As end-of-the-year reflections, inventories, and other assorted lists begin to circulate, along with end-of-semester sighs of relief and a turn to planning for 2018 take hold, I have had several conversations with students (past and present) this week about the value of the intensity and accompanying release that characterizes the end of the term. For academics, the natural cycle of our work life mirrors that of our earlier life as students-- three to four months of highly structured and planned lectures, assignments, exams, deadlines, and grading, followed by two to three weeks of rest and recovery. Rinse and repeat for spring with a longer period of research and individual projects through the summer.
For students, this intensive schedule can feel especially onerous and stressful while in the midst of a term, but what many come to realize is the sweet and satisfying feeling of accomplishment that comes at the end of the semester. I am convinced the pursuit of that feeling is why many of my colleagues choose to stay in the game and essentially build their professional lives around the academic calendar. That feeling is also the one that instills confidence and is hard-won after much sacrifice and perseverance, not only contributing to personal growth, but in many ways necessary for happiness and self-actualization. Unfortunately, however, many students will depart university never fully valuing that fact, and will later find themselves wishing they had learned to appreciate and embrace the hardest aspects of their educational journey. So for those of you slowly recovering from the slog of another semester and clearing the decks for another one on the horizon-- congratulations!-- take a moment to seriously reflect on all of the work and effort you put into your term, and remember that opportunities to push yourself in this way are precious and incredibly important. Enjoy the links, and have a restful week of celebration!
- 24 Holiday Gifts for Every Personality in Your (Art) World, From Fashionistas to Design Aficionados
- Making Art in Communist Romania: An Interview With My Avant-garde Grandfather
- Feminist Art Icon Judy Chicago Isn’t Done Fighting
- Net Neutrality: Why Artists and Activists Can’t Afford to Lose It
- Exams: it is not just the students who get stressed out
- Why Robert Rauschenberg Erased a de Kooning (PODCAST)
- ‘Darkness Is Comforting’: The Japanese Artists Subverting Kawaii Culture
- The Disaster Artist: An Oral History
- What Art History Tells Us about Ultra Violet, Pantone’s Color of the Year
- A race against time: manuscripts and digital preservation (VIDEO)