It’s the fourth week of the Spring quarter at DePaul, and I’m sad to say that I’m already feeling the Spring quarter blues. Spring quarter is the toughest term for us, since it follows the 11-week Winter term with only a week “break” that is mostly spent grading and preparing new classes. Going nearly continually from early January until mid June is tough during the best of times, but I’m finding it particularly hard this year.
Part of the issue is that I’m having huge problems with Academic Integrity violations this quarter. I’ll spare you the gory details, but one of my classes has at least one student who clearly has a habit of submitting assignments to online “tutoring” sites. This week I threatened to eliminate assignments altogether in favor of quizzes, labs, and exams with shorter deadlines. I’m hoping that will discourage the behavior, but I’m not convinced. The drag of policing and scolding is getting to me.
But someone I know on social media posted something recently that really effectively summarizes the way I’m feeling. There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing was a revelation for me to read, since it so clearly describes the way I’ve been feeling since about mid-February. The end of Winter quarter wasn’t hugely productive for me, but the Spring quarter is turning out much, much worse. I was getting down on myself about it, but after reading the article I think I may cut myself a break. I’ve also, blissfully, gotten back to reading which is something I almost completely stopped once the pandemic started. It is making me feel a lot better, and I think that’s because there’s nothing like a good novel to make me reach the flow state. I’ll try to find more things that stimulate that feeling for me, in the hopes that I can make my way through the seven weeks left this quarter.