Posted by: thediygeochemist | December 20, 2010

winter break(?)

I managed to (sort of) study for finals and finish off my last research paper by Friday afternoon. The finals I think I did okay on. The paper…well.

Personally, I would give the paper a ‘C’ (too short, didn’t flesh out as many details as I should have) which would give me a B in the class. But this prof is known to be an easy grader, so he might give me a B on the paper, for an A- or B+ in the class.

In any case, I am done with classes for the semester! So on to winter break…

I’m curious who, if any, in academia actually gets a winter “break.” I’m at a family reunion right now and in our small sample (n=3) the answer is no one. Courtney has heaps of law exams to grade. Chrissy not only has final exams, but a bunch of papers to review/edit. (She’s a victim of her own success: everyone in her field wants her to review her paper, plus she now edits a journal. Even turning down many requests she always has too much reading.)

As for me…I have been neglecting to finish the lab procedures documentation for far too long, and now Dr. Hand-Waver is pressuring me to get it done. Plus I have my departmental seminar, take two, coming up in the spring, and I know that if I wait until the last few weeks to put it together I will do a lousy job. So I want to get it mostly finished over break. That’s my plan for this week.

Next week I’ll be back in lab with a long list of nit-picky maintenance items that I never managed to get to during the course of the semester. The third and final week of winter “break” will be spent on a “lab binge,” as Dr. Hand-Waver will be back from the Big Name East Coast School where she’s doing her sabbatical.

The last week is also when the initial status conference for my divorce is scheduled. So in addition to spending as much time in lab is possible, I have to fill out reams of paperwork and meet with my lawyer. And the mediator. And the counselor.

Nice break, huh?



  1. My university shuts down completely between christmas and New Year. Anybody who wants to work either at the office or in the lab needs to obtain an explicit permission.
    As we have an evaluation at the beginning of January, the first weeks back will be quite busy.
    I hope to get a bit of work done on a presentation and a poster…

  2. No one I know gets a break. I’m done classes, but I am far behind on my own research. My advisor is doing ten thousand things, of course, and the other grad students are also working on their research. It NEVER ENDS.

  3. No breaks for me. I’ll take Xmas off but the rest i’ll be doing research. Saves me a whole semester if I work through Xmas every year.

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