Volume 96, Issue 98
Thursday, April 3, 2003

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Ila Seegobin's all-nighter

By Ila Seegobin
Gazette Staff

7 p.m. I go to my boyfriend's house in hopes of getting that "I want to leave the house" feeling out of my system. Mission failed.

8:30 p.m
I am back home and the sirens flashing at the sketchy apartment building behind my place indicate that everything is on track. Time to open a "new document" on MS Word.

8:45 p.m.
After chatting with my roommates about food, we go to McDonald's and to the HiYa convenience store (my third trip tonight). It's raining.

9:00 p.m. I watch some TV to prepare me for the long night ahead.

10:30 p.m. I visit my neighbours to see what they are doing for the night.

11:30 p.m.
When I return home, my editor and colleagues are on my couch. We start to discuss the story, but we end up gossiping and watching While You Were Out (this truly is journalism at its finest).

12:23 a.m.
It's time to get down to business. With a Coke in hand, I begin typing.

1:00 a.m.
Why am I so tired? I need some green tea. I peek into my roommate's room – she's staring at her computer. Oh no! If she is being productive, I should be too.

1:34 a.m. Hearing noises, I look outside to see inebriated folks laughing and howling. Feeling jealous and lonely, I go back to my pathetic existence, which presently involves writing a paper on the Renaissance.

2:16 a.m. I discover a large box of Hershey's kisses left over from Valentine's.

3:37 a.m. I think the computer is really bad for my eyes, but I can't look away.

4:46 a.m. I have finished the first draft of my essay! HOORAY!!! Now I can start on my four other 15-pagers, seminar presentation, and test due next week.

4:47 a.m.
I am alone – my MSN list confirms this.

4:48 a.m. I start reading for the next essay. The TV is on for background noise and it is showing an infomercial for an electric broom. The broom is very hi-tech – I am transfixed.

6:08 a.m.
Time for an e-mail break. There is a message from my roommate asking me if I am still up – YES!!!

6:09 a.m.
I knock on her door – no answer, so I proceed to enter. I feel like Homer after catching Apu cheating on Mandula. My roommate is comfortably passed out on her bed. She wanted to know if I was still up. I ask you, madam, are YOU still up? Are you?!!!

6:15 a.m.
I think a power nap is necessary to renew that fresh feeling.

6:30 a.m. Sadly, I wake up feeling like an unwashed ass. Watch CNN for a bit.

8:30 a.m.
I ponder the meaning of an "all-nighter." Since it's now day 2, can I go to bed? I call my mom for an answer, since she's the only person at this time.

8:33 a.m. After being yelled at by my mother for waking her up, I continue reading.

8:45 a.m. My roommate's alarm has been going off for an hour.

9:30 a.m. Satisfied that I have pulled an all-nighter, I make juice and get ready for bed. My stomach burns and my heart pounds from the over consumption of green tea, Coke and Hershey's kisses. My retinas are burnt. I feel dirty and unwashed. I am lonely and overworked. I need to go to bed.

After evaluating the amount of work I actually accomplished, I realize that only a quarter of my time was spent productively. Is it possible that all-nighters are unnecessary? Could I (gasp) have avoided this hell by taking fewer breaks and working during regular hours? Such a fate is not worth considering lest I gouge my tired eyes out in frustration.

Words of advice:
I pulled this all-nighter off by drinking copious amounts of green tea – a well-caffeinated beverage. Having used coffee in the past, I can affirm that green tea works almost as well, and without the crazy heart attack-like feeling.


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