The story of the past 24-hours is the story of my ass just barely being saved.
With an ominous Statistics exam set to take place on Friday, I organized a study group to take place in the Wells library. I had no idea if anyone would show, but I figured that at least I could try to figure things out by myself. I was completely lost with the material, just because our professor is difficult to follow and I had put off the homework a bit too long. Exams comprise the totality of our grade in this class, so this study session was the only hand that could pull me back from the precipice of failure.
3:30 PM, THURSDAY 9/25
At this point on a thursday, I’ve been in classes for over five hours straight. I’ve been running around campus all day, climbing stairs, being scholarly, often skipping lunch, and at 3:30 I burst from the business building with a special smile on my face that only means I’m going to eat half the contents of my fridge and watch Netflix for at least three hours.
This day would give me no such joy.
By the time I get to my apartment, I have enough time to set my stuff down, think about dinner, and realize that I have no time to prepare dinner. I wolf down an apple and some raw veggies and run right back out to catch a bus.
I arrive at the library and set up camp. I stare into the abyss while I gather the courage to open my textbook for the first time.
At this point, other lost souls have begun to trickle over to my forlorn corner of the group study floor. We compare notes, set up a game plan, and I finally open my textbook.
I do a stats problem on my own for the first time. All previous joy in my life is insignificant in comparison.
“Guys, do you realize we’ve been here for 3 hours already? Hahaha…”
At this point, another stats group has merged into our own. We form a loose government and apply for admission to the United Nations. A few people have left us to nourish their bodies with food and/or sleep, or maybe political reasons. Those of us still left are slowly making our way through every problem in the workbook. “Lean On Me” has become more than an anthem; its lyrics are our battle cry, our holy text, the core philosophy of this small group of reluctant statisticians.
The group dissolves. I have never known such a hunger as this. I get fried rice at Fortune Cookies and check the bus tracker. 25-30 minutes for a bus? Looks like I’m walking.
I gross out my roommates with my voracious eating.
11:00 PM – 12:00 AM
I think about homework. I don’t do homework but thinking about it is as close as I’ll come tonight. Sleep takes me eventually.
8:07 AM, FRIDAY 9/26
I awake violently and sit up in my bed. Is this a nightmare? No, I actually did forget to set my alarm, it’s actually one hour until my psych lab, I haven’t showered in two days, I have a two-page essay due at the start of class, and a “meeting” (AKA INTERVIEW!!!) immediately after class today at a place I’ve been trying to work at. I consider skipping lab to shower and eat, but then I remember how much I pay in tuition and I slide out of bed reluctantly.
I finish the research for my paper and begin furiously typing. I pray to David Foster Wallace to give me strength and verbosity.
Essay complete, I put on acceptable clothing, sort of come to terms with the way my hair looks, and run out the door. Too late for a bus. I take the bike.
My lack of breakfast begins to wear on me. My stomach aches and my head hurts. I am having those weird hollow empty burps that you get when you’re crazy hungry (or maybe that’s just me??). My attention wanes.
I might fail a field sobriety test at this point.
I realize that in my haste to leave this morning, I forgot the calculator I need for my stats test at 11:15. I try not to panic. I send a text to my roommates and try to pay attention in class.
I also realize that I will have no time to shop for appropriate shoes before my meeterview (©). My standard interview shoes were discarded in my recent move because they were actually pretty jank. I text a stylish friend of mine and try to pay attention in class.
My roommate decides to bring me my calculator. I promise to make it rain cupcakes and cookies later.
Michelle has shoes for me. I try not to cry tears of joy. I’m not paying attention in class.
I get my calculator from Hannah, gather composure, and enter the stats classroom to get in some last minute cramming with the study group.
The test went pretty well, so I’m riding high. Who needs food when your body can run on confidence!? I bike home relieved, but not complacent. No, not yet…
I assemble myself in a professional manner. Necklace, tasteful makeup, tons of deodorant, baby powder in the hair, classy blouse/skirt combo. I run up to the fourth floor to meet Michelle. We pick out some snakeskin flats and I’m on my way.
After a 20-minute car ride with blasting A/C (I’m sweating profusely from hunger and stress), I park my car at my employer and compose myself. I was expecting to start working at the beginning of the summer, but due to classes and commitments to work in New Mexico, I was unable to be trained. They wanted to re-interview me before they started training me, presumably to make sure I didn’t become a creep or loser in the past few months. I walk into the building right at 1 PM, looking fresh as heck with a smile on my face.
I leave the interview with a job guarantee. I have a blissful drive home. I change (still no shower though) and meet Matt for lunch.
Burgers, beer, back to Matt’s apartment for some time playing with his adorable cat, then back to my place. I preserve the story in blog form (for posterity), and retire to my bed for a much-needed nap. I now better understand the limits not only of myself, but of the human body, the human psyche, and the human spirit.