Okay, I had two essays due today for two different classes. One was about Consumerism in modern America, and the other was a summary of a group presentation for English. Yesterday afternoon was spent researching for the presentation and making a few powerpoint slides. The ‘leader’ of my group asked me to do a summary on the book’s characters, but then changed her mind and asked me to compare a historical figure to a fictional one from the book. I didn’t mind, I said sure and made the slides. These presentations are pretty easy, and I didn’t expect to talk for more than five minutes. I emailed my slides to the ‘leader’, asking her to send me the accumulated powerpoint presentation so I could write my summary essay. She didn’t.
That was frustrating, but our teacher doesn’t really mind late work, so whatever, fuck it. I started reading for the consumerism essay, expecting the powerpoint to pop up in my inbox eventually. Nope, never. By 3 a.m., I had finished prepping the consumerism essay, sent in my presentation materials, and had neither essay done. I wouldn’t have time to do both essays the next morning. Fuck.
Alright, I’ll pull an all-nighter. Wrote the consumerism essay from 3-7 a.m., took a shower, got shitty dining hall breakfast. Sat around (immensely sleepy) for four hours, and went to English class with red eyes.
Now, the (randomly assigned) groups for these presentations were supposed to be four people. Only one person left the class once the semester started, and he/she was in my group. So we have three people. Kind of shitty, but I assumed the teacher would be a little more lenient with us.
Before we can begin, the professor needs to run through his ritual of plugging the projector plug into a laptop, and making a big fucking deal about it. The projector fucks up, in some way, and wasn’t compatible with Macs, so I volunteered my computer. Ah, that’s right, she never sent me the fucking powerpoint. I asked her to email it to me, nicely. Or maybe not nicely, I didn’t care and I definitely don’t now.
The presentation starts, and the ‘leader’ summarizes the main characters from the book. Fine, I can see why you’d want to have that section for yourself, she did organize the slideshow. Even so, it’s a glorified “Character’s” page from Sparknotes, and I’m not really thrilled she skimped on the work. Then the other girl starts (they have the same first name, and fuck if I know which is which.)
What does she talk about? Why, a motherfucking comparison of an historical figure to a fictional one from the book. Panic: 10%
You’re fucking kidding me. WHY? Why would you let me stand up here if I have no new information? There’s not much to look at when you’re presenting in this room, the projector makes it difficult to look out into the class. So I’m stuck re-re-reading my notes and scanning these slides that I didn’t make but contain the exact same information as the papers in my hand. Panic: 25%
I’m already standing here too long without saying anything. I’m pissed now. If the presentation ends without me saying anything, will the professor ask me what’s up? What do I say? Do I give him an attitude and accuse my group of sabotaging me? Should I ask to talk to him after class, and feel everyone’s stare as I sit down? Now I’m just pissed I got no sleep last night. Panic: 60%
Oh, she’s done. They just changed the slide. What is this? One (shoddy, if a powerpoint slide can be particularly shoddy) list of plain text with the word “Differences” at the top. Yeah, I wrote this. And more, too, but I notice there’s nothing else there. Ah, I see. the ‘leader’ assigned me and the other one the same topic, and I was the one that had an “additional facts” portion, so I got the leftovers. Panic: 0% (That’s bad. I shouldn’t be completely calm after all that.)
And that’s really what it was, leftovers. They both spoke for about five minutes. I had one slide that accounted for about a quarter of my input, and I might have spoken for a minute and a half. Honestly, what I wrote contradicted most of what had come before. Without the transition I included between “similarities” and “differences”, the slide really didn’t make sense. So I stood there, not really stressed or nervous but pretty fucking pissed and hiding it by stuttering through what I had prepared and looking only at the teacher, who looked horribly confused by fucking everything I was saying. That made me sweat more than anything else.
And then it was over, directly after I finished talking. One of those awkward endings where the audience isn’t really given a chance to applaud. Usually, I’d start clapping and say “Yeaaaah” or something, because that’s the funniest thing you can do when you awkwardly end a presentation in front of your classmates and everyone usually claps out of surprise. Fuck no, not doing that.
I probably got a shit grade on the only easy assignment in that class. Now I’ve gotta ace a final on a dozen books and plays, none of which I’ve read in full. AND I have to do the summary essay I planned to write almost 24 hours ago.
-My ability to work after 2 a.m. is directly proportional to the number of people I’ve told I will work after 2 a.m. Procrastination is a given, it doesn’t really affect my self-worth since I’ve been successfully getting away with it since 4th grade. Creating (entirely fictional) guilt structures based on other people’s expectations is a lot more effective.
-I judge the fuck out of other people on facebook in the middle of the night. Like I’d feel great if there was a (0) on my chat bar. It’s probably just envy that they’re choosing to stay up while I’ve got important shit to do. Important shit I should have done in healthy increments over a period of weeks.
-If I’m awake long enough, I’ll start to feel physically sore in random places. Like I lost a fight three days before.
-I’ll check ESPN.com at least three times before I remember sporting events don’t begin after 1 a.m.
-My stomach doesn’t particularly appreciate me eschewing sleep. But really, what does my stomach appreciate? Can I make it happy, ever? Man, fuck that guy.
-You can actually hear morning birds around campus if you’re outside early enough. All I can think when I hear them is, “Wow, if I had just woken up from a decent night’s sleep, I would really be enjoying this right now.”
-I don’t feel sleepier the longer I’m awake, I just feel gradually more apathetic towards the idea of being awake. Which is, existentially, a little concerning.
These are things that, ironically enough, I don’t tolerate. First up,
-People that correct other people that incorrectly label things “ironic.” There are three types of irony: verbal, situational, and dramatic (wikipedia that shit if you don’t believe me). Even if it’s not in the way the speaker intended, a situation is usually ironic in at least one sense. Nitpicking this nonsense is the same as informing people their “metaphor” is actually a “simile”. It’s still a useless discrepancy, because similes are actually a sub-group of metaphors, and either way, you’re still “an asshole”.
-“I like everything except country and old stuff.” Sure you do.
-People have to hear a song on a car commercial three hundred times before they’ll try out a genre they’re not familiar with, but MILLIONS will watch outdated celebrities trudge through thousands of shitty singers, just to find a dozen people who can do mediocre John Mayer covers?
-Flavored vodka. It’s GOING to sting, don’t make me taste it going down. Just take a swig and pretend you’re a pirate like everyone else.
-It’s been almost nine months, and everyone on my floor JUST realized we all prefer Papa John’s. Come on guys.
-I’ve got the closest things to a perfect roommate, but that was the second time he stayed up ‘till four to watch the end of Training Day. It’s really hard to sleep with Denzel screaming “honkey” at you.
-Dog people that “don’t like cats”. A dog person, to me, is someone who can’t handle the idea of a furry mammal that isn’t instantly in love with them. Cats only show affection to people that feed them, nurse them back from an injury, or out-lazy them on a daily basis (game respects game.)
-People that get angry when a fairly obscure artist goes mainstream. “I listened to them for like two weeks straight and NOTHING, but a month later I can’t get away from [breakthrough single.] It’s bullshit.” Are you fucking kidding me? I understand how the obscure stuff people enjoy is more personal to them, but really. You can’t expect me to be on top of everything you listen to, on the off chance that Pitchfork will decide it needs a new zeitgeist and over-saturate the world with it.
-Why is The Office still going? Michael is happy, Jim & Pam are happy, just put Andy and Erin together and have Dwight win the lottery. Boom. Series over, everybody go catch up on Parks & Rec.