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March 10, 2005
 Student View


Sleeping around
Lacy O'Connell

After midterm break, a kind of lull falls over the university. Most of us are rarely seen without a cup of coffee, and students shuffle around on autopilot. Work stacks up in front of us, and I’m sure even the most studious have no desire to do it until the last possible moment. The gung-ho attitude I was sporting in January has begun to fizzle out. Maybe “fizzle” isn’t the right word. Perhaps “burst into flames” is a better phrase. I’ve been known for my last-minute work in past years, and this time of the semester is when the tedium really sets in.

After a last-minute paper, you get stuck with this filthy “morning after” feeling that’s almost impossible to bounce back from. This is probably why our halls of academia are peppered with unconscious students using textbooks as pillows. Sometimes they have notes on them that say “wake me at five o’clock.” Institution of learning, indeed. I wonder if there’s a sense of paranoia in casually falling asleep in the Arts atrium. Anyone could come along and stick a pencil up your nose or give your underwear a tug. I’m one of the lucky students with a society room and a couch, so I can comfortably sleep behind a closed door – I don’t trust people enough to go to sleep in public. Maybe I’m spoiled, though.

This post-midterm shuffle is a dead zone, like we’re all bobbing around in the academic doldrums until exams start. I start walking around in a sleep-deprived daze and coming up with random, nonsensical ideas that strike me as really interesting. For example, I’d like to see boxing matches between profs in different departments, or set up a lemonade stand in the middle of the hallway. I think both could be great entrepreneurial endeavours. Who wouldn’t pay money to watch philosophy pitted against physics? Or better yet, business and engineering?

This is another part of the post-midterm hush: the faculty rivalries. D-Day is over. B-Day is over. The September orientation frenzy is long past, and we’re far too busy scrabbling over the mountain of assignments to think about silly competitions. It’s March, so it’s not like any societies or volunteer groups are actively recruiting with the same gusto as they do in September. No, they’re probably asleep in their society rooms.

The library, however, seems to be the top pick for napping space. I’ve been told there are about half a million books on each floor. It’s good to know that the library is being used to its full potential – there are at least 30 students drooling in the silent area at any given time. If I worked for campus enforcement, I think I’d have a stick to poke sleeping students with. Just for fun.

The most efficient nappers are students in their sweatshirts with yesterday’s pizza stain and a broken zipper, three days worth of stubble and ripped jeans. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone tries to dress up for school this time of year. We’re all kidding ourselves. We’re only going back to sleep anyway, so is makeup really necessary? Do you have to even dry your hair? I have a pair of jeans I fondly refer to as the “university pants.” Truly, they are an essential part of the post-midterm student wardrobe. Anyone who “gets ready” for school in the morning is kidding themselves. Just grab the track pants and go, okay? Save the nice clothes for dancing on Friday night. When you do your assignment on Sunday eight hours before it’s due, hung over and sleepless, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve gotten the urge to dress up out of the way while you were procrastinating downtown. You’ll want the sweatshirt on Monday morning when you meet with your “study group” in the library.

Oh, and please clean up your spit.