It seems like a very short time ago - and, in fairness, it was - when I arrived for my first lecture here in Aberdeen. Last Wednesday, I attended my final lecture. In just over a week, the Strategists will sit for final exams, take a bit of a breather, and then start in earnest on our dissertations. I expect that exams will be the last time we're all together in the same place, as several among us will leave to write their dissertations in other venues. The time is bittersweet, because I spent two and a half years preparing for Operation Highlander, and even though there's plenty of it left ahead of me, the remainder of the year will be different than it has been. There's also the conflict of wanting to savor every minute of my time in Scotland, and feeling antsy to get back to work.
This second semester has been more difficult than the first. I expect - I hope - to ultimately do better this semester than I did last. Even so, there have been challenges, both academic and social, that have dug into me this time around. I'm realistically optimistic - by my very nature, I'm not an unmitigated optimist - that with some hard work studying ("revising") over the next two weeks, I'll be able to crush this semester as I've always intended. Having tied for top marks in Strategic Theory last semester, I'm virtually guaranteed graduation "with distinction" - the Scottish equivalent of summa cum laude, from what I can gather - as long as I don't goon up my dissertation. (It's highly doubtful that I'll goon my dissertation up.) At the same time, I feel extremely competitive in this program, not merely with my coursemates, but with myself. I want there to be no question who led the pack in the 2012/'13 Strategic Studies course.
So, after a bit of a breather, the next couple of weeks will be spent fervently reviewing GSI and SND, with a few bits of ST thrown in to round out some of the concepts. As with last semester, I'll post my exam study strategy and some of my study notes in the next couple of weeks. I'll have one exam on the Friday of the first week of exams, and the other on Monday of the second week of exams. That's greatly preferable to last semester, when they scheduled both exams within forty-eight hours of each other, at the beginning of the first week of exams.