The Rules of Reading Week

Here at Princeton Theological Seminary, we have a “reading week” instead of a Fall or Spring break. Classes are suspended for a week with the assumption that students will catch up on their course reading, get a start on their term papers, etc. Of course, it is entirely up to the student as to the best location for getting this work done, be it the sunny beaches of Florida, the comforting environs of “home” (wherever that may be), the powdery slopes of Aspen, etc. Because of my wife’s work schedule, and because I kind of like to spend a week reading and watching a movie of two, I never go anywhere on reading weeks. So, I thought that I would compose a set of rules to help those who, like me, prefer to stick it out in Princeton. Incidentally, some of these rules are best intended for men, although they do have interesting cross-gender implications. Enjoy!
  1. Thou shalt not shave unless you absolutely have to. There is nothing like a few days’ growth to make you feel relaxed.

  2. Thou shalt make a “to-do” list of no less that 10 items, and thou shalt spend the first days of reading week accomplishing those items that require the least intellectual engagement.

  3. Thou shalt chose a few quality movies to watch. I recommend the Godfather trilogy, the Lord of the Rings extended editions, the Indiana Jones trilogy, Star Wars episodes 4-6 (yes, the originals), and anything else with Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, or Harrison Ford.

  4. Thou shalt complete the assigned reading for the week of classes following reading week. There is nothing like lightening the future load so that you can continue relaxing a bit after reading week. Also, this reading is generally less strenuous than working on term papers, etc, so doing it has its own laid back quality.

  5. Thou shalt look ahead on your syllabi so that you know when you next assignments are due. I’m not saying you have to start on them, but know where they are and when they are coming.

  6. Thou shalt browse I usually try not to state the obvious, but I thought I should include it.

  7. Thou shalt complete most, but not all, of the items on your “to-do” list. Leave a few on there to haunt you as reading week ends. This will ensure that you will actually do something in the following week, and it will make you feel like you didn’t work too hard during reading week.

That’s my list. I know it is a bit late to help with this reading week, but perhaps it will help you in the future. Feel free to post some comments if there is anything I forgot to put up here.


Thanks Travis. Too bad you waited till after reading week is over. I'm afraid I will have to give it a shot next year, as I've transgressed pretty much every single item you listed.
Now I have to go read pastoral care stuff, if you'll excuse me (ugh). =)

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