Reading week is a blessing of a concept. An entire week with no classes or lectures that you are free to devote to doing whatever you like. Go back to wherever you called home before London, hell, leave the country and take that holiday you were too skint to take at the end of summer. Of course, teachers usually set those cheeky essay deadlines for the end of the week in an attempt to persuade you to be productive, but whatever, it’s only a formative.
At LSE, it’s a well-noted phenomenon that it’s largely qualitative courses that have reading weeks. For the quants, reading week is a week like any other, except you also get to watch all your qual friends eat weed brownies in Amsterdam while you struggle to complete yet another problem set for MA100. As a quantitative student myself, I’d never thought about it much. On a surface level, it simply made sense; why would the quants need a reading week if they can’t even read?
I had never considered the alternative until recently. I was talking to a good friend of mine who studies Computer Science at UCL when he casually mentioned that he was returning home for the week. Always quick to prod, I asked him how he even had time to do that and he casually informed me that he had a reading week. This baffled me but he was quick to explain that he did actually have work to do in the week like I did. It was simply a matter of substituting essays for whatever it is quants do.
I suppose the bold claim to make here is that LSE is oppressing quants by denying them a reading week. At UCL, all students, regardless of quantitative or qualitative degree status, get to have reading weeks. LSE administration queries the abysmally low student satisfaction because they haven’t tried this one simple trick. Give us a reading week for the many, not the few.
by Neelam Shah / third-placed winner of the LSESU Poetry Society’s Summer Competition Hope One Day I hope one day there will be end to