Dead Week means that all classes have been cancelled, and the students have the entire week to devote to studying for their finals. Despite its foreboding name, I like the concept because it implies that everything in life comes to a standstill and all the student must do is study. Now we know it’s not that simple, but it makes it sound like it is.
Cram Week, however, creates an entirely different picture. Some schools still cancel classes but many don’t, and the students must study for finals around their regular class schedule. Regardless, this name implies that students have put off studying of any kind until this week or have forgotten everything they learned and now must, somehow, in the course of a week, squeeze it all back into their porous brains in time for the final exam. It connotes stress and panic and desperation.
I find it ironic that collegiate Cram weeks fall at this time of year--between Thanksgiving and Christmas--because this is the time when there are all kinds of cramming going on.
1) Some of us have crammed more food into our system than is biologically healthy.
2) As a result we are trying to cram in a major “lose five to ten pounds” diet plan before the next wave of holiday eating occurs.
3) Many of us are cramming in holiday office parties or open houses.
4) Most of us are cramming to get those Christmas cards out in time. (Last year I was so far behind I ended up writing Happy New Year’s cards!)
5) And always there is some last minute cramming in the gift buying department.
Suffice it to say that just like the students, many of us are left stressed, panicked, and desperate.
Though this might seem like an end of semester or holiday “event,” most of us at times find our spiritual life often encountering a Cram Week. We have been so caught up in the busyness of life that we have pushed our time with God to the side until we feel life beginning to tumble out of control, and then we stress and panic and despair and finally rush to our bibles and prayers in an effort to get everything sorted out.
I am hoping that during this busy time of year, when there are so many demands on us at school or at work, with holiday preparation or gift buying, that we take a little time each day to spend with with God both in His word and through prayer, so that we can enter and end each day with a sense of peace.