My groaning with classmates has lead to these "insights":
The quarter system is brutal. It is my first time on this schedule as a student. You are behind when the quarter begins, there is no time for things to stick or sink in, and you have less time to read the same amount of material - insanity!
The energy level coming into Fall quarter, after the delicious summer break, is different than the one coming into Winter and Spring Quarters. I am working on replicating the rejuvenating effects of summer in the cold or rainy weeks of Winter after giving Fall quarter my all. That means intense doses of self-care to counter all the energy depleted last quarter.
This quarter has also been hard because the classes have been more technical and abstract with a review of more reference-like material. That explains some of my feeling unmotivated. I need to tap into some juicy passion to fuel me through.
Anyway, coming up on week 10 - two assignments and lots of reading due this week. Then, finals week - two papers, a presentation and a take-home final. It sounds like a lot to me right now, but it will get done. I left perfectionism behind long ago. Now I strive to be excellent when it really matters and to get it done when that is what is sufficient.
Spring Break is in view.