Marathon Man

I’m still here. I prevailed over the incredible odds of surviving all the exams and troublesome “necessary” biological processes.

The results of all my drinking caffeine and staying up late paid off. I probably could have been paid a little more, but hey.

I started my stimulant regimen on Friday night in preparation for a Monday Ochem exam. I had to get about a 70 to keep my B. With Ochem, easier said than done.

My first mistake was to drink a half a monster right beforehand. I should know better, since I’m in anatomy and the final covers the urinary system, that I can’t hold water thanks to a complicated feedback cycle of renin, angiotensin II and aldosterone that I thankfully no longer need to know. Sure I was awake and aware. What I was aware of was that I needed to pee real badly about a half-hour into the exam. Thankfully, the TA supervising let me go, but otherwise, I would have been in an uncomfortable position in what would have become very uncomfortable pants. Because grades mean that much to me.

I ended up with a 99 out of 150. Which was a little disappointing. I ran out of time due to the above dilemma inhibiting me on the first half. A mere 27 points more – 3-4 pages of reactions- would have put me in reach of an A-.

Microbiology, alas. That cursed exam was scheduled for 8AM on Wednesday. Tuesday was obviously spent on study with an unwavering intention to go to bed by midnight. Believe me, I tried. No caffeine all day. Studying all evening. Quiet dark room. I suppose the gaffe was the elevated cortisol levels. I curled up and stared at the alarm clock until 3AM. Getting up at 6:30 was like crawling out of a foxhole and into a firefight.

Mobile breakfast consisted of a turkey sandwich in one hand while my other held my scooter, me cursing everything in sight.

“Blast you, trash can.”
“Damn you, rock.”
“I shall see you in HELL, orange safety cone!!”

As we gathered like refugees in the lobby of the Stewert Center. Prof “Skinny Leonidas” walked among us. I repeatedly cleared my throat, anticipating a rousing speech that would motivate us into decimating the exam or at least holding back the Persians. I was let down.

Maybe it was the poor lighting, or my general malaise, but the test seemed like a massacre at the time. Looking back with a clearer mind (and the exam key he released) I realized that it couldn’t have been that bad if I got an 80.5. Which is good enough for me. One would only need to shave off a decimal place to put me back in the C range. That is, assuming I self-graded correctly.

I prepared my supplies for the last assault. Two Friday exams. OLS at 8AM, anatomy at 7PM in the same room. I would have all of Thursday to prepare. I already had some of the OLS reviewed because I made that the designated procrastination material while I was studying for chem and micro. The anatomy was allotted a 20 hour time slot between when I got up on Thursday to when I had to go to the OLS exam. Thanks to a double shift, I was tired enough to get many hours of sleep in preparation. The goal was to pull an all-nighter (my first academic of such). Then take the OLS exam, then sleep for a full night all day, then go to the Anatomy exam.

Plan went well at first. Hicks had free coffee, I used too much splenda and may very well get cancer, but that’s unimportant for now. I reviewed an entire semester’s worth of material in that 15 hour span as well as finishing the new material: digestion and metabolism. Let’s just say I’ll be glad not to ever see that unpredictable Acetyl-CoA again. Tricky bastard can oxidize in hell for all I care.

I scootered across the empty campus to the field house where the test would be. I sat there with the other early risers as the professor chided us for coming earlier than even him. The test was straight forward. 125 bubbles later, I was scootering across campus again, knowing what I would have to do, even though I still felt surprisingly fresh.

But I did it again! I didn’t fall asleep until 10AM. And even then I was woken up by something that I should have anticipated. It was the last day of finals for many of my floormates and they were moving out. Unable to find peace in the clatter of squeaky wheels and rolling suitcase reverberations, I threw myself back into my studies 90 minutes after hitting the bed.

I walked to the test after dinner, destroyed it in two hours and returned to Harrison to start to pack. That was 10 hours ago, when I thought my electronics would merely be a three-box affair.

Just now, I’ve donated the last of my Monsters to some poor physics crammers. They rejoiced in an obscenity laced cheer in the affirmative thanking me. I don’t think I’ll need them anymore. It’s been 18 hours since that 90 minutes nap and 42 hours since that restful night’s sleep. Yet I’m still sitting here, typing with surprising alertness, fully packed and awaiting my ride in several hours. I really hope I didn’t break my brain with all this.

One Response to “Marathon Man”

  1. Neal says:

    Welcome to College Tommy. I hope you enjoy your stay. Muhahahahahahahahahaha!

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