Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Sandman

Here's little gem from my sophomore year in college for a technical writing class...

To sleep or not to sleep


”Now I lay me down to sleep. I just get tangled in the sheets. I swim in sweat three inches deep. Just lay back and claim defeat. Chapter read and lesson learned. I turn the lights off as they burn. So while I’m three-hundred degrees I throw the sheets off and I freeze. Lids down, I count sheep, I count heart beats. The only thing that counts is that I can’t sleep.”--Bare Naked Ladies

1. I feel as though the whole schedule that time follows changes the minute you step into a college town. If I thought I stayed up late when I was living at home, I was ridiculously mislead. It’s 2:30am on a Monday night and I am awake. Not because I have some important task to attend to, but for seemingly no apparent reason other than the fact that I can. Well aware of the ugly consequences about to rear their malicious heads tomorrow morning at the sound of my alarm, I still don not go to bed.

I begin to hallucinate. The sandman shakes my shoulder, trying everything in his power to pick a fight. I try to ignore him, but he just keeps on.

I snap out of my daze to realize that my aggressor is in fact not the sandman, but my roommate aggravated with my incessant typing and IM bleeps at 2:45 in the morning. I apologize, turn down the volume, but do not go to sleep.

the sandman returns......

I fought the sandman and he won, but his victory was short.

2. Sitting in class it physically hurts me to stay awake. I am experiencing the Catch-22’s of college to the fullest. As a perceived mature and responsible adult I am sent to college. Somehow though, in the shuffle, I lost the maturity to go to bed at a “responsible” hour. Now I must sit here, in torture, and keep up a facade of attentive interest. Even the most studious (especially the most studious) of collegiate
s do not get the “doctor recommended 8-9 hours” of rest a night. Taking pride in your academics suddenly becomes more important than caring for physical needs. Yet, a long night of studying is no excuse for sleeping in class. I feel for the kid in Higher Learning who was caught dozing. The victim: a poor unsuspecting and understandably sleepy student. The villain: the evil professor.

Peacefully resting a startled boy awakens to a deafening bang. All eyes are on him. The professor stands next to
#the boy’s desk glaring down, a ruptured paper bag in hand. What happened? Confusion lifts from the boy’s face as he realizes he fell asleep.

I shudder at the thought of that scene. Public humiliation is not my thing. I must stay awake, must stay awake, must stay awake, must stay awake..............

The sandman glances at me from the other side of the room.

3. Standing on the edge of a cliff I look down. There is no fear, no sound, nothing. Suddenly, I begin to slip. I kick my legs...right into the desk in front of me. The girl sitting there turns around irritated. I apologize. The boy next to me grins sympathetically saying, “Don’t worry I did the same thing yesterday.” I smile, embarrassed. The girl turns back around. Mental note to self: go to bed earlier.

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