procrastination causes braindeadiness

The end is coming! It is! Blogathon will be ending soon! I don’t think I remember what life is like without Blogathon. I have been dealing with it since Thursday night, since my family kept me busy until then. Group emails, tweets, making some changes to the blog template, cursing because I broke the template, fixing it, more group emails, calls, instant messages…

It’s all for a good cause though and I volunteered to do this so I would never complain. In fact I’ve been enjoying this. It’s nice to do things you want with people who want to do them. This is only my second time participating in Blogathon as a blogger and this year’s experience has been much better than the previous. Plus, I don’t think I’d have made it to the end if I did it on my own. I’d probably have pulled out half my hair and destroyed my blog by now (I tend to break it by accident every time I’m in a rush).

This reminds that I discovered a bald spot in my left eyebrow. I don’t know why or how but I woke up and there was a bald spot! I have talked about how I am very clumsy and tend to discover scratches and bruises on me that I don’t remember getting but this is different. I’ve also been noticing other weird things. Lately I keep catching myself doing the stupidest things. What is happening to me? When did I become the person who cannot remember to not speak while he has mouthwash in his mouth? Yes, I made a mess.

I think it might have to do with the fact that I haven’t been doing much with my brain over the past couple of weeks. I’ve been very lazy and I guess it’s true what they say. Your brain is a muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it and let’s just say that I’ve been finding myself with time to floss, time to clean, to discover that my duvet fits in the washing machine, etc.

Starting this Monday I should be getting back into my uni work. I have to start and finish my dissertation by the end of September. Although it sounds like a long time it’s not. There are a lot of things than need to be done. I have a lot of reading, writing and referencing to do. Preferably I should use half the time to research and write it and the rest to make correction/revisions and “last minute” additions which aim to improve the grade.

Having said all this, I know what I’m like and I can see myself procrastinating another week away. What do you tend to do when you procrastinate or get lazy?

2 down, 2 to go (my brain hates me)

We are waiting to be called in the exam room. The time goes by and we’re all telling each other how we are not ready for this and dreading the exam. Some laugh nervously, others sit in a corner and one is in the wrong place altogether. Seriously, he’s meant to be somewhere else for a different exam but he doesn’t know. He realises he should had gone in with the previous group and tries to convince us that we are all wrong and it is us who are waiting in the wrong place. He goes to check and we never see him again.

Then one of the examiners opens the doors to let us in to the room. We all take our seats and so I choose a desk as far away from people as possible. Today everything seems more informal, it is a smaller room than last week’s and the examiners are not as uptight. We sit down and within 5 minutes we are casually told that we can now start.

I begin to read.

1. This question is on UML and OCL, the…

-Candymaaaaaaaaan! Hey! Candy Maaaaaan!

– No, this can’t be happening. I thought it was over!

– Who can take the sunriiiiise?

– No! No! Shut up!

the Object Constraint Language. The following type diagram represents a…

– Sprinkle it with dewwww…

– Arghhh! Stop it!

– Cover it with chocolate and a miracle or twoooo

– This is not good.

I keep reading through the rest of the questions and try to answer what I can while this plays over and over in my head.

– The candy man can ’cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste goooooood…

By the second hour of the exam I have surrendered to the madness. My feet now move along to the full on band going off in my head in dolby surround.

– Talk about your childhood wishes, you can even eat the dishes!

How can you be upset about doing crappy on an exam when you have this song in your head?

– Who can take the rainbow (who can take the rainboooow)
Wrap it in a sigh (wrap it in a siiiiigh)
Soak it in the sun
And make a groovy lemon pie?

Yes, there were backing vocals too. Why does my brain hate me? Why won’t the voices in my head stop torturing me at the worst possible times?

1 down 3 to go

Momentum. That’s what I have right now. I swear I could start revising for my next exam right now but I won’t. I will not, because I think my brain has already turned to mash and I don’t want to push it over the edge. It would probably liquify and that wouldn’t be good since I have another 3 exams before I finish.

Today’s exam was um, interesting. I honestly don’t know what to make of it. I wasn’t in my best of moods today and I couldn’t even smile. My friends at uni knew there was something wrong as soon as they saw me and because I haven’t been taking much care of myself lately either, I also look like crap. One of them looked at me for a few seconds and then said that I looked “old”. I don’t know whether it’s because I haven’t shaved in a WHILE or because the bags under my eyes have now stretched all the way down to my knees but that was the verdict. After waiting for about 30 minutes (yes, of course we were there early) the lecturer told us we could go in and get settled.

I took my time. I found a desk away from people I knew and sat down. I didn’t want to be distracted. My luck had a different opinion though. After I sat down more people came in the hall and filled out all the spots but that was not the bad part. You see, I was expecting all the seats to be filled. What I was not expecting was sitting in direct view of a student with his butt hanging out of his jeans. I am not talking about that “hip” thing where your jeans hang low and everyone can see your underwear. The guy was airing his butt! He was sitting on his frickin’ belt!

