Turkey Trot 

Wednesday morning, as I was driving into school I nearly ran over a group of four or so turkeys. Yes, I said turkeys. And yes, I know it sounds ridiculously improbable. I mean, what on earth were a group of turkeys doing wandering out in the middle of the road, just one day away from Thanksgiving? Escaping? Getting one final look around at the world before accepting their honored place in the Thanksgiving oven? At the time, I felt a small panic expecting an impending explosion of turkeys into a catastrophe of feathers, but I managed to recover enough to find that all of the turkeys, largely unconcerned about their near death experience, were in tact and casually meandering from the road to the field nearby. After puzzling over such questions, I figured that either the turkeys escaped somehow, or that someone had intentionally let the turkeys out in order to give their surroundings the appropriate decorative touch for the holiday. Wild turkeys aren't native to our area. The turkey episode actually helped in way because I had hardly any sleep the night before, so the brief terror I felt and the attendant adrenaline helped me feel more awake.

As if you couldn't tell from the previous posts, the last couple of weeks of school have been pretty stressful and unhappy, primarily because I had fallen behind on some important projects. I spent almost eighty hours! working on just one in a period of only a week and a half. I know this because, as part of the project, I had to keep track of the time I spent on it. It may not sound like so much, but remember, this was in addition to the other work and obligations I had for other classes.

Concerned about my ability to pass the class with my being behind in my work, I talked with the instructor which helped to clarify which homework had priority. The instructor indicated that while the late work will have an effect on my grade, it isn't as disastrous as I had imagined. Her concern was that I continue to come to class despite being behind in work. At least four students have dropped the class, two of which have dropped the entire program. Attrition is showing more and more, but on the plus side, the less people who complete the program means there is less competition from my design peers.

And, while I still feel unhappy about my prospects for a good grade in the course, I feel much better about passing the class as a whole. "Passing" this class is my academic goal right now. I can work on "passing and exceeding" in my future courses, and I feel confident that, in those future courses, I can better avoid the mistakes I made during this term. Today, I even managed to impress the instructor and the other students with the work we did in class, which was nothing more than construction paper cut-outs of small icons, but it felt good to get praise nonetheless.

The stress will ramp up next week (Dead Week) I am sure. If I had Adobe Creative Suite Three at home, I would be able to do much better with the homework I think. It's easier to work in bursts of varying length at home rather than try to hammer out marathon sessions in the computer lab. It might be better if I lived closer to the lab, it takes me an hour to drive to school one way, without turkeys of course. Tomorrow though, I set aside all of these concerns and will focus riding out the chaos of family Thanksgiving with as much equanimity as is possible to manage in a house full of crazy people.

22 November 2007
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