This one’s admittedly a little lo-fi, but you have to understand, I’m a computer scientist, not an artist! (Walks away clutching back)
Also yes, the title’s ironic. And the irony’s a cover up for my absolute lack of decisiveness when it comes to deciding what a good title could be. Do understand I’m pathetic at titles. We’ve gotten to a point where I’ll openly admit it. Readily admit it. Our lot isn’t meant to be too creative, our only goal in life is to sleep, please.
I mean approaching, formally. Like the absolute value of the difference between my math final and I, is getting really small and fast. And thank goodness for that absolute value, because this distance would’ve been negative without a doubt otherwise.
Also, mathematicians must hate physicists. And computer science first years too, probably.
Assignments can be a little woozy sometimes
Especially at 4 in the morning
I get that
I also get sleepy
And I care, you know?
I’ll see us through
I need to see me through too
And I have a strong back
And a stronger stomach
I’ll carry you
Sure I will
But not if you press down on me
And pretend you’re a hundred and four fucking kilos
And if you’ve a lot on your mind
Mine has blanked from exhaustion
And if I say, sure, I’ll take the heavier load
It means you take a load too, good sir
We learned in class
Of divide and conquer
That doesn’t work if the only dividing is between us
It’s slower if I need to look behind us
And go back to pick up the pieces of a mess
And when I say you get shit done
You get shit done, okay?
Because it might be my assignment too
And incomplete outputs might fail a test case or two
But I wonder what it’s gonna be like
When assertEqual returns an error:
“Expected return: True
Got “This method ain’t implemented cuz my partner didn’t do shit”.
This isn’t me, and I’m super thankful, but one of my friends is seeing a slightly less specific variant of this. It amazes me, and while I’m no one to judge how you’ve planned out your semester, why on earth would someone do that? It’s horrible. It’s disgusting. I try to imagine how many hours of my life I could’ve saved had I not spent all my weekend in a study space working on a problem set. How many more nights I am just not going to be able to sleep because we have an assignment due next week, and it’s big. It just irks me. It irks me a bit that I’m working. There’s no getting around it for me, sure thing. I’m not planning to. I’d feel awful if I did, and if I’m being honest, as hard as they might be, there isn’t too much to resent them for but time and the stress. I learn a lot from them. But someone absolutely shirking off their share of the work and still getting a grade, then flying high and coming down crashing after the final and then bitterly shitting on our school, that just disgusts the fuck out of me, it’s horrible.
And rant almost over.
As for my own case, I sometimes feel like my own assignment partners are more moral support than actual working partners. Some days, it just feels like I’m doing a proof or writing an algorithm or something, and they’re nodding along going, “yes, that makes total sense!” Sure it does, buddy, but can you also write the next proof so we’re done quicker? I really, really, want nothing more than an unbroken, undisturbed 11 hours of sleep. Just one night that I can sleep without planning for and booking off the first thirteen hours of the next day. Once.
Now for the better stuff! I’m going to see Muse this Thursday! I’ve been waiting for this day since November, and after five years of absolutely adoring the band, I’m finally going to be able to go see them live, and I almost can’t believe it!
No assignment, not even the finals could have kept me away, and nothing will!
[An edit added a few hours later: I didn’t even use my ruler. What a shame, there must have been a sine graph on that test just waiting to be drawn. What a shame. I spent my entire test flying high on proofs.]
But as of right now, I’m here, and in a good space. Sample this.
I’m sitting next to something of a waterfall. The sound is pretty calming, and I’m feeling weirdly good about this test. That doesn’t normally happen, and that’s either a good sign or a scary one.
But it looks good, and I feel ready. Kind of. Maybe. Here goes!
And so I head in. A good picture deserved a good post, and hopefully a good post deserves a good proof.
[Post midterm edit: It wasn’t bad! Hooray for bubbles and good proofs!]
Have you ever entered a library with the intention of staying and studying all day, determined to last as long as the summer sun (which lasts a while once the DST cycles kick in again, which is also a royal pain when you happen to be up and studying at 1:50 AM, comfortable, only to find that ten minutes later, it’s 3 AM), garner sole attention from the librarian when she comes around at 9 PM to specifically kick you out since they need to close, and then trudge home with the feeling that you’ve done something simply because you weren’t at the table beside your bed, in your nightdress all day?
Oh come on, come finals season, you will see someone in their nightdress down here. It’ll probably be me, for all you know.
Well, if you do plan this like I do, you probably bring everything you can think of with you and try to find the sunniest, most comfortable spot. You’re gonna be here a while.
And then you notice, there’s someone sitting next to you
Or at least, there should have been. But they’ve probably gone to the restroom, and/or asked their neighbour to please watch their stuff for them.
Do you sit there and wonder who’s sitting next to you?
Do you sit by, and ignore your proofs to play Sherlock on someone else’s major? Wonder what they’re learning, what they find hard, what assignments they’re working, grinding on today?
I probably shouldn’t.
I plan on being here a while, and I’ve a midterm tomorrow. I should be curious about my proofs.
What goes into a Big Oh proof? Can I play Sherlock and sniff out the shape of a graph? What might I deduce from this squiggly line on a paper that my cat would produce as art?
(That’s the point. I don’t have a cat. No cat in their right mind would draw a graph that’s Theta of n squared. Not even accidentally.)
But I should. I should go do it.
The library’s probably thankful that it’s midterm season and not yet finals.
They’ve seen me till 12:30 before, and they sure would see me again once the library’s finals-only 24 hour runs begin.
Splish, splash, Slush, and slashes; Mud, and ashes Spiralling crashes
Look down Stop, turn around Moment to see Do you look for me
Am I really In such a hurry Minute or three Just a minute or three
How many Pair of boots Are stomping in the snow I, and me, I alone
Splish, splash Slush and slash; Mud and ashes Is that where the catch is
Carry on Go on alone Steal the show And then take a bow
Just a minute I say, Can’t you stay Just a minute or three Just a minute
How many Pairs of boots Splashing in the rain I alone sustain, do I
Splish, splash Slush and slashes Mud, honey and ashes Now I’m stuck to where the catch is
Stole the show And went it alone And you’ll never know Minutes that I owe.
To the kid at Bahen Centre who decided they couldn’t do this anymore, I’m sorry we didn’t reach out to you. I’m sorry we thought it would be awkward to ask you quickly if you’re doing alright, if you need help, someone to talk to, someone to rant with, whatever. We’re a part of the problem.
I don’t know who you are, or if I may ever have seen you around or talked to you, but even if we never shared classes, I’m still sorry. This could have ended differently, and we were part of the problem.
I’m sorry for thinking it was a battle won when I knew what was going on in class, when there may have been people around me struggling without my ever noticing.
I’m sorry if there were three minutes I could have given you that I didn’t.