Thanksgiving break unofficially heralded the start of classroom crunch time.

Group projects, term papers, final exams and other brow-furrowing stress boosters loom over the student body and haunt our sleep. Once again, the ugly cousins of procrastination show up to remind us that history is cyclical, and the pace of our days leave us with whiplash when or if we recline in the evening.

Each student will tap forgotten energy reserves or find new ones (in my case: coffee, lots of coffee) for those long, hectic nights at the library, and our nerves will be stretched to the snapping point. Church attendance will mysteriously grow.

Students may be guessing at how they will get to the finish line this semester. As for me, the fact that we are all fiercely fighting and crawling through our semester-end challenges together makes me feel better about my hectic predicament. The sense of shared sacrifice will make the relief grander when it’s over.

And yeah, when we cross the line again, all we have learned will shock us.