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Deep Breath, Part II

The post title refers to two things. One – the original post from last semester. It also is a reference to the opening episode of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor in Doctor Who. The episode is notable for many things but the one I love is the gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex stomping through Old London. I regret that no such banner moment exists within this entry but I will endeavor to give you something close to a T-Rex. A Stegosaurus mayhaps? Or (and at a considerable discount) a Baby Godzilla from the Matthew Broderick film of the same name? Contemplate on this as I ruminate on my first two days at school.

Another reason that I titled this “Deep Breath” is because that is exactly what I’ve been doing all day. No, I’m not having a panic attack. I’m having an attack of the syllabus. You know how this goes. First day of class is spent pouring over details of the semester, the assignments, the tests, the papers and the final exams. I’ll admit this freely – I had forgotten what that feeling of having the entire world drop out from underneath you as the realization that you will have do all this work (and more) over the next five months. Well – that feeling is back today and with a Bruce Willis fueled Vengeance.

We had a month and change break from school. Reading comments on Facebook on the page of my school helped staunch my metaphorical bleeding of confidence. There were others who were bemoaning the long break and how much it was going to hurt finding that tricky groove again. I’m not alone. And that helps. So do the deep breaths, in case you’re keeping score.

So I have gingerly eased my status from Defcon 3 to a steady Defcon 4. I’ll be using this going forward as a measure of how I’m doing. I’ll define it for you here.

Defcon 5 – Things are good. Homework is being done. Readings are being completed. Long term assignments are being prepared. Plenty of time available for study and work. Emotions are holding steady. Social engagement is minimal but is happening on occasions. Stress is present but it’s the standard stress that goes along with school.

Defcon 4 – Things are ok. Homework is being done but it’s slow. Readings are being completed the day of or on the train. Long term assignments are moved to a back burner. There’s time between study and work but it’s a bit wobbly. Emotions aren’t strained but they’re a bit frayed. Social engagement is a happy thing when it happens. It’s become rare. Stress is very present and starting to climb some charts.

Defcon 3 – Things are not ok. Homework is being done the day of or just right before class. Readings are falling apart. Long term assignments? What are those? Time is now very tight. Study and Work are heading for a street fight. And not a Anchorman streetfight. We’re talking Bruce Lee level, people. Emotions aren’t having a good time. Social Engagement is wanted and prayed for but hasn’t happened in a long while. Stress is starting to affect things.

Defcon 2 – We’re in a spot of trouble. Homework? Barely getting done. Readings? HA! And don’t make me laugh at Long Term Assignments. Time now resembles a Doctor Who Episode – and not a very good one. Study and Work are bloodied and beaten but still breathing. Emotions are in triage. Social Engagement resembles a prison yard. Stress isn’t playing well with others and was last seen sharpening some objects.

Defcon 1 – It’s almost over. Homework is on fire, readings are falling from the sky as fallout from a nuclear bomb. Long Term Assignments have been shipped to the country in hopes they’ll survive to see another day. Time is very very very relative. Study and Work are buried in a nice little plot in the yard. Emotions are on life support. Social Engagement is now a Zombie Apocalypse. And Stress – words couldn’t do it justice.

Most of this is sarcastic – but it’ll help me get through the days being able to identify where I’m at over the next five months. And it’ll help you, dear reader, understand more about what life is like for a 32 year old student going through general education requirements. And yes, that sentence is probably the most boring compilation of words I’ve ever assembled. And on that bombshell, I’ll sign off for today and give a hearty wave. See you next time!

PS – if you’re still reading, comment with what your choice of consolation prize was – and if my options didn’t fit your fancy – feel free to articulate your own. Get creative. Have fun. And I will grade you. I’ve got to prepare for my years of high school English grading somehow.

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