Pages from deadline,
I sit, looking at Facebook.
Oh, look! Shiny things!
Pages from deadline,
I sit, looking at Facebook.
Oh, look! Shiny things!
I’m writing my “capstone” paper – essentially, my senior thesis for my Bachelor’s degree. And by writing, I mean, “Oh, yeah. That’s due in a week and a half.” Don’t panic. I’ve got a lot of the research done. I just haven’t actually started the writing process yet. I was thinking to myself earlier this week that this week/end would be the ideal time to get a roaring start on it.
And then I got my work shift. I just started a new job, cooking for Station 22 on Provo Center Street. It’s awesome. And I’m excited. Or, at least, I was… until I realized that I was scheduled to work 31 hours in 3 days. I had 11 hours today, 11 hours tomorrow, and then 9 on Saturday.
I was concerned, to say the least. And not just about my homework. Is this really how they train new employees? Baptism by fire, here we go!
So I showed up this morning at 9, like the text told me to. And found my way into the back of the kitchen, where one lone cook was getting ready. And he stared at me and said, “I thought you weren’t coming in until 5?”
He checked the schedule for me. Evidently, when a text arrives, that isn’t necessarily a final decision. The schedule now only has me down for about 11 hours this week – total. I now have an extra 20 hours I never planned to have this week. And it feels most wonderful. I think I’ll work on a paper. And maybe take a nap. ♦
The gods of irony must be laughing at me.
I spent most of the weekend working on a research paper for my Argentine history class. And when I say I spent most of the weekend working on a research paper… I mean that I spent most of the weekend in the hospital with friends, thinking, “Hmm. I should probably work on that research paper.”
Needless to say, I was hosed* come Monday. The paper was due Tuesday. I hadn’t even started the reading.
I don’t know if you’ve ever written a research paper before, but let me alert you to something: they’re involved. Now add that it’s a history paper, and let me say: they’re super involved. Most professors expect your paper to demonstrate that this has been your life’s work for the past three months. I now had approximately 24 hours.
The clock was ticking. My eyes were skimming. My fingers were flying. I’ve never written so much gibberish so fast in my life.** I showed up at the history department 5 minutes before the due date, to find the office locked. By a God-given miracle, one of my professors was just about to unlock the door to check her box. I was saved! The paper might be lousy, but I was going to get a grade!
Okay, now rewind to the weekend. Remember how life was upside-down? And that’s why I hadn’t written the paper yet? Yeah. That’s also why I didn’t check my email over the weekend. I logged in this morning, to find a notice that my professor has extended the due date to Monday. I still have half a week to edit that paper.
It’s an Easter miracle, Charlie Brown? ♥
*urbandictionary.com defines “hosed” as: utterly and undoubtedly affixiated in a troublesome situation.
**Lies. I wish.
Dear Kind Souls,
I would like to thank you for your continual patience with us. I realize we are rather loud. Please understand: there are 6 of us up here, and only 3 are above 20 years old. Have you ever seen that many teenage women in one room? Things can get messy. And right now, 5 of those 6 are dealing with final exams. All without the aid of caffeine.
It may surprise you, dear neighbors, that none of us drink. None of us do drugs. We are all physically stone-cold sober. But I’m sure you’ve wondered a time or two what was going on up here. I’ll tell you the truth. We don’t drink because we’re Mormon. But more to the point, we don’t drink because we don’t need to. It’s in our blood already, somehow. We were born to scream strange things at each other and collapse on the floor with little warning because gravity suddenly switched directions. I’m not sure how this happens, but I hope you don’t hear the laughter too loudly through the floor.
So please know that we care. Even when we’re yelling at each other, we care. Even when we’re laughing at each other, we care. Even when you hear the pitter-patter of feet chasing one another in circles or the slamming of someone’s head in the shower door over and over, or the off-key singing of “Happy Birthday,” or sudden realizations of, “I’m not wearing any pants!”…we care. And we frequently wonder what our downstairs neighbors must think of us.
Try to think well of us. And while I can’t promise the madness will end any time soon, you’ve never yet come storming upstairs to confront us with a hockey mask and a chainsaw. And for that, we stand in awe.
You may have noticed that I haven’t written in a while.
Don’t worry. It’s not because I don’t like you. It’s not that I don’t like writing. It’s not that I died.
It’s because of papers. Silly papers. Silly, horrible papers. Silly, horrible, accursed papers. Papers most unpleasant.
Last Monday, I turned in a paper on the response of the American news to the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Last Friday, I turned in a paper about Haitian Vodou (or voodoo, as Americans spell it). Today, I turned in a paper about the religious significance of the word “fear” in the Doctrine & Covenants. Today, I got the first draft of the Rwanda paper back from a professor, and I’m turning in the final on Wednesday. Thursday, I’m turning in a paper on the conflict and/or blending of traditional and modern medicine in Africa, specifically relating to childbirth.
Am I stressed? Yeah, probably.
But it’s all going to be okay. Because I have a secret weapon: one that is sure to propel me forward into the week of finals in the midst of a chocolaty cloud of success and glory.
It’s not coffee. It’s not even caffeinated.
It’s chocolate milk. I have a whole tub of that chocolaty powder, and it is absolutely ridiculous how much milk I have gone through in the past few days. The inner health freak in me is screaming. The inner two-year-old is grinning ear to ear.
And a part of me is grateful for the papers, because it gives me an excuse to let the two-year-old win the fight. ♦
Every game has rules. (Even Calvinball has one rule: you can’t use the same rules twice.) But I’ve found that most people have rules – written or unwritten – for life in general. For instance, I’ve encountered several people this week (guys, if you want to know) who have a general list of dating rules (for instance, a significant other must be the same age or within 3 years). Some people have food rules (e.g. they won’t eat a food that still looks like an animal). And usually, I laugh at these rules.
But lately, I’ve been noticing similar behavior in myself, and I’ve realized I’m not immune. We all have rules. I was at work the other day, complaining about my homework, when my boss told me I should take an extra hour on break and work on it. I would have to walk across campus to clock off, and I asked him if the office was still unlocked. He told me to stay on the clock. I told him to find me some work to do. I won’t be paid not to work. Apparently, that’s my rule. (Who knew?)
So here are a few of my rules, discovered quite recently:
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. – Winston Churchill
I was reasonably caught up this week. I managed to do all my homework in advance last week so I could work on a research paper over the weekend. And I made some good headway in the research category; all I needed to do was organize it and get the thing written.
And then I was surprised (despite my obsessively meticulous homework calendar) by about 150 pages of reading. Took a day off work to finish that. Then I was surprised by a biology test. Flying colors. Surprised by a wedding reception (the invitation was lost in the mail, and arrived just as I got home from the reception itself.) Took another day off work. Surprised again by an invitation to the temple wedding (same couple) the next day. Decided to skip class, arranged a ride… and then I was surprised by a vicious cold that kept me from sleeping for the following two nights and sapped a full day of functionality.
And now I’m sitting here trying to keep my head clear enough (under the influence of cold medicine) to try to write a research paper. And I’m not really sure it’s worth staying up any later. I might be heading to bed and waking up early to do homework before church. It’s been a long week. ◊