The end is near. After two plus weeks of being hammered with cost accounting and managerial finance, my brain is near the breaking point. Luckily there is only one more day of classes left and final exams before summer vacation is upon me. But no more classes for now until Monday. This means I get to spend the interim hunched over textbook and spreadsheet hoping numbers don’t carry out their evil plot of world dominance until the final exam is over. Oh, wait—they already have.

Vacation plans are still intentionally vague. Tentative plans are to go hiking and/or biking and relaxing in Moab, Utah and then see friends and fireworks in Colorado. I try not to dwell on the fact that summer vacation, for me, is merely an extended weekend. Tomorrow I plan to work all day at the furniture store. Saturday morning is a 10K run in downtown Flagstaff that I want to attend, either as a participant or a sideliner—status remains to be determined by how I feel at the end of today’s evening run. Which takes a big chunk out of my weekend dedicated to exam preparation. This is a regular occurrence.

My trash book of the week is “Looking for Alaska” by John Green. It was one of the most remarkable paperbacks I’ve read since my literature class ended in May. I won’t spoil it in case you haven’t read it yet, but it’s a story of a semester at a college prep school in Alabama and involves plenty of immortality and immorality as good books do. I enjoy books like these because they exemplify how that, sometimes, fiction can be more truthful than fact. It’s set a few years back, and is similar in many ways to Tim O’Brien’s “On the Rainy River,” on which I wrote an impressive paper for an Honors class. A lot of the books I find myself reading now fall into the Teen Fiction category—proof that my attention span is growing shorter by the month. But what other type of book could I whip out on my iPod and read a few pages while eating an apple and doing email during a five minute class break? I’m still plugging away at the unabridged 1700 page “Les Miserables” I picked up at Strand two years ago to read during a long afternoon waiting for the New York City fireworks to begin. The suspense is bearable.

In retrospective it’s been a fairly quiet week. A wildfire has been burning on the mountain all week, consuming over 14,000 acres and is still listed at the “extreme” stage. Seeing 100’ high flames in a forest and a glowing mountainside at night is unforgettable. I can’t really remember doing anything else worth mentioning. My mind is slowing down and my eyelids droop when I think about the spreadsheet problems and many practice exams that await the remainder of the afternoon.