence hall, Blackstone.  I have a nice long break, which I usually spend in the Academic Commons, before heading back across campus to Admissions to do what we call ‘B-Team’.  Basically, it means giving tours.  This is a nice part of my day because I get to meet folks like you – which I love – and because it gets me walking around campus.  I’m not what you would call a gym person, so I use the B-Team as an excuse every week.  At this point, I have a few hours before my Econometrics lab, at 6, and am faced with a dilemma.  Do I go home and cook for dinner later, meaning that in all probability I’ll laze around for a bit instead of working, or do I go to the library with the knowledge that I probably won’t have finished cooking until around 7:30 at the earliest and will be hungry?  The struggle, my friends, is very real.  Mondays I usually spend in, because as a Resident Advisor in Blackstone, I have to be on duty once a week (and one weekend a month), and Mondays are my night.

Tuesdays: Tuesdays are one of my three busy days – Wednesdays and Thursdays being the others.  I start bright and early – at least for college – with ‘A-Team’, which is a student panel at Admissions.  I follow that directly with a phone shift at Admissions from 11 – 1, by the end of which I’m very ready to (1) eat something – I don’t often get breakfast on these days, and (2) go back to sleep.  Unfortunately, I have to run back to my apartment, quickly fry an egg, and then head back across campus to Econometrics lecture, followed directly by my Honors thesis colloquium.  After colloquium, I usually head to the library to catch up on the work that by this point is piling up, and then take the short walk to Estabrook for French discussion.  Then it’s usually home to cook dinner and back to the library for work.

Wednesday: Tuesdays roll right into Wednesdays, starting with the omnipresent French, continuing into another phone shift – honestly, please call on Wednesday afternoons – and then a break for lunch followed by three hours of forced work on my thesis.  Last semester, I wasn’t very good at setting aside time to specifically work on my thesis, so this semester I’m trying pretty hard to do so.  At some point before all of this, I have to distribute the CUSC (Clark Undergraduate Student Council) agenda to the rest of Council, and prep for any issues that I expect will come up at Executive Board – at 5 pm – or the general Council meeting at 9:15 pm.  I often try to relax for a little bit between E-Board and Council, but so far this semester I’ve needed to finish up various projects for my thesis instead.  After Council, on the other hand, I’m usually so wiped that I pretty much just fall into bed.

Thursday: I really like my Thursday schedule this semester.  I usually start it with three hours of thesis work at Acoustic Java, a local coffee shop, which I’ve always loved.  Every other week I have an RLH staff meeting at noon – that’s not on my schedule, above – followed by one hour of a Visitor Assistant (read: receptionist) shift at Admissions.  After a quick break, which I usually use to eat, I head off to my favorite class of this young semester, “Civil Wars in Comparative Perspective”.  This is a three hour class taught by one of my favorite professors (I previously took a class with her during my sophomore year) and has a grand total of seven students.  Yeah, you read that right, seven.  I know Kevin with his directed study business is used to classes like that, but I love the small size.  My classes have probably averaged about twenty-five during my four years (including the huge intro classes), and that’s not bad, but I love the small class size.  Thursday evenings are generally pretty relaxed.  I try to get a little bit of work done in the evening, but often end up patronizing Trivia night at some of Worcester’s local establishments.

Friday / Weekends: Fridays are easy.  French to start, followed by a big break before Econometrics and an easy one-hour shift at Admissions.  Then it’s relaxation.  I try very, very hard not to do any schoolwork (or any work at all, really) on Friday afternoons, and usually I’m pretty successful.  If I don’t take some time for myself, it doesn’t really work out all that well for my general sanity.  Weekends, as you can see, are free of regularly scheduled events but have a whole host of smaller (and bigger – thesis) tasks that I do every single weekend.

As you might have gathered at this point, things can get pretty busy.  Besides all of the things I’ve mentioned above, which happen every week, there are the things that come up randomly but consistently throughout the week (mostly meetings with administrators, additional work meetings, group projects, lunches with friends, coffee breaks, etc.) But that’s not to suggest that I’m any busier than the average Clarkie.  Everyone here is passionate about what they do — I guess that’s what Jeremy said earlier, as well — and that means they want to do a lot of it, as often as possible.  That’s a nice difference from high school, I suppose, and something I’ve appreciated.

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