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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Anatomy of an All-Nighter

You’re sitting in class, half-paying attention because while you find your professor to be wildly intelligent, you realized three weeks ago that Human Perspectives on Sex Roles was never going to play an integral role in your life and you’d rather beat your high score in Tetris on your phone. You tune in when she reminds the class that the midterm will be in two weeks and that the three books you were supposed to have read thus far will comprise the majority of the exam. A wave of responsibility washes over and you decide that that information is important, so you break out the trusty agenda that you (and your GPA) could not survive without and go to jot down the reminder. You open up to today’s date and glance across the page as you flip it, only to violently flip back to look at the assignment written in tomorrow’s block:

“First Short Paper Due”

You wrote it in hot pink pen with stars around it like a third grader, how could you have missed this? Have you seriously not opened this agenda since last Thursday? Did you even go to class last Thursday? #Senioryearproblems. ‘Well eff,’ you think to yourself. Two years ago this would have sent you into a frantic tailspin, cancelling all plans and immediately going to the library to get started. Fortunately, you now know that a trip to the gym, scoring a turkey flatbread from Subway, and updating Twitter are much greater priorities, and you finally give the paper a second thought at about 8:30 pm.

After some online shopping and a trip to the vending machine, you give the paper a third thought and figure looking at the assignment sheet will grant you thirty minutes of Facebooking. You earned it, worker bee. The paper is for your philosophy class, which clearly doesn’t mean anything of value (What do philosophy majors grow up to be, Socrates?), so when the assignment reads: “Discuss how a focus on culture and identities speaks to the nature of philosophy as a discipline that is partly driven by historical awareness,” you read it over three more times and see what you can find on Pinterest.

10:30 pm. Well shit, time flies when you’re obsessively looking at how to crochet your own coasters even though you’ve never sewn in your life and the condition of your stolen-from-the-side-of-the-road coffee table might actually improve by a few drink rings. Let’s read that assignment again… Nope, still doesn’t make sense. As your fingers hover over your mouse like the possessed hand from the Addams Family and try to get you to check if anyone’s commented on your witty status update, you fight the urge and instead reach for everyone’s favorite party animal, Adderall. You’re about to be a MACHINE. You’re about to be INVINCIBLE. You’re about… to read every Wikipedia page for every band you’ve ever liked and take meticulous notes on their discography so you can proceed to update your iTunes with any missing songs. If you weren’t the biggest Neil Diamond fan of all time before, you definitely are now. Sweeeeeet Caroliiiine…

You announce to no one in particular that “it’s already tomorrow!” and figure 1:00 am is as good a time as any to get started. How long did this thing have to be again? FIVE PAGES?! Cool your jets, we both know you’re going to adjust the periods and commas to size 14. But still, FOUR AND A QUARTER PAGES?! On “culture and identities”?! This is why all philosophy majors are hippies, there’s no way anyone would obtain their degree if they weren’t constantly blazed and realized how stupid their classes were. Luckily, you and Addy have hit a symbiotic stride and you breeze through the first four paragraphs in like five minutes. At this rate, you’ll be home in time to see tonight’s re-run of E News. Part of you knows that the logical thing to do would be to proofread what you’ve already got down, but the more intelligent part of you knows that you’ll be very disappointed in what you see and that it’s better for everyone if you just let the nonsense lie. If ignorance is bliss, you’re about to be the happiest dumbass on the planet.

A social lap around the library conjured neither entertaining gossip nor an idea for the next four pages you had to write, so you return to your seat and start picking at your split ends. Over the course of the next hour and a half you plunk a few quotes that have nothing to do with anything in the middle of your paragraphs and BS a few sentences with every synonym of “identity” that Microsoft Word’s Thesaurus has to offer. After sending a mass text announcing that you are “literally” going to kill yourself if you have to look at these words for another five seconds, you decide that the paper is going to suck regardless and you might as well just cut your losses and go home.

You start to feel guilty about being such a procrastinator/bad student/lazy bum and try to squeeze one more paragraph of nonsense onto the page. It’s 4:45. After performing the anti-climactic task of double-spacing the entire paper only to find that it’s at three pages plus a sentence, you quickly throw together a bibliography and hit “Save.” Like a mother who has just given birth to a Rick Roll-level ginger, you can barely look at your paper without gagging in disgust. You print it, wash your hands clean of the entire experience, and proceed to sit on your couch watching the Magic Bullet infomercial on repeat for the next four hours because your Adderall is still kickin’. Oh what a night.

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