Thursday, July 31, 2003

“another lonely highway in the black of night…”


Good news: Final exams are over.
Better news: I have a whopping three days off.
Bad news: Monday, I start my second summer session (six weeks of two more classes).
Something I’ve just fully realized: I haven’t taken even one summer off in the past three years of college.
Something I already know: Yes, this probably isn’t normal. Hmm.

Highlights from my day:

Red Bull and Pringles: breakfast for the masses! Well, for the Yaz anyway. And hey, it kept me awake, which is the most I could ask for these days.

I say people get dumber as the week progresses. Or maybe it’s just me. For example: A friend and I dragged ourselves to the library after our first final exam, and stepped into the elevator so that we could go up to the third floor and study. She pressed the button and chattered away about the exam, while I tuned her out and came to the conclusion that it was indeed possible to sleep standing up. The elevator doors closed, then opened a couple seconds later. I decided to open my eyes, only to realize we were still on the first floor. She pressed the button again. Same thing. Hmm, I thought. I looked on in detached interest as she repeatedly jabbed at the first floor button with her index finger, then her balled-up fist. It must have taken us a good minute to understand why the elevator wasn’t going anywhere, even though the doors were repeatedly opening and closing. I reached out and pressed the button for the third floor, and we laughed maniacally, slumping against the elevator walls as the doors closed once more and the elevator finally got going.

I know, I know. We’re such geniuses. The best part was the expression on the faces of the people studying on the first floor, who watched this whole drama with amusement and probably thought we were freaks.

And then I stepped out onto the third floor of the library, only to be greeted by a group of friends springing out of their chairs to serenade me with, “You…are…so…beautiful…to…me…” I’m sure I looked just as baffled as the other people studying in the vicinity. Actually, the look on my face was probably more like, What the hell??

Crackheads, all of us. My theory is, final exams and lack of adequate food and sleep (and the resulting exhaustion) make people act stupid. Just ask me, I’m a great example.

Oh, another friend and I got busted for eating Pringles in class. Halfway through my second final exam, I decided that I needed nourishment, so I nonchalantly decided to finish off whatever was felt in my Pringles canister. My friend and I passed the Pringles back and forth between us, unconcernedly munching away, and the rattling of the chips inside the canister was probably the only sound in an otherwise silent room filled with students scribbling away in their blue books, brows furrowed in concentration. Finally, our professor just couldn’t take it anymore, so she wandered over, smiling apologetically, and placed her finger over her lips. “Shhh, you’re making too much noise,” she admonished. I grinned unrepentantly and shoved the Pringles back into my bag, while my friend struggled not to laugh aloud. It was a total kindergarten moment. Ohh, the good ol’ days…

So yeah, I have three days off. No more hiding away in the cold, cold library, studying for twelve hours straight. No more driving home at midnight on dark, empty freeways, struggling and praying to stay awake. No more pulling all-nighters and forgetting to eat.

But what am I going to do, you ask? Lounge on the sofa and read novels. Have real conversations with my momma, instead of the exhausted monosyllables I use on my way in and out the door, late at night and early in the morning. Chill with my Shereenay, who starts classes at Cal in mid-August, meaning we’ll be seeing each other even less than we already do. Sit on the lawn or out in the courtyard, and soak up some sun to get rid of all the cold that's seeped into my bones. Eat dinner with meine Familie. Curl up on a comfy chair and flip through the piles of books I read to my preschoolers. (Everyone should read kids books. Trust me.) And if I feel like being really nice, I just might even go outside, pull some weeds for my daddy-o, and help him transplant geraniums (it's as easy as 1-2-3: just poke the stems into the ground. Voilà! Geraniums make life so uncomplicated). And I better not forget to oooh-and-aaah over my dad's latest pride and joy, the new shed we’ve just gotten built out back. He jokes that he’s going to buy me a desk and a sofa and stick ‘em in the shed, and that way I can study at the desk and pull all-nighters and crash on the sofa out there. In the shed. Amidst the fertilizers and gardening tools and the lawnmower, I’m assuming. I feel so special.

Three days. Have I mentioned sleep yet?

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