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Words I put in order. Check out this page for links to more of my writing

Literary Mountains

Cy Whitling

School, and climbing, all in one photo!

School, and climbing, all in one photo!

It’s finals week and my mind is wandering to far off peaks. It’s time for lunch lines to turn into lift lines, time to stop worrying about word count and start thinking about base depth. Unfortunately this transition doesn't come easily. We can’t just flip a switch from school mode to break mode. Instead we create a transition period for ourselves, a sort of bridge season where neither gets our full attention. Alternating between ski videos and flashcards I try to convince myself of the myth of multitasking

I catch myself refreshing the snow report constantly as I listlessly stare at my notes. Maybe if I look at the questions while figuring out how much food I need to bring my brain will memorize them. It’s easy to think about the mountains I am going to climb, the challenges I am going to overcome in the coming weeks while ignoring the ones right in front of me. If only this ethics final was an icy chute. If only this project was a nice 5.10, then I would dig into them, I would attack them eagerly. 

Why can’t school be a mountain with finals as it’s crux? Give me avalanches, blizzards abominable snowmen, just please, please don't give me a take home final, or essay questions, or heaven forbid, a semester project. It’s easy to climb the Matterhorn when you’re sitting in the library but opening a textbook is impossible.

Don’t give in, don’t bail before you even clip in. Finals are just the first pitch, the approach, the skin up. Conquer them quickly and move on the more tangible mountains of Christmas break.