7.29.2007

Blogathon 3:30am #40

As it gets later and later, my mind wanders to other times I’ve stayed up late. I mean the really memorable ones.

Here’s one memorable lack of sleep experience. Of course, it was in college. I had put off some assignments until the last minute. I had to write two papers in two days. These were something like discussions of Plato’s philosophies and a paper comparing different approaches to existentialism. Interesting. (No, really, I LOVE this stuff.) But, catching up on my reading, mulling over these meaty topics and then designing and writing two papers in 40 hours turned out to be a little taxing. I didn’t sleep for two nights straight. I really didn't rest at all for at least 40 hours. A half hour before class started, I finished the final copies. I took them to class with hopes of dropping off the paper and running before class started. Riiiiight. As a part of this whole double all-nighter, I messed up my watch. I walked into a class already in session. This was one of those classes a small college is so proud of. It was about 10 students and a pipe-smoking, tweet-jacketed professor sitting around a large oak table in a dark-paneled office. No anonymous dropping of the paper and running. So, I took my seat, the last left. I sat right next to the professor. He talked and talked. Students talked and talked. I decided the only hope I had of keeping my head from hitting the big oak desk was to take notes. So, I scratched word-for-word notes as fast as I could. I would write a line of words and it would drift off the page before reaching the edge. Soon, I started to dream. Not really full dreams like when asleep. But, not really ethereal daydreams. Something in between. I dreamt of frogs. Mercifully soon, the class stopped. For years to come, I kept those pages of notes. Incoherent, almost random words at random angles across the page. Punctuated at the bottom with some ramblings about tiny, little frogs.
The papers? I think I got a pretty good grade. The prof thought I had an interesting perspective on things. It was probably the perspective brought about by a mind so lacking sleep that it decided to dream anyway.
I have a feeling this last second approach in paper-writing wouldn’t have worked for other classes, like, say, biology. Unless, of course, the biology topic had to do with the jumping habits of tiny, little frogs on a big oak desk.

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