For an explanation of my NaBloPoMo theme, click here.
I am typically a very punctual person. I get stressed out about being on time, and I get equally stressed out about being too early, so I try to plan things really well. But I wasn’t always this way. In college, I was ALWAYS late. This was mostly due to the fact that a person can only move so fast, you know, and I was always running from work to class or vice versa. I usually made it wherever I was going on time, but not without feeling like I was going to have a heart attack from my breakneck pace.
During my Junior year of college, I had stupidly decided not to take any time off from work to prepare for finals. Usually I would take at least 2 or 3 days off so that I could cram my little heart out, but that semester I only had one sit-down final (the rest were projects) so I thought I could handle it. Clearly, I seriously overestimated my ability to be in 3 places at once. Between the 3 projects I had due, working, and studying for my one final, I was thisclose to giving up and joining the circus.
Finally, the day of the final arrived. My projects had been handed in the day before and this was the last thing I needed to do before I could go celebrate with some delicious alcoholic beverages and about 9 million hours of sleep. All I had to do was work 1/2 a day and then go take the final.
Let me tell you, I may be an old decrepit lady now, but in college I was champion of the all-nighter. The me of today, who is cranky on less than 7 hours of sleep, is horrified that the me of my college years would pull all-nighters on a regular basis. At the time though, it was completely normal and I was a pro. So I thought it would be no problem for me to stay up all night cramming for the final, then go to work, then go to the final. And it was no problem, until my eyes started closing on their own during my last hour of work.
“Self,” I told myself, “get a hold of yourself. You just have to take this final. You can get through it.”
And then as my eyes continue to close I said (a little more sternly this time, “Stop it, Self. How about if we have some coffee? You like coffee. Would that make you happy?”
Indeed, coffee seemed like the answer, so as I left work I made the executive decision to stop for the largest coffee I could find. I would have to rush a little bit more but it would be worth it. All hail caffeine.
I got my coffee and walked into the building where my final was to be held. The elevators in the building were notoriously slow and unreliable and I was running late (as usual) so I decided to take the stairs to the 5th floor. As I approached the landing on the 4th floor, disaster struck. My foot caught on the top step, propelling me forward, where I slammed into the wall.
Wait. That’s not right. My foot caught on the top step, propelling me forward, where I slammed into my coffee, and then into the wall. Because, you see, my coffee was caught in between me and the wall. And that created a coffee explosion.
I was drenched. In Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla (with milk and sugar). The extra large size, if you were wondering. My hair was dripping, for crying out loud.
However, finals wait for no one, especially clumsy young women. So I went to my final, where people looked at me very strangely. I wanted to tell them it was Eau de Arabica, but I didn’t think they’d think I was funny. Just weird.
But see, the thing was, since I was now wearing my coffee, that meant that I hadn’t actually had a chance to drink it. Which meant that I was very, very tired. I powered my way through the exam, but as I went to check my work, the old eye closing bit started again, and no amount of stern talking to myself was helping.
And that, you see, is the story of how I ended up falling asleep during a final exam while soaked in coffee.