By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:40 AM

One of the weird paradoxes of Covenant has been that it has been one of the most encouraging and discouraging experiences I've ever had. Encouraging in seeing the professors and students live the Gospel, encouraging in the wonderful opportunities to learn and be stretched, encouraging in the wonderful people I have met, encouraging in the common sense of mission, encouraging even in how I've learned I like homiletics classes!

But it is discouraging too. A lot of that is in the overwhelming workload. This semester is the first semester ever that I have fallen behind in reading for classes at the beginning of the semester. A few classes have drawn so much time that the others have had to play second fiddle. I don't like that — it makes me uncomfortable and it makes me feel like I really cannot do my best work.

I'm hoping it will improve in the coming weeks. But tonight I feel discouraged.

Also Filed Under: Home: Learning: Discouragement

Re: Discouragement
Hang in there - you'll get back on top and develop strategies for staying there. My #1 rule is to always subordinate weekly reading to work you can do for final projects, etc. I'm not saying that you shouldn't do the weekly reading, but that it shouldn't necessarily be your focus every week in every class.
Posted by WTM - Feb 20, 2008 | 12:00 PM

Re: Discouragement
Thanks, WTM. I think that sounds wise. I usually try to blast through a bunch of reading at the beginning, so I can concentrate on projects later, but I've had a number of them due early this semester, so the reading is getting put off somewhat. I'm trying to get somewhat back in sync now. Your advice sounds good, perhaps I should see how I could apply that. If I could make some headway on final projects now, I could just enjoy the readings later in the semester. Thanks!
Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Feb 21, 2008 | 5:57 AM

Re: Discouragement
I just had a discussiion about this with my son. When I majored in engineering, we had five classes a semester. One thing some students did was to take a couple classes over the summer, so that you only had four classes during the regular semesters. My son has a class he particularly likes, so it is common for him to devote 6 to 12 hours a week to the homework in that class. He's only taking two classes at college, along with the usual high school stuff, so it works for him. How much of seminary can be slid into summer? Engineering is huge, and generic, so finding summer courses is easy. But seminary may not be so easy?
Posted by Mike O - Feb 21, 2008 | 4:06 PM

Re: Discouragement
Some of it can, languages especially. But, language in the summer is extra intense, since they fit over a semester's material into twelve weeks (typically about 20 weeks of intense material goes into 12). I could do Hebrew this summer, but I'm not fond of the idea of repeating the intensity of last summer. Greek was painful at that speed. The other rub is that scholarship are much more sparse in the summer, which potentially makes it a more expensive endeavor. The odd thing is that I'm taking several courses design to go together in parallel, so you would think that they would have arranged the intense parts of the course not to coincide, but moreso then when I've been off "track," I'm finding deadlines fall on the same days and weeks in these classes! It's a good idea, though. Ideally, the summer could contain a course that was a favorite subject so that intensity would be offset somewhat. It is something to think about, I suppose.
Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Feb 22, 2008 | 5:07 PM

Re: Discouragement
Yeah, languages don't compress like engineering or math classes. Like you said, scholarships are harder. by the way, www.sakamuyo.net expired - should we renew it for Kevin?
Posted by Anonymous - Feb 23, 2008 | 6:22 AM

Re: Discouragement
Whoops. Forgot about Sakamuyo.net. I'm not sure, what do you think? Maybe so... I have the account information somewhere around here.
Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Feb 23, 2008 | 6:29 AM

Re: Discouragement
Sure, keep it alive - want me to send you ten bucks?
Posted by Mike O - Feb 23, 2008 | 5:28 PM

Re: Discouragement
Thanks, Mike. How about you cover it next year? :-) I went ahead and revived it. I should move it to Dotster -- I have a better wholesale rate over there.
Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Feb 25, 2008 | 6:08 AM

Re: Discouragement
In the words of the great theologian Billy Joel: "Advice is cheap, you can take it from me It's yours to keep 'cause opinions are free..." I agree with Mike. If possible see what can be taken during summer terms. If you're planning on a summer term, try to save up a bit during the regular season to offset the cost. Do you ever have any scholarship money left over? Apply that to the summer. When I first started college I made it a point to take the full course load allowed. It seemed good fiscal sense to me (If its the same price for 18 units as 13, then let's get the most bang for the buck). It took me a while to learn to cool down and take fewer classes. Once I did my work improved and my stress level decreased. I don't know what your work load is, but if possible, think about reducing your semester workload.
Posted by Jason P. Franklin - Feb 25, 2008 | 2:29 PM

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