Candy necklaces are key study tools. They’ve got sugar, they’re happy and if you eat a bead every hour, you can keep track of time. When you put them on your head, they very, very slowly and gradually slide backwards, creating a pleasurable massage effect. This sometimes simulates a thinking cap. Other times it simulates a rather distracting now-I-kind-of-need-to-pee feeling, which would get those comatose muscles moving! Speaking of muscles, did you know the second OED definition for “massage” is “percussion of the muscles?” The first is “the action of saying Mass.”
Go climb in a moat. The one next to Saybrook is perfect for this. It will give you a whole new perspective. An okay-so-maybe-I-haven’t slept-or-showered-in three-days-and-my-hair-is-rockin-that-greasy-hippy-look-but-at-least-I-don’t-live-in-the-middle-ages-or-in-a-zoo perspective. People on the street will stare at you. You will appreciate the number of cigarette butts and gum wads thrown on the ground. You will learn that blue is the most popular gum. You will get an A in Site-Specific Performance.
Beware of Malicious PDFs. You may have gotten an ITS warning e-mail about these. You can recognize a Malicious PDF by its classic villainous qualities: spiky black font, twilight zone music and a sudden shower of translucent red from top to bottom of your computer screen — like the curtain of death in the old 007 Playstation game. If you do not have time to do the online reading for a class, tell your professor that the PDF she sent was “malicious.” Watch her laugh at you.
In the case of a power outage in Bass Library, run to those off-limits yet strangely chair-filled courtyards to experience a moment of sheer rebellion and joy. Tell the security guards who come to capture you that you’re researching fish tanks. Watch them laugh at you. (Kudos, Charlie, my love).
If you need a snack, try Honey Nut Cheerios. According to the box, you can “lose weight and help feed America” at the same time. Wow. How that works is yet to be determined. Perhaps the weight you lose is redistributed butterfly-effect style. Remember high school physics? Mass can be neither created nor destroyed.
Wear a bandanna. It makes you feel bad-ass. Kick that paper!
Write yourself notes. Not notes like: “To do today” or “see page 42.” Notes like: “If I don’t have three paragraphs finished in the next hour, fiery dragonman beasts of Hell will come out of the Earth and swallow me whole and then regurgitate my squishy remains all over this shitty thesis I’ve spent all night creating.” If such notes will make you sob uncontrollably into your weenie bin, try positive reinforcement, like: “If I have three paragraphs finished in the next hour, I can totally chill for the subsequent two hours. After all, a paragraph an hour is a totally reasonable pace.”
Apply chapstick just below your eyes. It feels weird.
Get scared. Remember not being able to sleep after horror movies at slumber parties? Maybe crop signs don’t freak you out anymore, but imagining that the slight knocking you hear in the distance is that weirdo from section coming to deliver you love notes might. You won’t be tempted to let your head hit that pillow.
Jumpin’ Jacks. Yeah man. Hot.
Do not send anybody e-mails. Not so much because it’s distracting and time-wasting, but rather because sending anything you write in your caffeine-induced frenzy is probably a REALLY BAD IDEA. This includes but is not limited to: 1. Run-on letters of terribly dire straits and life-threatening anxiety with the subject line “help me” addressed to your mother’s workplace and 2. Long, artfully formatted, perfectly worded and terribly loaded poems of angst to that crush who just doesn’t get that you’ve been in love with him since this time last year. Save the drama for the paper.
Forget school — go on Jeopardy. My friend from home did that on Wednesday. He won $25,000, and gets to proceed to the next round. Plus he earned a sweet shout-out on the local television station CN2. My grandma probably watched it. I didn’t. Sorry, Leland. (By the way, remember that time I bought you a soda? Yeah … I’ve been charging 8000 percent interest … so you owe me about $24,000 … )
If your paper is creative in nature, draw inspiration from this dramatic interpretation of a nonfiction work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtX8nswnUKU.
If all else fails, find Jesus and give up paper-writing for Lent. Your professor might say that this is a poor life choice, but you can respond that the point of Lent is to give up something valuable. Grades are valuable, right?