A few moments later the faint aroma of shit reached me. I don’t know who it was. Either someone had soiled themselves because of all the stress or they could had stepped in dog shit. All I know was that I was being mooned and could smell shit.

I counted backwards from 10 and I refrained from taking deep breaths. I focused my mind elsewhere. I filled in my details on the papers in front of me and read the first couple of questions of the exam though the front page (I consider this a skill) and tried to think.

The time came and the tutor informed us that we could open our booklets and start the exam. I opened mine and read the first two questions again. They were not making any sense. I moved on to the next page. Nop, still nothing. I felt like the words in front of me had lost all meaning. I moved on to the last page which was of course the last question and it made sense! That was it! That was were I was going to begin. I started writing and writing and once everything I could think of was on the answer booklet I moved back to the previous questions. Everything was making sense now. I was in the zone and I couldn’t stop writing.

Almost 3 hours later and I was still writing. My hand was throbbing but I ignored it. I kept writing until I suddenly stopped. I still had 20 minutes but my brain was finally empty. Everything I could possibly come up with as answers to the questions was now on the paper so I decided to see what I had done. I counted the pages.

14 pages! I hadn’t stopped for 14 pages! I was amazed! Not everything I wrote was relevant but it was correct. If they give me marks for half the stuff on there, I’ve passed.

The next 3 exams are all next week (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday). These will be tougher because I won’t have much time in between to revise as much as I’d like but for now I’m not worrying. I have a few days before Tuesday to prepare for them.

10 days left

And so it starts. The final countdown to what will hopefully be the end of my life as an undergraduate.

My first exam is tomorrow but my mind has already skipped to the end of this academic year. Even though I have a rough few days ahead of me I just need it to feel like it’s over. I am not as stressed as I was a few weeks ago. Actually, I’m lying, I am very stressed and very worried but somehow I’m not letting it get to me. The “come what may” approach.

In light of recent events, (my mother being admitted to hospital and having surgery to remove a brain tumour) I have managed to put everything in perspective. It’s not the healthiest of perspectives but it’s the only thing I can do to keep myself sane through this last stage of my course. If things don’t go well I’ll still survive. I’m not saying I am prepared for things to go wrong but if they do I’m sure I’ll be able to face it.

I know I have not updated you Internets on my mum’s health the last few days so I’ll do it right now. My mother was allowed to leave the hospital on Friday last week after they removed her stitches. She is now at home recovering. Today she saw the doctor as scheduled so they could check and make sure everything is healing up well. Everything is okay and she no longer has any headaches or any of the other symptoms she was having before.

That is all I have to say right now. Wish me luck for tomorrow and I’ll update on how it went after the exam is over and possibly after I’ve had some sleep.

walking through a month-long fog

I woke up from a dream where everything around me was misty. Thick fog was blurring my surroundings and I had no idea where I was headed. I was following the road I was on thinking that this was the best way to not get lost. When I opened my eyes the sun was shining and warming my bed through the bedroom window. I could feel the gentle morning sun warmth on my skin. Not being a morning person means that I do not express anything for at least the first 30 minutes of being awake (on my best days) but I was smiling on the inside. I was smiling because the nastiness of the past few weeks is over. The weather is getting warmer every day and it feels like summer every time I go outside.

Guys in just flip-flops and shorts are walking around or sunbathing in the parks. Girls in their most casual clothes are basking in the sun and drinking brightly coloured frozen drinks. Young children are playing at the beach. Older people are sitting in deck chairs chatting away while the sun reddens their skin. I am walking past them all in my usual fast pace wishing that I could be one of them even for only an hour. They all look so carefree and at that very moment I get pulled into their lives. Suddenly I am a young boy throwing pebbles in the sea trying to make a bigger splash than the rest of my recently met friends. I am a mother of 3 smiling as I take a photo of my children acting goofy. I am an old man walking my dog along the seafront with the help of a walking cane. Just like that, I’m there imagining what they are thinking and feeling. I am not imagining what their lives are like but what they are feeling that very moment. They seem happy.

I keep walking and I can’t help but notice that everyone looks happy. Hell, even I am looking happy. It doesn’t matter that I have a very difficult month ahead of me. It doesn’t matter that this month is what will judge whether the last 4 years of my life have been successful or I should had spent my time and money in something else. The only thing that matters is that in exactly a month from today I will be finished with this course. I will not be bound by coursework. I will be able to enjoy my summer and choose my next steps.

The dream was true; I don’t know where I am headed but I am following that road. The road will soon take me to the next town and the fog will clear by the time I get there. Where I go from there is a whole different trip but until then I will remember all this and keep that smile on my face no matter how stressed I get. The wonderful weather will make it harder to stay inside and study but it will elevate my mood and a good mood is vital when preparing for final exams. Final! That word gives me goosebumps!

Off I go!