Tuesday, August 18, 2009


My dissertation was due at noon today. I did not go to sleep last night. The timeline of the insanity of getting to noon went something like this:

4:30am: Print out first copy. It is 85 pages and 21,437 words long.

4:45am: Need to change ink cartridge. Realize that I only have enough paper for three copies, not two.

4:50am: Do a quick (and sloppy) edit of my other paper due, make changes, and print it out. Realize that I don't give a crap about it, only my dissertation.

5:30am: Other than finishing printing, am done. I set three alarms and get in bed. The sun is up.

5:50am: Realize I can't sleep because my mind is racing and the adrenaline is pumping.

7:09am: After drifting off for a little bit, I wake up on my own, a whole ten minutes before my first alarm.

7:10am: Switch the coffee on.

7:11am: Pee.

7:15am: Begin coffee consumption.

7:30am: Print out second copy. Watch as my paper supply dwindles dangerously lower and lower and lower.

8:00am: Go over regulations and specifications for the hundredth time. Decide that I am finished.

8:30am: Take a shower.

8:41am: Get exfoliator in my eye.

8:57am: Realize that no amount of makeup in the world will make me look like a functional human being today.

9:16am: Am in mad scramble to leave the apartment. The goal is to make it to the copy/print shop next to campus when it opens at 9:30am.

9:25am: Am walking to campus when it starts raining. I use my umbrella to protect my box of dissertations. Not myself.

9:39am: Get to copy/print shop. It is closed. I have heart attack.

9:41am Sit on the stoop of the closed copy/print shop in the rain. Text K in Edinburgh frantically about potential back-up plans, as I have none, and only 2h19m remain until my dissertation is due. Am entirely too tired to cry. Feel like I am in bad movie. Hear my dad's voice echoing in my head about not leaving things till the last minute.

9:47am: The lady who runs the copy/print shop shows up. She was stuck in traffic. Of course she was.

10:09am: Leave copy/print shop with three bound copies of my dissertation.

10:14am: Arrive at SESLL building, at 6 University Gardens.

10:15am: Turn in dissertations! Sign drop-off sheet!

10:20am: Have long talk with departmental admin about PhD program. Ask incessant questions. Have lost ability to speak coherently. Am quite sure she thinks I'm mentally deranged.

10:30am: Swing by M&S for celebratory breakfast.

10:35am: Run into classmate on Byres Road. He looks in worse shape than I do.

10:45am Go up to new flat to get mail and get K's suitcase that I'd borrowed to start moving stuff. Catch bus back so I don't have to walk in the rain.

10:57am: Instead of pushing the button to signal my stop, I accidentally push the handicapped emergency button, setting off a massive bus-wide siren. Have thoroughly embarrassed myself in front of full double-decker bus.

11:07am: Arrive back at my old flat to realize that I have almost an entire ream of paper in the form of drafts on my floor. Realize that I'm done. Update blog and Facebook instead of crawling into bed.

Now, I crawl into bed.

And just in case you were ever wondering how I'd look at 5:30am after pulling an all-nighter to finish my dissertation:



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