Just some words of late-night advice (see? Teachers stay up late, too! :D) Most of you out there in Columbia-land are alternately planning travel home to see family and friends, cramming in pre-production on a shoot/script/paper/presentation, and wondering how you'll EVER get through to week 15.
You will. I promise. Here are some friendly tips, rooted in my own schedule right now and vague memories of my college days...
1) if you've been stellar with attendance and have room for that day off, now is a good time to take it. Cash in on the sleep, or dive into that assignment. CAVEAT: DON'T SKIP OUT IF THERE ARE PROJECT PRESENTATIONS AND SUCH--your peers need you there when they're (literally) showing their stuff.
2) Beaver's Donuts. Any other food trucks. If you must be out and about in the cold Chicago-street-wind-tunnels, get ye some hot grub and coffee from a truck.
3) Really--if you're struggling and panicking, please talk to your teachers. Don't wait until week 15. Ask that question--I promise it's not a stupid one--and own up to both your limitations AND what you're capable of doing. The silent student is the student we WANT to hear from the most. And do a solid to your friends and roommates--if you see THEM struggling, pass this on and give them support instead of judging. You just never know what someone might be facing and feeling.
4) Embrace Thanksgiving, for at least one full day. If you're with family and friends, practice "the Columbia speech" that explains why you're pursuing a degree in the arts and how that can in fact land you a viable career and a happy life. If you're "stuck" here in Chicago, make the most of it--there are TONS of good movies out, ice rinks are opening, and watching the tourists on Michigan is actually genuinely comical. And give real thanks, even if you're facing crazy uncles and old friends you are struggling to connect with and final projects that seem doomed to failure. (If there's anything that irks us teachers more, it's giving up in the home stretch. IS THERE EXTRA CREDIT? FIND THE TIME TO DO IT! REMAINING OFFICE HOURS? MAKE AN APPOINTMENT!) You are in college, pursuing your true goals (or figuring out what those are), and somebody somewhere hopes you're headed for happiness and fulfillment; there are many worse scenarios you could be facing. (Take another kind of walk down Michigan Avenue...)
4) Build in a break post-Thanksgiving week...Watch The Sound of Music live on NBC with Carrie Underwood. You know you want to. And at the very least you might catch a live mishap. Take part in the Holly Jolly Trolley event run by Radio and being distributed through the TV Department http://events.colum.edu/event/wcrx_holly_jolly_trolley#.UpQ5IY1_dhQ
5) Please, as a teacher and mom here, for the love of all that is holy, get at least ONE decent night of sleep.
Catch you on the after-tryptophan side...