I’m a Survivor! :D

by Gabriela, a Patriot Blogger

I’ve been M.I.A.!! Midterm week was last week, as I might have mentioned in my previous post (ah, so long ago!), so I disappeared for a solid week. I can’t remember much because lack of sleep tends to mess up your memory, but I’ll try to recount what I do remember in an organized manner. Whew! Here goes:

Saturday

So this would be Saturday October 15th. After noticing my a few holes in my jeans over several weeks, a fellow RA and I decided to go shopping at Fair Oaks. Usually I take the Gunston Go Bus (takes you to every mall with the exception of Tysons Corner) since I don’t own a car, however, my friend fortunately had one. This little outing was a nice break from studying for my anthropology theory class for which I was to take my midterm on Monday. I bought some jeans (I finally found some for short people!!), bought some Halloween costume accessories, got lost at Macy’s (err….one of them)….ya know, we did mall stuff. I remember this day was GLORIOUS in terms of weather. Very windy, but at a nice temperature, so I studied at one of the benches by my room. Check out the view!!

Facing Liberty Square...look at the sun!

 

A nice shade...

 

With my camera handy, a water bottle, and my anthropology theory book.

I didn’t do much afterwards other than continue reading for my midterm and devouring some microwave-made pasta with tomatoes, spices, and vegan butter WITH veggie soup. *Faints*

Sunday

STUDY STUDY STUDY. This is when panic set it a bit. I woke up late (though wasn’t supposed to) started studying (or at least I think I did?) I checked out the Virginia Opera performing Aida (Verdi’s grandest opera), which was phenomenal! Trust me, midterm or no midterm, I always end up at the Center for the Arts on the weekends.

Free ticket to the VA Opera: Aida!

Then it was STUDY STUDY STUDY followed by a generous review session led by my anthropology theory professor. At the end, I was sick of Marxism and Hobbe’s Leviathan, but decided to study some more regardless. My brain wanted to cry!! Anywho, a classmate and I studied at her house until about 2am and until we just could not keep our eyes open…and that’s after 5 cups of coffee AND tea. That was painful…

Organic chai in my owl mug

Monday

Mondays are when I co-teach University 100 in the morning. I love my students and the class dynamics is always engaging! I strongly encourage every incoming student to take the class as it is very beneficial to getting acclimated to Mason, and even college in general.

After teaching class, I went back to STUDY STUDY STUDY mode with my classmate again; though this time we chilled at my room (getting a bit distracted? Yes, yes, I will admit it). I got some brain food: pasta with peanut sauce!! I have mastered the art of microwave cooking-I have even taught residents how to bake mini-cakes, make pasta, etc.

4:30pm comes around and we have resigned to our fate. Our poor brains cannot keep Marx, Hobbes, Malthus, Lamarck, Compte et al. in order. I make some strong coffee as I feel a wake of sleepiness come over me, especially after averaging around 4 hours of sleep a night.

The minutes pass and we’re waiting to get our exams…

OMGWEREABOUTTOTAKETHEEXAM.

We get out of there after an hour and a half…it was brutal.

I get ready to make some more coffee since I have ANOTHER midterm the next day in my sociology class focusing on social movements and political protests. Fortunately (and I will kiss my professor’s feet for this), we were allowed to have two “anti-cheat sheets”. Of course, I stayed up all night working on fitting in several weeks’ worth of notes and reading summaries on two miserable pieces of paper.

HENCE ALL NIGHTER #1 OF THE WEEK.

It wasn’t as terrible as I thought it was going to be, but sleep would have been a tad better, I think. I probably dozed off for about 40 minutes before I finished up studying 15 minutes before I had to be in class (9am) on Tuesday.

Tuesday

So here I am in class, stinky from not showering, teeth caked with coffee residue, wearing all black (no reason in particular), no makeup, sleep deprived, etc. I felt absolutely attractive…

I was a hot mess!

I finished the test and went directly to my French class (still self-conscious, stinky, and sleepy). I have an hour break after this class before I have to run to my internship lab, so I clean up (a.k.a. transform) and look presentable for that. I had no time to eat, so I was starving at this point. I remember grabbing some last minute samosas and a cliff bar and eating them as I ran with a bulky backpack across campus. Indeed, I provide entertainment in between classes across campus.

5:30pm rolls around and I am headed to an RA staff party. We get intense with Taboo while devouring some pasta (I am in love with pasta, if you haven’t noticed). I made another batch of coffee because I felt like I was going to fall asleep anytime. I last until around 11:30pm trying to do homework, but I call it quits. Ahhhh….sleeeeeeeeeeep!

Wednesday

I woke up at 10am. Thank the heavens! But of course, once the day starts, it STARTS. I hastily get ready for a meeting at 11am for the Early Identification Program (EIP) and then another meeting at noon with my faculty member to plan for our next University 100 session. At 1:15pm I am running to catch my ride to go to the tutoring sites for EIP. We revel in traffic for about an hour before we get to a high school and tutor there. Topic of the day? Peer pressure. Hah! Peer pressure sort of disappears when you’re a college junior-it is promptly replaced by academic pressure. We then head over to a nearby Panera in Ballston because we’re ravenous. I try to get some French homework done to no avail. Why? Well, I made the mistake of checking my email…my inbox got bombarded. We then drive over to our second site to tutor middle school and high school students.

