Well, nearly a month has gone by since the last post, and there's precisely one reason: midterms.

For those who aren't familiar I'm in a particularly brutal engineering program. The workload is heavy at the best of times, but when midterm exams are thrown on top of all that, it gets rather frantic. I've either got a self-discipline / focus problem or a simple inability to juggle more than a certain number of things. Perhaps both. Anyways, in the busy parts of the term, things start to slip. Here's an example of what might be on my plate at any given moment:

  • Laundry. This often gets left until I have to reuse one (or two) days' worth of socks.
  • Stageband. Two hours of jazz on Wednesdays, a good escape but cuts heavily into homework time.
  • Guitar. I haven't practiced in at least three weeks.
  • Cooking. Bob usually ends up doing this, or we alternate nights making something prepackaged. Since he refuses to "sink to the level of KD", we're on a steady diet of Hamburger / Chicken Helper.
  • Other eating. Breakfast is a rare occurrence and lunch is often cheese and crackers in my room at my computer.
  • Shopping. For the above.
  • Dishes. For the above. Our kitchen is in a truly horrid state at the moment, the sort of thing I was looking forward to not having to deal with this year. Suite cleaning suffers likewise.
  • Job Application Engineering summer positions go fast. I should have done much more this month than I have so far.
  • Exercising. I used to go do circuit training at Hart House with Brian, and run on Thursdays. I haven't run in over a month; I've been to the gym once in three weeks.
  • Time Commitments. ECC (improving/expanding, Iron Dragons admin, Eng Sci dinner dance, various engineering activities.
  • Various Chores. Renewing health card, picking up some proffered chairs from my cousin, pre-wisdom-tooth-removal consultation, putting up the remainder of my posters.

OK, well, that's the non-school stuff. For school itself:

  • Calc Always quizzes to study for. I'm weeks behind in homework. Prof. incomprehensible.
  • Chinese Philosophy I have a 6-8 page essay due Monday, which I haven't yet chosen a topic for.
  • Design I have to have measurable results by the week of my birthday, and I'm stuck in one of those can't-plan-without-parts, can't-get-parts-without-planning paradoxes.
  • Dig/Comp Systems Biweekly labs to prep for.
  • Physics Weekly problem sets that take hours (6, for this week) to complete.
  • Physics Lab Sessions two weeks apart merely give me enough time to forget about doing writeups.
  • Thermo Open Systems and Bernoulli were OK, but I'm still not conceptually solid on First- and Second Law problems, and definitely shaky on the math for Thermodynamics Properties of Materials.

Marks which I'm horribly ashamed of:

  • Design (Assignment 2) 0%
  • Calc (Quiz 1, 2) 25%, 0%
  • Thermo I 47%
  • Chinese Philosophy Paper I 60% (65% minus late penalty)
  • Physics 65.5%

Marks which I'm happy with:

  • Physics Lab (Experiment 1) 75%
  • Chinese Philosophy 86.5%
  • Physics (Problem Sets) All fairly high
  • Dig/Comp Systems 94% (47/50)
  • Design (Assignment 1) 96%
  • Dig/Comp Systems (Labs) 100% so far, mostly trivial.

Of the things I've yet to find out about, Calc Midterm and Quiz 3 will be terrible; Design Proposal and Thermo II will be OK; Design Assignment 3 should be pretty good.

And my worst problem? I waste time. I waste time, realize I'm wasting it, shake and kick myself, then go right back to wasting it. It's a huge problem. I:

  • Download Stuff. Music, Anime, etc. This isn't bad, but I spend hours compulsively organizing, categorizing, annotating and renaming.
  • Surf. Sometimes I read the news, but often I just browse randomly, reading stuff that has no real bearing on what I should be doing.
  • Chat. On Trillian or DC++. I've got lots of good friends that I keep up to date with, but I really should trim down. I semi-justify this wasted time by saying I don't want to alienate people.
  • Sleep. On "good" days I'll stay up 'till 3 or 4 doing homework. On bad days I'll be either go to bed at midnight or be up to 5, in either case sleeping in through the next morning's classes, necessitating copying of notes and putting me further behind. I've actually slept through the combined noises of my alarm, cellphone, watch alarm, watch timer, and roommate pounding on the door. Random daytime napping is also a problem.
  • Work on the wrong thing. In avoidance of a difficult task or tackling hard concepts, I'll often spend too much time perfecting something trivial and relatively unimportant (mark-wise).

The worst part about all this is I've perfected a ridiculous ability to swallow down mass amounts of shame at marks I know I could at least double (or best by 75% in the case of those zeroes), and similarly choke back that sinking-stomach type of panic at the amount of work my procrastination has forced into so short a period. If I could do away with these I'm pretty sure I'd be several times as stressed, but I'd actually get things done, which from my current perspective seems highly preferable.

Anyways Alice is over for the night, and it's already 0220, so I'm off to bed. Hopefully this catharsis/confession does me some good - tomorrow morning's target up-time is 7:45! Down with narcolepsy!

Now Playing: Hed Kandi - Winter Chill 3 - II - Lamb - Gabriel


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