Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Notes From The Library 2: Caffeine

I completed (i.e. probably failed) the first of my four big finals on Monday as the Victor finals fortnight of horrors rolls on. If hell's anything like the depiction in "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" (the modern day equivalent of Dante's "Inferno"), where you're doomed to spend all of eternity in a twisted, perverse, nightmare version of the worst moments in your life: mine would be right here, right now. I would forever be stuck on the overheated 2nd floor study area, chained to my cramped shoddy wood panel study cubicle, buried under a mountain of senseless highlighted notes, studying for a final that will never come. Hitler will probably in the adjoining desk constantly coughing and typing loudly, while Judas will be on the other end slurping French onion soup. Bogus indeed.

One of the few things that keep me going through this extended exercise in academic futility is America's favorite drug caffeine; and judging by the overflowing trash cans full of Starbucks cups and empty energy drink cans, apparently I'm not the only one who enjoys riding the fidgety dragon.

How can one not resist the charms of sweet lady C? On paper it'll give you quick energy, increase concentration, focus, and stamina, everything you could possibly ask for in a legal performance enhancer. However, when applied in real life it's far from an academic panacea. All I see in a room full of mostly anxious, spazzes, tweaking, and making frequent trips to the bathroom. In the end that grande or can of Red Bull isn't going to work any miracles (now methamphetamines and illegally obtained prescription drugs on the other hand...different story).

However it's not to say caffeine doesn't have a place in this whole studying experience. Like I said, it's a big part of my studying day. It'll only disappoint if you overestimate it. The energetic effects are brief, it'll probably leave you feeling more tired by the end, and when you're perked up you're probably more anxious than focused. In my case, however, it does its job of keeping my eyes open. It's as simple as that. When I crack open these notes or an outline, or textbook it's like a handkerchief full of chloroform. I can barely go a page, regardless of my current level of fatigue, without my brain giving up and going into standby mode. It's so cliched, like something out of a silent movie, but it's true. To prospect of a period of studying knocks me out. So to keep me going I have get enough juice in me for my eyes to physically be unable to close. It's sort of like "A Clockwork Orange" when they try to brainwash Alec and they force his eyes open with a restraint...only chemically.

I have to admit though, this requires a lot of caffeine to pull off; and considering how quickly one develops a tolerance for the stuff, a steadily increasing supply. Now this could get quite expensive and taxing, drinking my weight in Starbucks coffee or pricey energy drinks, all of which I'm not the biggest fans of in terms of taste. That's why the only way to fly is the always convenient caffeine pill.

Of course for anyone around my age, when I just mentioned the word "caffeine pill" only one scene immediately came to mind:

That's right, the singular defining moment of our generation; our moon landing/Kennedy assassination/Challenger disaster combined: the Jessie Spano Freakout! I know how can I resort to the dangers of the pill after having such a powerful scene like that burned into my childhood? How can anyone?

I admit at first there was a bit of a stigma when I reached for that pack of generic "Stay Awake" tablets at the corner drug store, I could hear in the back of my mind the frenzied, terrified, screams of "I'm so excited, I'm so...scared!", but I summoned enough personal strength to break that fabled last taboo. That and I wasn't going to pay out the ass for gallons of weak ass brews when I could have gotten the equivalent of 32 cups of coffee for two bucks! And you know what? Popping a pill or two is a lot easier than chugging and running back and forth from the urinal. SO FUCK OFF JESSIE SPANO, YOU WHINY ASS FEMINAZI!!

I'll work every angle possible, (outside of actually buckling down and studying hard) to get through this rough patch. And, Jessie, if you were really dedicated to success you would have kept on those pills, not blown that audition, aced those midterms, gotten into Stansbury, and Slater wouldn't have dumped you before starting the "College Years."

1 comment:


    that moment was deliciously too much...