You know, that time of year when most students are forced to learn how to bend time and somehow exist in three places at once? Somehow, at least most students, learn to manage, with or without Sparknotes! And some serious skills are developed as a result. Multitasking, for one, becomes a tool that functions in the same magical way as the Time-Turner does for Hermoine Granger in Harry Potter and the Prisoner or Azkaban (my favourite Potter book). However, as the Harry Potter Wiki states, time turning can have its consequences:
It is unknown what the effect of excessive Time-Turner use might produce. The user might still age while within an hour produced by the Time-Turner, and if so, then for wizards or witches such as Hermione, constant use might age them faster, adding days, weeks, or even months onto their internal chronological clock.
So, to stick with my metaphor, multitasking gives hell to your internal chronological clock – aging you superficially by days, weeks, or months.
Apologies to all people born in November (including you, mom!), but I have to digress:
In November, most students have hit a breaking point. The weather is getting numb-your-mind cold. Flu season is arriving, kicking immune systems and taking names as early as possible. Holiday season is arriving and bank accounts are getting lower. Everyone is eagerly dreading the first snowfall, the one that leaves the roads a deadly mess. Everyone’s noses are constantly running, making us all look like toddlers as soon as we step into a heated building from the cold.
Henry David Thoreau, the famed nature writer and lonestar, said, “November is the winter of man’s discontent.” The guy knew what he was talking about, considering he lived in the Massachusetts wilderness for five years (in a cabin, with no light or controlled heating system!). November is, for all of us, especially us wimps with heating systems, a bad month. Make that ten times worse and you get the life of a full-time grad student, who jumps between assignments, exams, and teaching. What about food cravings? Students have to deal with the gnawing food cravings that come with being overworked. Restaurants make it worse, so much worse, with their delicious winter menus (which are premiered months before actual winter). Chocolate lava cake with warm custard – who can resist! Even if you are oh-so-broke, the lava cake takes priority, since it beats the blues, warming up the cold Hades that your world has become. (Editor’s Note: The writer is eating lava cake right now, if you were wondering about the randomness of the previous comment)
I’m not going to leave you in the doldrums. Being the eternal Jove that I am, I have a couple of solutions up my doubled-layered sleeves. Here are some interesting ideas to help students and university staff survive the November crush/crunch/chills:
! Therapy puppies. And I do not suggest this jokingly. This is from someone who has never had a pet (but desperately wants one). Someone mentioned to me therapy kittens, but, despite all their cuteness, kittens got one hellava scratch, just sayin’. Therapy puppies play, cuddle, snuggle, and act excruciating cute, warming even the most frozen of hearts and the grumpiest of demeanors. I say bring ’em in regularly to Trent and bring lots of ’em.
! Social spots specifically targeted denying the existence of the time of year. I say, let’s renovate the gymnasiums into indoor beaches, complete with a temperature above 25 degrees C, sound effects that mimic the lush waves off the coast of the Barbados, and an open bar (serving, of course, a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks). Students and staff alike can take a break from their hefty schedules and sit on the beach, and take in the warm chill. Awesome sauce.
! Frequent celebrations. This is Trent. We have such an awesome variety of people here. Let’s join forces and celebrate one another and learn something while we are doing it. My DNA hails from Ireland, the land of the wee, jolly, potato-eaters and I hate the fact that St. Paddy’s Day is in March only once a year. I’d be more than willing to organize a St. Paddy’s or other type of celebration every weekend, for any and everyone at the school. For feck’s sake, I’d even build a social spot the size of the gymnasiums combined for this (the after party clean-up is a different ordeal, but we’d figure something out). Anyways, frequent celebrations with any theme. Keep it respectful. Keep it fun. Shake off the doldrums.
There. Some suggestions. If you got anymore, please leave them in the comments below.
Also, I just want to put a random kitten gif here, mainly because I have no where else to put it: