The Adventures of the Five Page Paper (or Damn It, I’ve Lost the Thesis)

All right, five pages. Five pages due tonight. That’s not bad. That’s freshman high school English stuff. Easy peazy, lemon squeezy. Last paper for this ethics class. Last. Paper. Then you’re home free (after two more exams, but not gonna’ think about that right now). Ok, here we go.

Assigment: Your goal is to identify the text’s central claims, the author’s major arguments that support these claims, and the evidence that supports these arguments. Think carefully about the purposes of the text and about the context and background knowledge that it presupposes.

Yeah, this shouldn’t be too hard. Easy text. Pretty obvious claims. Of course licensing parents is a no-no. There are so many moral violations – this is going to be a piece of cake to write about. Ok, here we go.

[Times New Roman, 12 pt font]

[Format name, class, prof name, date]

[Right click -> Paragraph -> Double-space]

Cracking my knuckles. Ok, here we go.

Oh a text message. Hahaha, gotta reply to this… “LOL yeah. Ron Swanson’s teh best :-)”

Ok, here we go.

“In this essay, I will analyze the claims of the paper.”

Hm, skip the intro. Save the intro for last. Screw writing an outline; I’m just going to go straight into the body (that’s what she said…?) All right, identify the claims, identify the claims… La-di-da-dah…  Facebook… Oh, George Takei (or George Takei’s Facebook mod), you cheeky funny bastard. Pandora… Johnny Cash station. Yeah, Johnny’s my home boy. Ok, here we go.

“In support of his assertion that parent licensing programs are necessary to protect children, LaFollete cites studies and researched statistics as well as referring to self-made observations.”

Whew, that’s an amazing sentence. Time to reward myself with a few articles.

After several quick fixes

… What am I writing about again?

Scan through prompt with half-shut eyes and half-open mouth.

Ok, I got this, I got this. Claims, analyze, identify…

Two hours of YouTube, a sandwich, and two and a half paragraphs later…

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...


Good luck to all fellow students on exams! What’s your essay-writing process? Got any procrastination tips? (And by “procrastination tips” I mean “ways to put off doing my essay for even longer.”)


In Which the Student Commits Somnicide

Writing a eulogy can be fun. Especially when no one actually died. In honor of dead week, here is a eulogy/goodbye letter to our oft sacrificed friend Sleep.

My Sleep

(b. 1990’s; d. Whenever I started doing all-nighters)

“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.” – Oscar Wilde

Here we are, my friend, my love, my bedtop companion. Here we are. Who could have known it would end like this for you, my dear friend? I certainly hadn’t expected it. And I’m sure you hadn’t seen it coming either. I mean, who dies by ballpoint pen? I don’t remember what I was doing with that pen in my hand – Physics? Macbeth essay? Who frickin’ cares what it was. The important point was that the pen was in my hand and I had no idea what I was doing. I’m sure you would remember if you were here right now. You always had such an amazing memory, albeit a very strange and imaginative way of relaying it. I remember one time being deep in you and having you show me some really crazy sh*t. But you always knew what I liked. (Mmm, Hugh Laurie).

Sleep, you’ve been with me my whole life and I’ve felt privileged to have been a part of yours. I’m sorry for murdering you, buddy. No hard feelings, right? Well, of course no hard feelings because you’re dead. But I know you wouldn’t take it badly if you were still here with us. Academics and having a life needed to come first and you weren’t willing to off yourself. Always such a sensitive and tender one you were. You never wanted me to get out of bed with you. You were always there for me during all those boring lectures. You held me tightly under the covers during the weekends – ever the persuasive sweet talker.

But you know, you were kind of an ass, too. Yeah, this is supposed to be a sweet parting letter with lovey dovey sentiments and all, but you’re dead now, so what are you going to do about it? Nothing? That’s what I thought. What the hell was up with the coyness and screwing with me? You often toyed with me, slipping me in and out, and then holding me at arm’s length so that when I needed you most all you did was smile at me and never let me fall into you. You know I needed you that night before that calculus exam. As well as that night before that twilight flight. And the night before my first day of college! You knew how important all those were to me and then like some jealous mofo you abandoned me for God only knows where. So you see that beautiful quote by the ever-luscious Oscar Wilde? Well, that ain’t what’s waiting for you. I hope you spend the rest of your non-existence in a series of appearing-in-public-naked nightmares, you sadistic, soporific bastard. Dead week and finals are going to be a helluva blast without you. Good riddance, ’cause I’m not gonna’ need you for Spring Break either. Suck it.

