The Sneak

Back in college, my time-management skills were about as terrible as they are today (although I didn’t have the benefit of an ADHD diagnosis back then, whatever that benefit might be.) I would occasionally find myself facing a due date for a paper—for which I had not even started preparing—that was, in the context of the time, “tomorrow.” This necessitated that time-honored college tradition, the “all-nighter.” I couldn’t tell you how many of those I pulled back in the day. (Left entirely to my own devices, I think I’d still be primarily nocturnal, but that’s a story for another day.)

Unlike many college-age kids, though, I was never very good at going without sleep altogether. Upon wrapping up my 5-to-7-page tome comparing and contrasting Henry Kissinger’s The White House Years to William Shawcross’ Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon & the Destruction of Cambodia at around 4:00 a.m.*, I still felt the compelling need for sleep. I developed a technique I referred to as “the sneak” (mostly because I was too tired to think of a better name for it.)

With the paper due at the end of an 11:00 history class (i.e. at 11:50 or so), that gave me at least 7½ hours (i.e. from 4 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) until I needed to start thinking about making the trek across campus to the classroom. After a solid night’s sleep, I’d get up, throw on some clothes, hustle over to the building where class was held, and wait a few minutes for the professor to dismiss class. Then, as the 30-40 students who weren’t atrocious at time management filed out of the room, I snuck in through that mass of humanity, deposited my paper on the desk, and filed out as though I had been there all along.

Was this a terribly clever thing to do? No, not in the slightest. Is it a compelling tale in any way? Hell no. It’s just a story I’m telling to try to cover up the fact that I’ve barely posted anything to the blog in the past 2+ months. My apologies to my reader(s). I’ll let Gary Oldman express an approximation of my mood of late:

I merely mean to approximate the sense of frustration expressed herein, not the murderous psychopathy of Gary Oldman’s character, Agent Stansfield.

* This was an actual assignment, and I really did read all relevant portions of both books and write a paper that earned an A- between the hours of roughly 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.


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