I love the point in the semester when the light at the end of the tunnel becomes visible and you can see exactly what's remaining to be done and it looks humanly doable. At 59 minutes past midnight today, I finished all my readings and reflections for all my classes for the remainder of the semester. This means that my remaining work for the term is:

  1. Keep up on German homework that hasn't yet been assigned (this is easy and typically done before dinner the day it's assigned)
  2. Get comments on, and do a final revision of, my already-completely-translated German For Reading Knowledge project (I'm just waiting for the class sessions where we can bring our drafts in for workshopping, and expect my paper to give us all something to do the first few classes while the other students start their project.)
  3. Write my course design for "A Blogger Is You!" which won't be too hard since I'm already teaching the material to a classmate, and just need to write up what Nikitha's learning. Plus if it works, next year's incoming grad students will all be blogging, which I would love; there are so few engineering education researchers out there that we need to get our thinking and our work as available to people as possible if we want to maximize our impact.
  4. Write my Programmabilities paper. More accurately, the portion of it that counts as a class assignment is "write the portion of the paper discussing how the existing practices of open source communities afford cognitive apprenticeship."
  5. Revamp my webpage to include a research section. I can't believe Shannon is letting me do this as a final project. This is awesome.

Okay, so maybe "humanly doable" is still a bit of a stretch, considering I'm on the road or hosting a visitor every week between now and the end of the semester (except for one week, I think, which my parents have just asked me to visit during... I may have to say no, though I feel bad about that). And considering that I've got as much consulting work as I can handle, and that there are some side projects (learning German? steno? RSI prevention exercises and bodywork and stretches?) that consume... nonzero time, and then there's the load of keeping up a life: taxes, cooking, laundry, vacuuming. And friendships: calls, dinners, letters, emails, cards. And a long-distance relationship (more calls, letters, emails, cards, and hundreds of text messages a week), and...

Right. I'm making sure I take microbreaks, longer rests, and get a proper vacation lined up for summer term, then.

So, in order to relax a bit... some light fun reading.

  • This is brilliant, and someday if I teach a class on C programming, reading through this code and dissecting it should be an assignment: Inception programmed in C.
  • A three-part interview with the researcher and filmmaker behind the epidemiology documentary "They go to die." Talk about nontraditional (and far more powerful) dissertation formats. Inspirational.
  • Lang-8, which might be useful if I get into blogging in German on a regular basis.
  • Best webpage on learning objectives I've seen yet.
  • And finally, the hilarious comedy piece, five minute university (" The idea is that in five minutes you learn what the average college graduate remembers five years after he or she is out of school") which I'd like to write a longer bit up on sometime, in celebration of my 5-year college graduation mark (which is in a bit over 2 months, and... okay, now I feel old) and as a more serious discussion on what value (if any, though I think there are some important ones) a college education has.

But right now it's past 1am, so now is not the time; right now is the right time for me to go home and go sleep.