My word for today is ‘relinquish.’ Exams, homework, everything is done, and yet I can’t shake the feeling that surely there must be something I ought to be doing. No, you say, truly it’s okay for me to sleep in and read and watch a movie and relax all day? Logically I know this is true, but I haven’t been free of homework and studying obligations since the first day of classes, and it’s hard to let go.

Today I also relinquished my computer, handing it over to our friendly OIT staff so they can replace the cd drive. I still have the ability to check my email etc on my ipod and the school computers, but separating myself from constant internet connection, resources, and distractions was actually a big deal. I think it will be good for me to be fairly disconnected for a while. In the meantime I have my guitar, sewing projects, and friends to keep my excellent company.


The world today seems just a little over-competitive. Perhaps this is just my mindset from an exam that will be curved in one way or another, knowing that no matter how much I like my classmates and want them all to do well, I am still competing with them, even if it’s indirectly. That feeling is new to me and I don’t like it very much. Fortunately, for me Integrated Science has been and will continue to be much more about cooperation, encouragement, and collaboration rather than competition.

Walking back from the exam room, my cheery ‘the semester is done and I’m not going to think about anything serious for the rest of the day’ mood was shaken when I saw two birds plummet out of a gutter-top nest. One of them was mostly still and the other was attacking it with claws and beak; a girl walking by squealed “it’s killing that bird” and ran away quickly. The situation did look rather gruesome and I was about to turn away as well when I noticed that the tone of the battle had changed, and now both birds were going at each other full force. It became quite a wrestling match as they flew at each other and pushed and scratched.

After a bit they pulled apart and made cooing, cheeping noises not at each other but towards the nest they had come out of. I could only assume that there was a female in there they were both trying to impress. After a few more bouts of wrestling (each one looking like it would end bloodily) they raced up to the nest, only to push each other back out and start all over again. I hope the female could tell them apart because despite their epic battles I certainly couldn’t.

So there you have it: today is defined by competition in both the natural and academic worlds.


The world today seems very close, as the integrated science exam looms in the very near future. This is the final which will count towards half of our grades this semester. The final for which we have studied for days, don’t know what else we could possibly study, and yet still feel drastically unprepared.

Today is also close on  campus, as at every meal and walking to my dorm I have run into various friends, even those who live across campus and I rarely see. Everyone is working towards their final exam, and we all share the feelings of anxiousness and excitement for it all to be done.

Close as memories of high school classes collided with my current courses when both an XKCD comic strip and the PCR song came up during studying.

Close as I can see the end of the weeks of homework and studying and exams finally almost here.

In case you haven’t seen it, the PCR song:

The world seems crackly today

The world seems crackly today. Snow last night and rain this morning means there’s slushy ice on all the sidewalks, a bubbly coating that either stays firm or crunches and caves under your feet. Even crashing through the ice, footprints don’t stay long as rain blurs their lines. The tree branches are encased in ice but it’s beginning to wash away, and sections of ice and snow on the roof are crumbling and smashing down.

I’m studying for final exams now, and while it is going okay, there’s a lot left to cover in the next two days, and my calm concentration feels like the crust on the sidewalks—currently holding, but who knows which step will splash down into stress and panic.

Yet even the potential panic is just a thin layer, and under it is the knowledge that my final, no matter how it goes, will be over soon, and soon I will be done with the semester. I’m really looking forward to relaxing, spending time with friends and taking time for myself.

So each slab of crackly ice that shatters off the roof and makes me jump when it hits the courtyard is one more minute ticking by, breaking away from this semester and beginning to free the relief and promise of a fresh start underneath.