And so it continues, the inexorable march toward the end of my ill-advised forray into graduate studies. Today, I handed in forty-one final exams–all of them marked, double-checked and meticulously catalogued–to my boss over at Ryerson. While my marking job wasn’t technically part of my program, this last set of exams still represented a major hurdle standing between me and mental sanity–especially since it came hard on the heels of three brutal end-of-term assignments. I won’t be winning any People’s Choice Awards for “Most Popular Marker” when the students get their results back…I mean, I must have destroyed at least three people’s academic careers today (and it’s not like I had a choice–a lot of the work was of elementary school quality–but still). However, at this point I just don’t care: the work is done, and for the first time since September I’ve got no deadlines ahead of me. None. Oh sure, I’ve got a thesis due at somepoint this summer, but I’m not going to worry about it for the time being. Instead, I’m going to watch sports, rent movies, do a spring cleaning, get my haircut, look for work…basically, the sorts of things I’ve been incapable of doing since about mid-March. In the words of Queen’s Orientation: “I feel so good, oh I feel so good, oh!”
On a related note, don’t you just love it when you finish a major assignment and then hit the wall–hard? It’s a physiological response as inevitable as post-assignment guilt; given practice, you can usually pinpoint the exact second when it kicks in and starts whispering in your ear, “Get ye to bed Stephen…now!” Today, it happened as I was exiting the revolving doors that lead into College Park: no sooner had I gotten inside then I felt suddenly exhausted and was in desperate need of a bed…or at least a place to sit. Even now, watching Liverpool and Chelsea’s tense European Cup semi-final, I’m so utterly exhausted I can barely focus on the screen. I’m going to languish in this state for the next couple days, let my brain adjust to normalcy, try and sleep off my recent illness–and also revel in the knowledge that one step closer to a permanent vacation from academia.