At 4:00 a.m. on December 4 I began to question my sanity for the thousandth time. The final paper I had spent the last nine hours on was nearing completion with a 7 a.m. deadline looming. I pushed away from my desk for a few moments to collect my thoughts. Sipping an ice water, I looked at the whiteboard I use to organize my school schedule for each week.
No doubt I would have a rocky start to finals week, already working on my first all-nighter. With a half hour to spare I would submit what I felt was a solid paper and slip into bed for a power nap.
At 7:30 a.m. giving my daughters a kiss on the forehead as they headed out the door to school, I remember once again revisiting the issue of my sanity as I went over my work schedule in my mind. Several deadlines needed to be met and a conference call with several attorneys would take place—all before noon. The afternoon would bring several unexpected but not uncommon work obligations pushing my prep for the next final exam uncomfortably into the late evening.
Generally speaking I’m not a person that requires much sleep to operate. I rarely get more than five hours a night but in retrospect I’m not sure what I was thinking when I loaded up my schedule with five classes for the semester. I’m quite certain I pushed the envelope of my capacity several times before I reached the buzz-saw known as finals week (or Def-Con 5 as we affectionately call it around my house). I did manage to live through the exams and the final papers after pulling a second all-nighter later in the week.
I’m quite certain however, that I wouldn’t have survived it without my awesome wife who not only makes sure I get fed from time to time, but did extricate herself from dreamland to tell me that the run on sentence I was trying to compose at 5 a.m. simply did not work.
This morning I headed out to put six miles on the new kicks Santa left under the tree for me and begin working off the extra holiday cheer that seems to have gathered around my middle. It was great to see family and friends and briefly exhale before the spring semester train leaves the station. I read somewhere that the lowest level of brain activity is achieved in front of the television so I made sure to take in a bowl game or two justifying it as a well needed brain nap.
Happy New Year to the Penn State family!