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The lost art of being bored

Creating a mind vacuum over the festive period allows room for optimism to seep back in – and the motivation to start afresh

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I usually enjoy teaching at college, but the lead-up to the end of the autumn term can be an arduous trudge. Some years, my response to colleagues cheerily offering a “Merry Christmas” has been, “Thank f*** that’s over”.

You see, I’m a hapless victim of the predictable, but shockingly abrupt, first-term optimism drop-off. In September, work is a weightless glide along a tropical beach. By Christmas, I’m furiously flapping in quicksand.

Every academic year, I dust off the this-term-will-be-different mantras:

* I will religiously adhere to my scheme of work, splattering it with scrawled ...

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