9pm comes around and I am back on campus. My ride drops me off at Starbucks (he reads minds) and I buy the biggest latte you could ever get. I run over to the Johnson Center to tutor a student in French, only to find out that she completely forgot. I then run over to my room to drop off my LOAD.

I stick around to talk to my residents (I just love them!) until I have to run to the all neighborhood staff meeting. INFO INFO INFO overload. Ah!!!

We finish up at around 11:45pm and disperse. I run over to my room and start making some coffee. It’s going to be a long night……

AN ALL NIGHTER, ACTUALLY.

Yep, that would be the second one of the week.

So I am sitting in my room and it’s around 3:30am. I am still working on my French midterm assignment. I am getting SUPER sleepy. I text a fellow RA who is also staying up all night and we end up walking to Starbucks at 3:30am. Classic! You’ll find yourself adoring the fact that Starbucks is open 24/7 on campus.

I head back to my room after buying the boldest drip coffee they had. Whew…..I gotta crank out these French journal revisions.

Sunrise while studying French-this is the view from my room!

 

The mess while working on my French midterm...

Thursday

It’s 10:30am. My sociology class that’s at 9am had been canceled but I should be in my French class right now. Hmm…to go or not to go. I HATE skipping classes, and when I do, it’s pretty much an emergency. I skip class to finish my assignment, but I am a paragraph short. Whyyyyyyyyyyy???

By this time, I have to go to the internship lab and THAT I can’t skip. I transform into a presentable person and run over there eating a Cliff bar (75% of my nutrition is provided by Cliff bars-if you want to call that nutrition). It’s 3:15pm and I run out to finish that darn paragraph. The assignment is due by 5pm essentially, so I am RUSHING back to my room to finish it.

4pm.

I HAVE FINISHED THE ASSIGNMENT.

Ok, time to print…

The printer is conveniently out of ink. Insert panic here!!!

I run over to my Resident Director and beg for help. And, of course, her printer is not working. Lovely news.

I run over to The Hub to put Mason Money into my card so I can print at the Johnson Center. It’s 4:20pm, and after having some trouble figuring out how to pull up my disk drive on the library computer, I print out my 16 page midterm assignment. I run over to the Aquia Building to turn it in. I then run over to my 4:30 class, which is an anthropology course on the peoples and cultures of India.

At 7:30pm, I check in for RA duty. I do absolutely nothing productive until 2:30am, when I am finally able to go to sleep. I have to be up 4 hours later…

Friday

My eyes are BURNING from lack of sleep. I get ready for my internship on site.

I load up on coffee like none other (and so does my fellow friend/ride because she had to pull an all nighter). We are a massive hot mess!!!

We struggle through the entire day and on our way back, we almost get into 5 accidents (none of them being our fault-you get some crazy drivers in this area!). MUST. GET. TO. MY. ROOM. AND. SLEEP.

4:30pm……

NAP TIIIIIIIIME!!!

If you were to see me run up to my room in excitement, you would never guess it’s because I was about to take the nap of my life. I woke up at 8pm, just when I had planned on buying programming supplies for Sunday’s program (upcoming blog post will have pictures!!) I don’t remember doing anything else productive…..grogginess is setting back in. Time to recover from these all nighters!

Saturday

Not quite. I wake up at 6:30am to head over to a fellow RAs room because he’s taking me home for the day (since he works around where I live). I can’t quite function, but just thinking about relaxing at home keeps me going.

HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I get there at 8:30am and I pretty much collapse on the couch. I think I woke up at 1:30pm with my beautiful dog licking my face. Ahhh, my baby!!

Our dog Buddy, a lab mix. (He was looking out for birds)

 

^.^

My wonderful parents take me out to lunch at an AMAZING German joint called the Döner, where I ordered some Falafel with fries. We took our dog, Buddy, since it’s a dog-friendly restaurant and they always offer him water. If you’re ever in Leesburg, Virginia, check out this restaurant!! It’s gotten great reviews everywhere!

We then shopped at Wegmans-they bought me so much stuff!! I love that place…My mom and I bought some extra stuff at a Latin shop nearby-gotta get our Latin American fix!

So by mid-afternoon, I start baking for my staff and friends, as I had promised.

VEGAN COOKIES!!

I’m munching on one at the moment…GLORIOUS. JUST GLORIOUS.

My friend picks me up after he’s done at work and we head back to campus. I have done absolutely NOTHING productive, but I relaxed!

Overall, it was the most hectic week I’ve had the entire time I’ve been at Mason (I’ve never had to pull two all nighters in a week), but it paid off!! I got work from a couple of my professors saying that I got A+ on my exams. Yay! It also pays off that my week turns out to be a great 2,000+ word blog post that I can share with everyone. I am alive!!!…..aaaand back to reading. 😉

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