I’m sitting down to write this post at five minutes to three on Sunday night. Tomorrow is a bank holiday, and the only appointment I have is to go and look at a potential new allotment in the afternoon, so I’m not worried about sleeping. Not that I’m ordinarily worried about sleeping – I only get insomnia when I’m well rested. I’m well rested because I’ve been taking it easy on the study front in the last week. And I’ve been taking it easy because the last lot of assignments pretty much knocked me out.
I mean that in a more literal sense than usual; there were three assignments to do, two with the deadline on the same day, one a week later. I powered through them, doing research and planning on weekday evenings, and writing each assignment in a burst over a weekend. I cleared the last assignment at 17:30 or so on a Saturday evening, when it was due at midnight on Monday. And then I just about made it up the stairs to collapse and sleep for an hour. I woke up to one of the cats sitting on my chest and poking me in the face; something she only does when I haven’t woken up for any lesser motions, like the nose under the hand, or the loud purr in the ear. I reckon if she hadn’t woken me, I would have slept through to morning.
Exams are in a little over a month. I haven’t finished out the course materials yet, but I’m reasonably confident of doing well enough in them – I can deal with just about any question the literature course can throw at me, I can talk around points and principles well enough to pass the sociology exam, I think, and I intend to have a few select areas of the history course very thoroughly memorised before I set foot in the test hall – which will, conveniently, be here in Maynooth, not in the harder-to-reach DCU. Besides, for these exams, I really only need to pass; the assignments count for half my final mark in the modules, and the modules themselves don’t – can’t – count toward the final result of the degree.
I’m a little puzzled by the exhaustion reaction to the assignments. I didn’t feel, at the time, as though I was putting in vast amounts of work, and indeed, I did a lot of mining in Wurm Online in the background while I researched and structured and planned the essays. But it’s pretty clear from the resulting sleepiness, and from the fact that I dreamt in weird combinations of CSO statistics, south-west India in the 90s, and Enlightenment-era Russia for a few nights that they were weighing more heavily on the psyche than I knew.
I’m expecting the exams to have similar effects, but I reckon that’s a fair price.