Friday, February 24, 2006

Burning the candle at both ends

My Pedagogy teacher (who speaks with a delightful southern accent, it makes me giggle to think about) told me I need to do something about being so tired. "Can you cut down yoah houas at work?" she asked me. And of course I can't... the money's more important than sleep is at this point. But she says if I sleep through another exam I won't get a make-up, points off or no. I'll just fail.

So yes, I am too busy for my own good. By tuesday night I usually feel like it's Friday. But here it is Friday and I'm supposed to be working on a 10-15 page paper, and I'm messing around online instead. My schedule looks kinda like this:
Monday: Chicken-with-its-head-cut-off day. Running around almost constantly from 8am to 2am.
Tuesday: Pretty much the same thing but I have to dress up and catch a bus at 7:30. Pre-Student Teaching is fun!
Wednesday: 8am-11, and 12:30-2, then a break till work at 6.
Thursday: Blessed sleep! No class till 1:15, although sometimes I get up early to work on the piles of things that need doing. Work 11pm-2am.
Friday: One class at 8am, the other at 2:15. Loads of time in between to go back to bed, except I usually don't. No work, thank god.
There are also the non-class things like laundry, grocery shopping and scholarship essays. But those are easy to set aside and deal with Later (read: when I get around to it; see also: never).

I got to see the hawk today. I had been told by several people that there's a hawk living on campus, supposedly nesting in the Oak grove. Today he(she?) was in a tree near Whitmyre, with five or six raucous crows perched in the higher branches. It watched me come up the path and stare at it, and then the crows took off and so did the hawk. I don't know if it was me staring that riled them up, or if they just decided it was too cold to be sitting around. That hawk is impressive, though. I think it's a red-tail, but it was tough to see markings against the awful dull grey clouds. Maybe I'll get a better view next time, and remember to get pictures. My camera needs new batteries.

And it's off to work again, because I need to make the rest of this paper sound as incoherent as the first half, so that everyone is so confused by the meaning they forget to tell me how badly organized and written it is. ^_^ I strongly dislike bu__sh__, but at least it's useful in research papers.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


The library will close in twenty-five minutes. Here I sit with a borrowed library laptop; orange spray-painted letters declare it property of IUP LIBRARIES. It's warm in my lap, but not quite warm enough - these ones never overheat the way the boy's does. They're all Dells, half of them older models and half newer Inspiron 1150s, grey and sleek next to their boxy black ancestors. They all sit in the back tech office, charging when they're not in circulation, so it's easy for the tech workers to take them.

The library at 1:30am is ghostly silent, the coffee place closed since 9 and most stragglers already gone. The third floor, cold and empty, smells of mildew and worn pages, and the shelves form comforting nooks and crannies, dividing the silence into patches of quiet air. It's never the same temperature on every floor and in every corner. The second floor is warmer, and busier, sometimes three or four students will linger after the announcement is played: "The library will close in ten minutes. The circulation desk is now closed." They drag themselves away from late-night studying and hurried paper-printing, shuffling toward the doors like they've been pulled away too soon. The first floor is a hive of activity in comparison; it's where all the student workers gather as they shut down the desks and head for the exits. There are smiles and jokes about turning the lights off on the last patrons. Sometimes they do it, just for kicks. Nobody really complains, after the last warning. It's time to go home.

I get to walk back with a co-worker who lives one street away, trading small talk. Up three flights of stairs, to the warm sanctuary of 3rd North, and quietly into the dark room. My roommate is asleep, or pretending, and I am grateful. No more lights or noise tonight. Just the dark and the soft pillow, and the blanket the boy accidentally left this weekend, which I can wrap myself in if I am not asleep the moment I take off my shoes.