To all those about to take exams at the expense of their sleep, I bid you a tearful good luck!

Dammit, It’s March

February’s a mofo, coming up short year after year before making off with your precious time – without even the courtesy of warning you that March is coming. And then every four years February makes a half-assed attempt at commitment by sticking around for one more measly day. Pshaw. February, you suck.

March. It’s the month where we raise awareness to colorectal cancer, celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday by reading to kids, and give the Irish and non-Irish alike a pseudo-legitimate reason to get wasted and pinch people. Also, for those of us in the confines of the lovely higher education institution, it means Spring Break is coming. Time to make innocent and responsible choices.

Spring Break

Pictured: Belly button CPR (and possibly initial stages of regret)

However, before us lucky students get to embark on our wild Sprink Break adventures – whether it’s on a Girl’s Gone Wild video in a swimsuit in Miami or in a snuggie in your living room – we still have to traverse those pesky tasks called Finals. Let us all heave a collective sigh and grimace. It feels like midterms were just yesterday. Finals create a vacuum.

So hang in there, fellow student folk. We’re almost there. And for those of you who don’t have to deal with finals – well, aren’t you special. (Excuse the bitter sarcasm; I still love you).

(And I still love you, too, February).

And now for something completely different – a lighthearted march (Monty Python style, no less):

And some semi-related stuff to read:

Professor Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Freaking and Love My Finals

And thus, we reach the end of a romance, a thriller, a comedy of errors (thank God for the curve).

Finals weren’t – aren’t – so terrible.

It is with regrettably late realization that I have come to embrace finals. They stir me, quake me, make me feel alive as never before! Finals – essays, labs, exams, and presentations alike – are my sole reason for living. What am I to do this upcoming month? This barren wintry month without your sweet, sweet whispers into my ears as I lay awake at night? All-nighters – where am I to go to become motivated, as you have motivated me, to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to finish the 20-page essay? Where, Darling Finals, am I to turn to to soothe the cortisol withdrawals? The stress! Oh the stress. The brand of stress that the holiday brings is no match for you and your ever looming deadlines, procrastination, and the ring of the alarm clock at 6 in the a.m.  Farewell, Fall Term and Finals, I knew thee well – far too well!

All the studying, the late nights/early mornings, and the hours spent staring at line upon line of text – all gone in favor or normality. What is “normal?” College is life, is it not? College is life and love and everything from here to the moon and beyond. I await the return to school, to winter term, to my new and true “normal.” Until then, let us write writhing, throbbing fan fiction of our fated love: Fifty Shades of No. 2 Ticonderoga

Edward Cullen and Bella Swan sparkling in the forest

Finals and I: Still a better love story than Twilight

Just kidding. Finals create a vacuum.


[Yes. Gangsta’ now. Yo.]

Peace out, fellow students, good luck on the rest of finals, and enjoy your break.


Got thrilling winter break plans? Or just vegetating in the comfort of your home? Awesome. Share your plans (intimately) below!

On the Fourth Day of Dead Week

Deck the halls with sticky notes, dry erase markings, and shreds of the tattered and battered remains of our sanity as we enter our favorite time of year: Dead Week.

By “we,” I refer to students. And by “year,” I mean term, whether it’s a quarter, trimester, or semester. So… Fa la la la la, la la la la.

The only things standing between us and – nay, guarding with bared teeth and chesty growl – winter freedom are finals. Ah, finals, our old friend. It seems like only a few weeks have passed since we had to encounter your cousins, the midterms. Why so eager for a family reunion? I assure you the midterms were more than enough to tide us over for[ever] a very long time. So please, continue staying at bay off in the distance. Believe us: we like you better there. It’s almost better than having you behind us and out of sight.

Fellow college students, never fear. Hang in there. Stay strong. And golden. For the freedom that lay before us at the end of the following week shall be sweet and pure and holy. Just a few more days, fellow academic warriors, but tonight… we dine in hell – the hell of cramming and crying and procrastinating and repeating. So eat heartily, my friends, and then revel in the just desserts on the horizon, with the sweet corn syrup of success and triumph dripping down your chin.

Study hard and study long! For on the morrow, the winter break is yours for the taking!


THIS IS… an overused meme.

Good luck. And de-stress in the comments section.