As promised, here is a more extensive update.
The past two weeks have been absolutely insane. This is indicated by the fact that my body has already started to repair the damage that it did to my emotional state by simply blocking it out. Indeed, when I think back, the majority of the end of the semester is a black screen punctuated by a few good moments. To recap:
Friday, Dec. 11: Turned in final paper for Politics of the Middle East after missing my 6am alarm and finishing the final sentences at 10:20 (in preparation for my 10:40am class). Now know too much about inefficient agricultural practices and the potential improvements to be made in the realms of virtual water and desalination technology. On the plus side, its completion meant that my final writing sample for graduate school was finished. Went shopping with Karen to relieve stress and then to the gym for ages.
Dec, 12: Party in the suite...sort of. Still, a wonderful night.
Dec. 13: Last day at work was spent reading through my Politics of the Middle East texts. 11 chapters in 3 hours (the remaining 2 were devoted to the Politics of Terrorism).
Dec. 14: Politics of Middle East exam. Prior to taking this exam, I had heard stories of people simply blanking out upon seeing their exams, but didn't believe that this could actually happen. Well, despite the hours that I had poured into re-reading my texts and typing up my notes (my way of studying), I completely blanked as soon as I saw the exam (one essay question comprising four huge components). It wasn't especially difficult, but it was as if my mind had become a sponge that had suddenly been wrung dry of its contents. It was horrible and it took me 20 minutes before I could actually write anything. The rest of the day was spent freaking out over the fact that all of the hard work I had put in for the semester in order to be able to apply to Oxford for grad school would be for nought if I got a B. Gym, of course.
Dec. 15: Spent the entire day working on my Historiography take-home final. Politics of Terrorism final from 7 to 9pm. It went extremely well. I was all set to stay in the suite afterward and work on my take home, but my suite-mate Chris managed to convince me out to go to midnight breakfast (a once-a-semester event from 9-12am during exam time where they serve a free breakfast in the Great Room and provide entertainment as a way of beating exam stress). I am glad that he did. I returned, went running on the track, and then set down to work.
Dec. 16: Miserable day in which I woke up at 6am to work on my massive ARchaeology Lab analysis report. Turned in Historiography final, found out that I got an A on my politics of Middle East exam (as to exactly how, I have no idea. Also got a perfect score on my paper, but that is beside the point), and pushed myself to the limit in order to get the report done. Finished at 4:30 (for 5pm deadline), but had both printer and car troubles (the lab is located a mile away off Rosecroft Road), which resulted in my sprinting across Waring Commons and through Kent Hall yelling for people to get out of my way in order to get the report printed. Eventually turned it in at 5:02, but scared my room-mate Karen half to death in the process. The afternoon culminated in my almost having a heart attack due to stress. Going to dinner after handing that report in was a surreal event. Officially, I was done with finals. But it just didn't feel...real.
Dec. 17: Work. Gym. Packing.
Dec. 18: Drove home. Found out that I had been accepted for the MA International Relations at King's College London. If I accept (and at this point it seems highly likely that I will), I will leave for my internship in Edinburgh in May, head straight to grad school, and not return to the USA until September 2011. It is a realization that is both scary but thrilling.
Dec. 19: It snowed 23 inches. I spent most of the day shoveling the driveway in an attempt to escape the freezing temperatures inside the house.
The past day or so has been spent finalizing the various components of my applications to Oxford. With an offer from King's, I now have no need to apply to St. Andrew's or Edinburgh. So just the two Oxford applications and then I am done with this grad school business. Currently waiting on LSE. My grades this semester were sufficient enough so as to boost me above the 3.7 mark and allow me to apply to Ox. Such a good feeling./