Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The struggles of 20.109 coinciding with everything

After the struggles of completing Module 1 with barely a second to spare, I promised myself that Module 2 would be different. I had experience with cell culture and western blots, and I felt like I had a decent grasp of what this lab was about. The homework assignments were supposed to pace us with completing this module on time, and as much as I hated writing methods sections, I appreciated the homework that forced us to complete at least some of the report ahead of time.

But then, let’s fast forward to the week of Module 2 being due. If you read Katherine’s blog post, you’ll see that we had quite a plan to complete the report way ahead of time. Despite our 20.310 exam on Thursday night, we had weaved an intricate schedule to accommodate all of our work for the week.

Soon enough, the schedule fell apart (as always). Data analysis never got done, due to the 20.310 exam, and so our plans to “outline our discussion section” got pushed back as well. The introduction section went through rounds and rounds of rewrites, and by the time Friday rolled around, I still had no hypothesis. I was scrambling to finish a few psets, and by the time that was all done, I was looking at a blank screen with no progress.

Sadly, I had to skip out on all of my friends’ CPW events on Friday to work on the report, and then on Saturday, I was involved with a lot of my clubs’ CPW events. By Sunday, I was so burnt out from CPW that I had almost no motivation to continue my report other than the looming deadline that just had to be Marathon Monday.

Yes, Marathon Monday. My volunteer shift went from 5:30am to 9:30am, and I was freezing at my bus loading volunteer station. It was so bewildering to see these amazing athletes lining up to get on a bus to the start line, and I talked to a few of them about their running experiences. One said, “I’m actually running another marathon in 12 days, so this is just my long run.” I forgot about 20.109 for a while, and it was refreshing.

Once I got back and took the longest warm shower possible, I locked myself in my room and got to work. The only reason that I wasn’t devastated to miss the entirety of Marathon Monday was because it was so cold and wet. (Good thing the weather wasn’t any nicer, or else this blog post would be a much much much more bitter).

Of course, I hope that for next year’s students, this report is not due on a day like Marathon Monday. But to be perfectly honest, if this report were due on the original due date (April 24), I still would not have been able to complete the report peacefully. With ring delivery and a 7.05 test that week, the report might have been an even greater struggle.

So I guess there is no such thing as the “perfect due date.” Unless I were only taking 20.109 and no other classes, there would always be something in the way.

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