Having just emerged from an amazing reading week spent studying considerably more than I expected to, learning how to be a great shop assistant at The Entertainer Toy Shop, meeting amazing friends for coffee, watching films, eating homemade cake, ordering Indian take away and performing in a beautiful local cathedral, I really should not be complaining.
BUT after reading the opinion page of the Cardiff University student newspaper gair rhydd this morning, which contained a debate titled “Reading week: A crime against humanities?”, I have to say I am a little convinced by the argument that reading weeks are not necessary and are merely a waste of a portion of our £9000 a year tuition fee. If five days a term could be given to students (all students regardless of subject) with the intention of providing time for home visits, mini-breaks, work catchup and of course, television catchup then I would not be complaining. The current reading week is provided for selected students doing subjects, like mine, with humungous amounts of reading so that they have the freedom to bury themselves in mountains of books with out having to attend lectures… Yet it becomes a week of leisure and relaxation that only humanities students get the opportunity to enjoy. Although, I did have a fairly incredible week, I found myself running out of enthusiasm for all things educational because I had just a little too much time on my hands. With no need to set myself time limits procrastinating became far too easy and I got much less work done than I would have done had I been forced out of bed and into lectures. If reading week aims to encourage students to get more work done then it would be better off organising a weeks worth of compulsory library sessions. Although, I sincerely hope that no university or lecturer ever takes me up on that idea.
I am surprisingly happy to be back to lectures this week and despite the fact I’m sat procrastinating expertly with under 24 hours to go until my essay deadline, I think I’m finding my enthusiasm for learning again already.
Humanities students, don’t hate me.