Minute Minutiae: I Know You’ve Missed Me

S.O.S. is currently in the midst of holiday hangover recovery in preparation for a New Years hammering (a.k.a. Watching Parks and Rec reruns).

The irregularly scheduled irreverence will return sooner than you can say the longest word in the world.

Cheers, and hope you are all having an interesting holiday.

S.O.S.

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Final Examinations: The Intermissionary Position

Well, we have arrived at the middle of finals week. Here’s some intermission music for you while you read this post:

 


Yes, yes, you get it, I like Monty Python. Now let’s get on with it.

So you’re smack dab in the middle of finals week and you’re feeling down in the academic dumps. You feel your life force trickling away from your haggard body and emaciated mind. Maybe you’ve already completed a final or two and have one final paper to write until you’re free to frolic into the wide open arms of the winter holidays. In any case, hump day feels like slump day, you’re as mad as Hell and you’re not going to take it anymore.

I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it anymore

We’re running out of f*cks to give!

Peace, my fellow students, peace. Your friend Stressed Out Student is here to help. Take an off day. So what, you have a final early tomorrow morning. Is an A+ really worth the sacrifice of that last sliver of insanity you have tucked away in that dwindling island of a happy place you have? No, of course not. What use is a college degree if you’re locked away in a madhouse muttering the periodic table of elements in between electroshock sessions? Right, no use whatsoever.

So take a breather, my friend. Do a little Christmas shopping (H&M was having a huge sale!), take a leisurely stroll around town (even if it is the coldest December on record), drop by your friendly neighborhood Church of Scientology, and make yourself a gargantuan kettle of tea.

Do something you’ve been meaning to do forever. Go see a movie or a play. Call up your friends. If you have no friends (like me), never fear, the Internet is your friend. Watch “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” clips with a container of your favorite finger snack. To hell with early morning finals. Cram the whole first season of Breaking Bad into your late evening/early morning before your test. Drink a couple Red Bulls and you’ll be good to go.

I am your best friend on the Internet. Would I ever steer you wrong?

Happy Finals Week, my friends. Stay sane(ish).

Scrap Paper Poetry #7: The Studying Dead

Scrap Paper Poetry #7
The students crawl in,
The students crawl out
They stalk the library
And lug about
Their arm-and-leg textbooks
And coffee stained pages
With eyes lacking luster-
They haven’t slept in ages.
It’s Dead Week – Beware
For the dead shall walk
Through dorm rooms, cafes,
And each campus block.
We hunger for brains
And will never rest
Until judgment day:
That sweet final test.


And holy balls- did you watch The Walking Dead? Good reminder of the benefits of staying ahead ((badum tss)). Good luck with finals, fellow students! And to all else, good luck with… life!

To the Rest of Us NaNoWriMo Failures

NaNoWriMo FAILUREI’m a failure. I’m a big fat lazy aimless unambitious masochistic failure. And this post is dedicated to all the Wrimo Failures out there. 

A few days before the start of November, I thought “Hey, I’ve never given NaNoWriMo a serious shot before. I’m gonna’ do it this year!” Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I started writing with a vague semblance of a point for writing my book. It was going to be a fictional memoir, you see, full of meta postmodernistic dark humor about someone who forgoes writing a suicide note for writing a suicide book. The protagonist was totally going to die, you see, and he would know all about it because he was going to be the one doing it. Yeah, this idea totally rocks! No plot, no problem, right? I have my ending kinda’ sorta’ hashed out. Alls I needs to do is slap some peanut butter and jelly in this sumabitch.

As you may have seen in the couple of updates that I wrote about in the past month, I started out strong writing right on track at the 10,000 word mark and then I gradually fell behind. But hey, a couple cups of tea and a few hours of pure writing time at the cost of my sleep should just about do the trick. I’ll be caught up in no time.

Nope.

Just nope.

It was about 10:53 p.m. on the evening of November 30th, when I realized there was no way I was going to be able to write 7,000 more words in 2 hours and 7 minutes. If I wasn’t already too sleep deprived, I would have broken out the irish creme, coffee liqueur, and half & half and started watching Monty Python videos. I just stuck to watching Monty Python sober- but not until after I had churned out a thousand more words for the next hour and 6 minutes. In the end, I reached 43,438 words of my “novel.”

And you know what? 43,438 words ain’t half bad. Actually, it’s freaking fantastic. This past November was a wonderful learning experience via NaNo alone and I am thankful for the lessons it has taught me. In fact, there has been a lot to be thankful for this November.

NaNoWriMo Chart with Frame

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde

So for all of you out there who started NaNo, but never got around to reaching your goal for whatever reason, I raise my mug of tea to you. Whether your wrote 49,000 words, 12,000 words, 100 words, or just came up with a title, we can all give ourselves a pat on the back. The point of NaNoWriMo is not about writing a perfect New York Times bestselling novel in 30 days. The point is to just get started. Any step forward is a step in the right direction. It’s stagnation that kills us. There are some people with novel ideas who never so much as write down the title! You did that and perhaps much, much more! We did that!

This all sounds a lot like naive, self-deceiving, optimistic bullshit – which it is – but yet, it isn’t. NaNoWriMo is about having fun. Even the stress you experience through NaNo isn’t supposed to be overly negative stress. You’re not meant to beat yourself up over your holey plot or stubborn characters. You’re supposed to have fun with it. What is the point of writing if you’re not enjoying yourself? I may not have been even close to finishing my story, but I’ve made [in]glo[u]rious headway on it.

It might be a steaming pile of ox dung right now, but it’ll make great fertilizer for future writing endeavors.

So chin up, fellow Wrimo Failures. Even the greatest writing fails we have achieved this past month is a small victory.

What are you thankful for? Fellow Wrimos, did you reach your goal? What did you get out of NaNoWriMo? Will you do it again? (I know I will). Post your word count proudly and share your thoughts in the comments! 

Read about others’ NaNo “losing” experiences:

Follow my mundane thoughts on Twitter @SOStudent and watch me make a fool of myself on the YouTubes (stressingoutstudent). Cheers.