Anytime you come home from a holiday and have to immediately use the words plumber and electrician you might feel like closing the door and heading straight back to your summer idyll. Long story, but it comes down to having no light in my office and no functioning sink in the kitchen. I knew when we returned that things were going to get a bit hectic but did not expect the need to wedge home repairs in to my schedule.
My professional office is based at home, thankfully. It gives me a great deal more flexibility that would be difficult to do without, even if I have no lighting and only limited espresso at the moment. And I did a lot of reading and studying along with my ordinary work while enjoying a change of scene. Still, the phrase Exam Registration Will Open On August 25… is right up there with requiring a plumber and an electrician upon opening the door after a few weeks away. That sinking feeling in the stomach is exactly the same. Repairs are underway as I debate the merits of registering for exams in October or waiting until May to sit my first paper.
Having the option to sit exams two times in an academic year is another level of flexibility that I find very helpful. Since I registered for only one module it seems reasonable that I can be prepared for October. The problem is I expect to begin a new professional position in September which will require a great deal of energy, concentration, and perhaps travel in addition to reorganizing my office. Exams are in early October and also require my full attention. Can I manage a work transition and exams at the same time? Yes, the dilemma feels a lot like being welcomed home by the plumber and the electrician. It is not the ideal situation, however necessary it might be to plunge in to the tasks.
I want to do my very best at exams and starting my new position, to get the most from my efforts, and also enjoy the experiences. Right now I am leaning towards entering exams in May, especially if I can register for one or two more modules during the continuing registration period. On the other hand, I am one of those students who really, really, really enjoys exams. I want to engage with my study topic and our faculty. The question is am I sufficiently prepared right now to enter exams, considering that I might not have the month of September to revise as planned? The answer to that is no; it would not be my best paper. For me, passing is not really good enough. Doing my best is the target.
Now, that might sound like a final decision but trust me, it is not. It is time to query for clarification about continuing registration options as well as have some discussion about how I can manage this professional transition. I am eager for both opportunities, especially after having some time to relax and regroup this summer. For now, I am going to settle in with my new copy of ‘Medieval Foundations of Renaissance Humanism’ and enjoy the prospect of exams in October, even as the debate about officially entering them and my home repairs continue.