Monday, May 2, 2011

Live Blog: my last all-nighter, hopefully ever.

Monday, May 2nd, 2011, at 1:00 P.M. I will take my Comprehensive Exam for the Master of Arts degree in English at Southeastern Louisiana University.  I will have three hours to answer one question on the book Dubliners by James Joyce, a  series of short stories set in turn-of-the-century Dublin, Ireland.  I'll have to take the test with no reference materials on me, only what I have in my head.  Yes, really.

I checked the book and audiobook out of the library early in the semester, read the first three short stories immediately, and let it fall into disuse until I was finished defending my thesis.  I read 75% of it in the last month, and re-read it all over the past week.  Then there are ten articles I'm supposed to read, but I can't find most of them online.  Foo.

So after church, I took a two-hour nap, read the final story in the work, and went to work for four hours.  Since about 12:30 AM, I have read two articles.  I had a five-hour energy earlier, and I'm still going.  I've also factored in some playing with Sophie.  This will either be great or awful, but I promise not to go back and edit any of my former posts, so you get it exactly as I type it in the moment.

3:00 A.M. -- Iron Skillet makes you pay for WiFi.  That stinks.  IHOP isn't 24-hours around here, and that leaves Waffle House as pretty much my only other choice.  Solution: open up all of my articles and tough it out without internet.  Oh, i forgot to mention earlier, I'll get done with the exam around 4PM and I have to work at 6.  Love it.

3:15 A.M. -- I love how academic institutions insist on keeping their stuff private, teasing you with just enough to make you mad at them.  some of this stuff I can find easy.  Some of it you get the first paragraph, then a request for money.  I don't like you that much, Joyce.  I'm willing to forsake certain areas of your text if it means I can pay zero dollars for my comps paper.  You're welcome.

4:00 A.M. – finished one article, got my water, but the waitress never came to take my order.  Love it.  She took the order of the guy who came in after me, but not mine.  He’s got his food already.  Time for the expectant stare.  BTW, if you haven’t figured out, I typed this in Word and pasted it all once I got back to the internet.

4:05 A.M. – expectant stare useless, she walked back to the kitchen by another way.  I’m a patient guy, and I understand people make mistakes.  But, when the time comes, I work to rectify those in as graceful a manner as possible.

4:15 A.M. – food arrives :)

4:36 A.M. – done with food and the next article.  That makes a total of five articles I was able to read of the ten articles and one critical text that were suggested reading.  Here’s hoping I can get somewhere with this.

4:42 A.M. – “The Power of Love” comes on the radio.  I’m watching the opening scenes of Back to the Future in my head.  Don’t need money, don’t take fame, don’t need no credit card to ride this train…Thank you, Huey Lewis and the News…and Robert Zemeckis.

4:51 A.M. – Read the last part of the introduction that I hadn’t read before finishing “The Dead.”  Skimming it again in the remaining eight hours might help me ingrain the names and plot associated with each story title, which is undoubtedly the hardest part for me.  I wrote it all down, here’s hoping.  I’m gonna make like a tree and get outta here.

5:09 A.M. -- At some point I'm gonna have to sleep.  Why?  Because sleeping helps you hold on to all the information you read.  I think three to four hours should be sufficient at this point.  Also, it helps me keep track of the days, when i've brushed my teeth and said, "Goodnight, Moon" and going to sleep -- even if for less than an hour.  I think that time is now.  I've also found that when my sleep schedule goes haywire, my body doesn't know when it's supposed to get hungry.  That's the problem with being a skinny guy with a fast metabolism.

9:49 A.M. -- Three, four, five hours of sleep, who's counting?  I certainly feel better.  Time for some praise!

Isn't that better now?

11:40 A.M. -- break time from studying - shower time!  Get your game face on!

12:15 P.M. -- the eyeblack was a nice theory...but I just can't take myself seriously wearing a tie and vest with it.  That and every picture I try to take either I don't have the true game face on, or I get more forehead than eyes.  Nice try, though.

12:20 P.M. -- Game time.  Leaving the apartment now to walk to campus.  Showtime = 1:00 P.M.

3:10 P.M. -- FIRST!  Yes, I was the first to get done with my comps paper.  Does that mean I win?  I sure hope so.  Eight pages, said what I had to say.  The earplugs worked really well, because I couldn't hear the clacking of my neighbors' keyboards, but I was still able to hear the backup signal of the construction site across the street.  Now, we wait...

As for the rest of the day, i'll do a little snoozin' and then go to work for 6.  Gravy.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I just got through my gauntlet of exams, and I thought that was tough. But yours sounds like quite a bit more of a challenge... It is annoying how they always want to charge you for some article you're required to read. Hope the all-nighter turns out to be worth it!