Oberlin Blogs

Work Ethics

October 4, 2008

Aries Indenbaum ’09

Bad idea: Working on a Friday night.

This week, I had a paper due on Friday. But it took forever. On Thursday, my computer imploded, killing off my draft. This slowed me down. But what really dogged me was my ambition to make The Best Paper Ever.

I've got a strong love of learning, writing and reading. During breaks from college, I read for fun. Writing is my passion. But what keeps me at Mudd Library from dinner past midnight, is my all-consuming fear of having my professors think less of me. Kirk Ormand, my Ancient Sexuality professor, is Just Too Cool. I would rather eat a baby bunny than disappoint Kirk.

So, I'm working. I'm working. 4:30 rolls around-- it's Friday. TGIF. Outside in Wilder Bowl, there's a really great DJ and about 300 people are talking, relaxing, and getting out the stress of the week. Most of my amazing friends are outside, frolicking in what could be the last gorgeous day before fall drops its terrifying curtains of chill across campus and we're all wearing sweaters and sniffling inside, sulky and lacking in Vitamin D. The last lovely afternoon.

And I'm writing about gender and poetry in 6th Century Greece. Basically, a paper on why Sappho is amazing. Example:

"Or if she flees, soon she'll pursue,
she doesn't accept gifts, but she'll give,
if not now loving, soon she'll love
even against her will."

Then it's 6:00, and my friends are going to Pizza Night, at Harkness. Apparently, Eliza's dessert pizza is just out of the oven-- it has cinnamon. There'll be live music, one of my friends mentions. There's an Open Mic night later. And a Contra Dance.

And I'm inside writing: "For many Greek women, their house marked their boundaries-- they were indoor creatures, not expected to live outside." I misspell boundaries, somehow.

I think about Kirk, Coolest of the Cool. Captain Kirk. King Kirk. Commander Kirk Ormand, warrior of the Mediterranean Seas. I am his deputy, his knight, his homegirl. This paper is mine. I keep on typing.

I get hungry, stop into the Decafe. Freakishly, there's no line at the sandwich/salad bar- odd for a Friday night. I order an amazing mozzarella sandwich. Other sandwiches get freaked out by how ridiculously cheesy my sandwich is. They quail at the expanse of mozzarella, cheddar, feta and sun dried tomatoes on a hummus slathered roll. I eat my sandwich in a hurry in one of the little booths. Sappho waits for no woman.

I return to typing and I get lost in the readings. I scramble for my thesis. I retype some ugly phrases. I bemoan my lost draft. I look at the clock. It's 9:00, and I'm tired. I should keep working. I really should. I just have 2 pages left.

But there's a contra tonight.

So... I go contra dancing! It's better than expected-- the new callers are great! I dance with Glen, Catherine, Sean, Harris, Yoshi, Aaron! One of the dances go horribly awry and Glen and I run to opposite sides of the floor to spin our neighbors! The musicians are great! I take off my shoes to waltz! I spend about 20 minutes play-fighting with Yoshi after the dance finishes at 11:00! Sappho, Kirk, I know you'd want me to do this! This is a bacchanalia!

I return to my dorm, sweaty, exhausted, and overjoyed. I bang out the rest of the paper and fall asleep, around 3:30 AM.


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