The sun passes through the curtain of my eyelashes. I check my alarm clock. It’s four in the afternoon. I have just woken up. With a yawn plastered across my face, I have never been happier. It’s not every day that you can sleep the day away. In fact, it’s not every day you can sleep two days away. Yesterday, I woke up at five.
This is the summer of my dreams. Some may say otherwise. They chant, “Contrary to popular belief, sleep is not where dreams are accomplished” but I just shrug those comments off. Well, more or less I can’t hear them over my snoring. In my most humbled opinion, to have dreams, I must first sleep. So this summer, I try to catch enough z’s to have dreams to accomplish up until I am 212. That’s one of my dreams. To live till I am 212.
After a grueling academic career I feel such behaviour is appropriate, if not mandatory. Spending night on end with a textbook so close to my nose that with each turn of a page I suffered a nose bleed has its consequences. The first is the juggling between the trinity of University: a social life, academics, and sleep. The second is undergoing the realization that you can only choose two of the three. So for eight months, I chose two, and for those same eight months, I was known as red-eyed Rudolph. Sadly, my nose was white.
With my decision to sacrifice sleep at home, I couldn’t manage to stay awake in class. Surprising, I know. Classrooms became my bedroom, chairs became my bed frame, and professors became substitute parent figures whispering sweet bedtime stories to me. Some of my all-time favourites were, “The Stor-ium of Chemistry” and “Calculus’s Castles and Calculators”. Within minutes of the lessons starting, I was singing a song of silent snores and cuddling with the person next to me. Word of advice, strangers make great pillows.
Certainly some people frowned upon my antics. Once or twice a week I was ostracized for falling asleep in class. People went on and on about how respect for the professor is warranted, and the only way to show such respect was to be wide-awake, listening to their years of experience and what not. Most of the time, I just snored them into silence or I said I had narcolepsy. Most people were quiet after that. Especially the people who didn’t know what narcolepsy was and thought it was contagious. It also helped that I pretended that my droopy-eyed dreamy-disease was. I’ll admit it: I play dirty.
That being noted, I do certainly agree with what those wide-eyed critics were saying for the most part, despite not listening all the time. Professors are smart people. They have a copious amount of experience I cannot even begin to hope I’ll garner in my scholarly pursuit. Even in my wildest dreams of knowing photosynthesis perfectly, the light of optimism does not shine on my spirit of knowledge.
Yet when one’s eyes are dancing around with one’s eyelids because the Sandman decided to see if a human could tango in a mountain of sleeping-sand, it’s difficult to not doze off, optimism or not.
I do, however, find it interesting that people tell me I am being brazenly disrespectful during my impromptu nap times. The only reason they occur is because I’m trying to cram in the workload assigned last week into today’s lesson. Call it a bad work ethic. I don’t. Because before I even began university, it felt like I was already behind. I worked and worked, but it seemed that whenever I took two steps forward, I was always five steps behind.
Consequently, my days became longer. From eight until three in the morning, I tried to stave off the screaming desire to sleep just to fit in one more page or one more assignment. This lasted two months without ramification. That is an accomplishment in and of itself. Some may even say lasting so long was like a dream coming true. Others, a nightmare.
Sleep, the indomitable monster that it is, eventually won over my seemingly imperturbable will though. As I cut deeper into my ever-mounting workload, bags the size of the Moon began to orbit themselves around my eyes, my motor skills began to become comparable to a stick of moldy Swiss cheese, and of course, I began to doze off in class starting in November. Or as I liked to call it, Nap-ember.
The more astute would then realize that this only put me more behind. Without wakefulness to pay attention during class time, I had to rehash the notes from my bright-eyed friends. Because of this wasted time, whenever I took two steps forward, I was now ninety-nine steps behind. It felt as though every day when I awoke, I was starting a race that had already been finished.
Now don’t get me wrong. I do not blame the system wherein the professor’s load an avalanche of work nightly. No. They had it done to them. They’re just repaying the favour, as well as attempting to cover a vast array of knowledge in such a short amount of time. You know, trying to teach.
That is all fine and dandy. Instead, I blame my damn lumbering fingers, my plodding brain, and my inability to evolve into a creature that needs less sleep. So, I guess I’m blaming natural selection. Giraffes only need 1.9 hours of sleep per day and that’s forgetting the fact that they have elongated, graceful columns which could hold the Parthenon for necks. Us humans have to suffice with eight hours of sleep and short, stump twizzlers for necks. Too bad. If only we evolved in a classroom, then maybe we wouldn’t have needed so much sleep. I had a dream one day during calculus class that we did. It was zzzzzzzz-uper.