Friday, April 22, 2005

The end of an era

With only three weeks left in my degree program, this is probably the last time that I will stay up all night writing a paper. There is something almost wistful about this moment; it is another of those many "lasts" I will experience over the next few weeks.

With a cat on my lap, tunes on my headphones, and a pot of coffe ready, I am looking forward to an exciting evening of paper-writing bliss. Oh yeah!


  • 12:07 -- I have organized my notes and sources, written a detailed outline, and decided on relevant examples for the paper on image retrieval. The cat is a really good study-buddy. I have not moved from this spot because she is snuggled up so nicely on my lap. I wouldn't want to disturb her sleep....
  • 12:35 -- So much for productivity. I got a little distracted and set this up. Don't expect any updates for the next few weeks, but I do have a lot of Grover pics to upload. Alrighty -- back to work!
  • 1:36 -- Assessment Assignment complete and emailed to partners.
    Back to the image retrieval paper. The goal is to have a draft that I can submit for critiques.
  • 2:49 -- I am starting to get sleepy and my shoulders are getting tight. The cat is still curled up on my lap (looking a lot like this). This paper has the potential to be really good.
  • 3:36 -- I have a complete draft! It is really not worth going to sleep at this point, so I will start in on the presentation for my other class.
  • 3:51 -- Blogging is taking the place of solitare in my paper-writing routine. It is pretty amazing that I have been sitting at a computer four straight hours (minus one tea-and-crackers break at 2:30) and have not played a single game nor read a single blog. LAUNCHcast has helped too. Jimmy Buffett's "A Pirate Looks at Forty" is on the 'phones right now. "My occupational hazard be, my occupation just not around. I feel like I've drowned, gonna head up town." [5:07 -- I guess I had hit a slightly hyper-point at 3:51]
  • 4:41 -- I am done with schoolwork for the day (or at least until class starts). Thank you for sharing this experience with me. It has been fun!
Some of you may be wondering why I would go entirely without sleep on Thursday instead of spreading the work more evenly accross the week. There are several reasons for this, all of which have been learned through experience.

I gain efficiency by working in long chunks of time because I am able to focus my energy. I am able to complete a thought before getting up and less time is wasted reminding myself of what I did during my last work session. My schedule during the rest of the week is so split up by work, errands, and other commitments that I rarely get the chance to set aside two consecutive hours anytime before 11pm.

Additionally, I have learned that I am less affected by one sleepless night than I am by the accumulation of nights with very little sleep. Take for instance, two weeks in which I get 50 hours of sleep.

Week 1777701210
Week 25555398

I get the same amount of sleep in both weeks, but will be a happier and more productive warillever in Week 1. In Week 2, the compounded lack of sleep would leave me grumpy and utterly unproductive by Wednesday. Granted, the Week 1 senario leaves me utterly wiped on Friday, but as I have previously mentioned, when I am exhausted I find a long sleep very refreshing.
  • 9:04 -- I have no idea why there is all of that space before the table. Probably some sort of HTML issue, because I hand-coded the table. Sorry :(
  • 9:11 -- I fixed it. Blogger interprets "enter" as a linebreak even though it does not display that way in HTML view. This blog is testing the limits of my HTML and CSS knowledge!

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