14 October 2005

list arithmetic

so you may have noticed my posts getting shorter and shorter, or at least less and less well thought out. wanna know why? it's because i have to take the american politics exam during the first week of january. you may have noticed that i am also engaged with silly things like classes.

so if i take one day off each week, that leaves me with three days to work on class work and three days to work on exam reading.

there are 140 exam readings.

i have eleven weeks total in which to read them, assuming that i take the final week before the exam to practice essay-writing, a necessary bit of strategy since i sucked so hard on the comparative exam in august.

eleven weeks and three days per week equals thirty-three days. 140 readings in thirty-three days equals four or five readings during each day of exam reading.

today is day two of the thirty-three, and i'm already about 500 pages behind. i'm going to bet, perhaps over-optimistically, that this does not mean i will be more and more behind as time goes on. i think it's just a reflection of the fact that american political development, the most verbose of the sub-subfields, is first on the list. hence four items from this week is equal to something like 800 pages, while 4 items from next week constitutes a more manageable 300-400 pages.

yes, that's per day.

but never fear! happily, this list also includes a large number of things i've read before. thank God for rick valelly. my only real worry at this point is that this exam will turn me back to the dark side, which is to say, back into an americanist. we'll see how it goes.