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:


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*


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


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…


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.


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.


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!


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……


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...


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.



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…


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.



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!


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.


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.


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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