The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the home stretch. This is the time of the semester when most professors' and students' fuses are the shortest. (In administration, the late April to mid May stretch is the worst.) It's predictable -- hell, it's annual -- yet somehow, it's always a little surprising. Like pain, it's easy to forget until it returns.For students, this is when deadlines and reality hit. Since all the classes are on the same cycle, they all culminate at the same time.