Thursday, December 11, 2008

Time for you and time for me

I was in the institute building's gym last night, happily stretched out on my stomach writing a paper about language use in terrorist texts, when the door swung open and a few of my graduate student friends marched in, single file, with the one in front carrying a pumpkin. 

"Petra," they cried, "come join us! We're going to throw this pumpkin off the roof!"

I needed no more encouragement than that: I jumped up and fell in line, solemnly processing up the stairs to the roof, where we gathered around the edge as E. flung the pumpkin down with all his might.  We quietly waited through the splat on the pavement, sighing with satisfaction, and then just as quietly shuffled back downstairs to our study spots.  

My world goes a little crazy at the end of a semester: I've slept at the institute building two nights in a row now, curled up in chairs with my computer on my lap, trying to eke out just one or two more pages before sleep overtakes me. Normal functioning is forgotten: no dishes, no laundry, no errands, just research and just writing. 

But somewhere in the middle of all that research and writing is time for craziness, time for staying up until 4 am talking, time for kicking a basketball around the gym pretending to be Pele, time for belting out Les Mis songs with other stressed-out grad students, time for testing whether men and women really do walk up stairs differently (yes!), time for giving blood and Christmas caroling and live nativities, and, of course, time for flinging pumpkins off the roof.  

Secretly, I love the end of the semester: it's when everyone else is tired enough to indulge me in wackiness.  If only I didn't have all these pesky papers to write, these would be good, good times.   

6 comments:

skylark said...

i read this and i see beautiful order in chaos, and i feel pangs of what i can only describe as homesickness. really. i miss it so much it hurts. i guess i should have known this would happen...

enjoy the final stretch of rushing half-conscious hyper-aware brilliance-in-fog too-many-hyphened tumbling perfectly-in-place insanity. (i'll keep here on the sidelines, romanticizing it all...)

Annie said...

who cleaned up the pumpkin?!?!

Connie, who blinked said...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i almost threw that pumpkin away the night before, because it was so old and gross.

imagine that.

<3

The Dancing Newt said...

Yessssssssssssssssss...

Mackenzie said...

There is ALWAYS time for live nativity.

eleka nahmen said...

Your stories make me wish to death I was in grad school.