I need to try to give my schedule some more form... I haven't done too badly so far; but as I suspected, changes are getting thrown in, and I need to revise. Last semester, I discovered that it was somewhat helpful for me to keep a master schedule of everything I had to do instead of trying to juggle four calendars. It doesn't work that way for everyone--some people like the separate calendars because it helps them to keep track of what material goes with what class. That just makes me risk forgetting to do something because I didn't check each thing or keep track of the right dates..
A lot of what I'm struggling with is really about finding ways to organize my calendar so that I can access all the information that I need efficiently without feeling overwhelmed by the method of accessing it. That might sound silly; but sometimes the act of trying to find what I need is more frustrating and overwhelming than the fact that I have so much to do. If I could see, a chart with columns would work very well for me; but since I can't, it doesn't.
My primary goal this semester has been to try to balance school with additional things: primarily singing in the church choir and seminary chorus, teaching Sunday school, keeping house, and doing a little socializing. That is proving to be a little bit challenging on several levels. Not having my voice is a real problem in all areas of my life, and being sick makes school very hard. I have missed several weeks of church choir, and most of this is because I feel like my coughing fits are extremely disruptive. I have continued going to seminary chorus rehearsal and have croaked out a handful of notes when I could; but mostly I have listened. I attended a social function last week and conversed a little bit with a couple of people. I did not teach last Sunday but did have a lesson prepared and was able to share it with someone who could teach for me.
The amount of work I have this semester seems astronomical. If I am able to get this stuff done, continue to balance the above things, make any time for my personal interests, and do well in my classes, I will throw myself a huge party in May. Last semester, it seemed that I was constantly doing school, barely keeping up, and hoping to remember what I was reading. I am a very active reader: I don't just read because I don't retain things if I just read. I read and take a bunch of notes; and sometimes I have to read a couple of times if I need to remember the information later. This is especially true if the sentence structure or vocabulary is complex. So studying is a slow process for me. School is very much a full-time job; but I expect to do it and do it well, and I expect to have a life. In the interest of making this actually happen, I need to plan actively for meeting my needs.
I made myself a study schedule... Looking this over, the hardest part is the first half... There is actually a downhill part to this semester. I could like this. I thought that everything was going to be like last semester, with a huge climax at the end. I see it doesn't always work like that. I still may need to tweak the schedule, not be so rigid that I can't adjust to curve balls; but this may help me quite a bit...
Last semester, Dr. Brewer and I talked about the sabbatical principle: setting aside a seventh portion of time for rest (a seventh day, week, month, etc.) It's a great idea, and I know that some students try to set aside a day each week when they don't do school. My life isn't really very ordered--it's controlled by a whole lot of outside influences that are often unpredictable, and this makes it very hard for me to set aside any kind of ordered time on a regular basis. Right now the best I can do is to apply an interpretation of Jesus saying that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. If I am stressed out by trying to order my life in a way that allows me to rest, then this defeats the purpose of the sabbatical principle. If I take some available but irregular time to rest, then I am getting the benefits of rest even if my life is still unordered; and that is better than no rest at all.