Tuesday, November 30, 2010

When You're So Stressed That Your Zen

Extremes are weird things. Once I had to get some warts removed (gross, I know) and they basically froze them off. They applied extreme cold to my foot and man I felt like my foot was on fire. My foot was so cold it was burning.

Sometimes, I get into the shower at the same time as my roommate and we fight for the hot water. I have a tendency to turn the knob all the way hot at these times. And then she gets out of the shower and I'm suddenly hit with scalding water. But I don't always realize it immediately. Because its so hot that it feels kind of cold.

And everyone always says there is a thin line between love and hate. I imagine that sometimes you love someone so much that you start to hate them, and sometimes you hate them so much that you start to love them.

It's weird how we can be in one extreme and yet feel another, and that's what happens to me every year around Finals time.

Usually, I spend a week of extreme stress taking five three hour finals and studying all the moments in between. My stress level is extreme, because I know that despite all the work I put in all semester, my grade really comes down to this moment. I've had grades drop from A to C because of a final (and a sickness). Finals are no joke.

During this week of stress, I'm usually so frazzled that I reach a strange point of zen. I suddenly feel that nothing matters and do I really care if I get a C? (The answer is yes, yes, I do, but zen me is convinced it doesn't really matter). I am so stressed that the only solace my mind can find is by creating a false feeling of calmness.

So finals week is still two weeks away. Why am I talking about this now?

Because the zen has reached me early this year.

This morning, I got to the office at seven to work on a homework assignment that I just started yesterday and is due tomorrow. I was chugging away, working hard on it, when the professor I TA for walked through the door.

He informed me and the other TA for the class that Homework 7 was due tomorrow. We were like "Really?" but weren't too shocked. We knew we would have to pencil it in somehow.

But then the professor said something that I'm not really convinced actually happened. Surely, I dozed off and had an awful nightmare because there is no way he uttered the following sentence:

"And they're going to have two more assignments due next week."

Wait...What? Two more assignments. Due next week. During dead week. During the week when I have to finish all my own homework, study for my own finals, and actually do the research I'm paid to do. What???

The other girl I TA with looked like she was about to burst into tears. I felt like I might throw up all over the desk. Suddenly thinking about my schedule for the next three weeks I realized there is no way it is humanly possible to even getting all the work done.

And suddenly my stress skyrocketed so high that I stopped caring.


I'm not sure how long it will last. It might not last all the way until finals. I might indeed have a mental breakdown. I might cry myself to sleep (if I sleep - who am I kidding) every night for the next four weeks.

I just need to survive until Dec. 23rd. Then I can go home for Christmas and not feel too guilty....presuming my ADCS SDT model works.

But I'm not stressed. I'm zen, even though that's probably worse. Because not caring never got me an A.

But sometimes it is the only way to preserve my sanity.

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