Changing Perspectives

Clearly perspectives on life will change over any time of substantial enough length. This is especially true for any kid going to college for the first time, even more for one from Alaska in Washington DC. Many of my perspectives on a large number of things have changed over this critical span of my first semester at Georgetown, albeit most of them very subtly and gradually. In fact, there seem to be so many I can't begin to recount them (although that may have more to do with subtlety and gradualness than number).

There are, however, two changes in perspective that have come up just recently for me. They may be mundane, but hopefully relatively interesting.

The first is much more briefly explained. Do you ever visualize the days of the week? I think I am a particularly visual person, and for the longest time in my life I have always seen Sunday as being smaller than Saturday (or shorter, if you see a week-long calendar in your mind and each day has a column). The biggest source of this is clearly my regular church attendance - not that going wasn't worth my time, but that it clearly made the part of my Sunday I could use how I wished start at noon or later. Saturday, by contrast, was almost always entirely free of regularly-occurring events throughout my life (and certainly not for such a long period of time) and thus seemed to inherently contain more time available to me.

In college I have gone to church only once. I've felt like going more than a few times, but my sleep patterns have conspired entirely against the practice. On Saturdays, however, it's likely that I tend to sleep in even more, given the day's place directly after the end of the school week. Effectively, Saturday and Sunday have become equalized for me, and Sunday may even be becoming the more prominent day. This weekend that has certainly been the case; today is perhaps the most efficiently-used Sunday I've spent in my life following a near-worthless Saturday. Hopefully though I will do better in making both days constructive, and making both days "big" in my week.

This being finals week, I am now two days away from the first of four final exams that separate me from completing the semester and getting home. Of these, my economics exam worries me the least. Microeconomics is the only class I've gotten straight A's in this year, and I feel confident the final will be little different than the two mid-term exams I've done well with. French is similar, as I've taken three quizzes for it before this and I know what I'm up against. I know how to study and prepare for both French and Econ, and that makes me unafraid to face them. The other two finals I have - HAC and IR (please search previous posts aimlessly if you don't know the abbreviations) - are entirely different.

In high school, I loved writing essays. Well, that is, I loved writing them after I learned how. In sophomore year I didn't know how the thesis worked, and I can still remember being asked to read one I had prepared for European History and rambling off a paragraph of writing, much to my subsequent shame. Soon I learned how to do things right though, and by junior year World History essays were a pleasure, as well as the occasional one for Language and Composition. The best essays to write were always the ones for my AP exams though - and not the practice ones in class either. Two hours writing three essays for some wonderful 5 I'd get in the summer was by my senior year a wonderful time endowed with tradition, excitement, sore fingers and adrenaline.

Now, however, essays are the worst. Both HAC and IR will have entirely written finals - in other words, subjective ones. I will of course be writing my French and Econ finals, but at least they have an easily defined system of adding or subtracting points based on criteria covered or mistakes made. Tomorrow I will ask my IR TA for specifics regarding what he wants from an essay, and the day after I'll ask the same from my HAC professor. Hopefully they can help me develop an understanding of what getting an A on an in-test college essay entails. In high school I had it down to an art, but now I think there may be some things to relearn.


  1. Do well on your finals! We are proud of you and love you very much. Mum


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