Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Great and Terrible Day

Last Friday was a doozy.

I had an eight page research paper for my Tissue Biology class due at midnight. I'd been researching like a fiend since...Monday. Now don't start wagging your I-told-you-so fingers because I've got that under control. Anyway, Wednesday rolls around and I have yet to structure any sentences. On my way home, I check my phone as per ritual, not expecting to find any missed alerts, as there never are any. But I had 2! A missed call and a message. Inquiries to my voicemail revealed that a nice young man wanted to reserve my Friday evening for a social outing. But this wasn't just any date; he wanted to go to the BYU hockey game. I want to go. Really. Badly. But I have that wonderful paper to slave over. The game starts at 7:30; the paper's due at midnight. Oh, the drama. Luckily, this young man knows this, as we are in the same class, and is very understanding of the fact that I may not be able to accept due to this assignment. So kind, no pressure. I want to go even more now. Besides, what more could I accomplish in those three hours (no way I was going to bed late just for some paper)? After pouring out the whole story plus my minute-to-minute time commitments to my mom via Tabitha (mom was driving), I came up with a plan. It was fairly simple: finish the paper! Tonight! Easier said than done. I barricaded myself in my room, which Samantha was nice enough to vacate, and worked my tail off for 3 hours straight (punctuated with food provided by my kind, loving sister/roommate) and converted all my two days of research into four or five solid pages of prose. Not too shabby. I decided that this was definitely do-able and would call to confirm the next morning, as I had another 3 hour block to finish it then.

I felt a little like this after that session, but hey! It was getting done.

I called the nice young man at 8 and left a really scattered message, hoping that the main message of acceptance was conveyed. He texted back a confirmation of my assent shortly after, accompanied by another reassuring message that he would understand if I needed to cancel. I was determined to make that unnecessary and set to work. Unfortunately, I had used up all my research and was now required to fly through research articles (not the easiest literature to peruse at high speeds) and compose my findings simultaneously, which slowed my production rate quite a bit. I only added 1 or 2 pages in those 3 hours before I had to go to work. Now, the other wrench in this system I didn't tell you about is that I also had an anatomy lab final on Friday which I had not begun studying for. So the next five free hours would have to incorporate some studying as well as research/writing. Talk about butterflies! I had cortisol coursing through my system all the rest of Thursday. I wanted to do well on these things, but I really wanted to go on that date! Thursday night I didn't make any headway length-wise because I took out an entire section and replaced it with something else. Better paper, but still not done. I felt like the clock was running my life.