Paper Writing: Pushing Every Boundary You Ever Thought You Had Set

Physical Boundaries

1. The Gut: I have recently discovered that my stomach does not like to be left out of any event, including paper writing. The harder my hands are working to type things up, the harder my stomach thinks it needs work. It’s favorite wartime victims? HoneyComb cereal, mini marshmallows (mmmm mallows), Lime Tostitos and salsa, chocolate, and pickles. Not usually all at once, but the next three weeks may test that boundary as well.*
2. Amount of Sleep Required To Function: Very little, actually. Now, I am not staying up all night to write papers because I value my mental and physical health too much to do that unless it is an emergency, but I am constantly outlining, editing, rearranging, and creating tables in my head. All day. Even when I should be sleeping. I have discovered that the only way to ensure myself some solid sleep is to roast myself into a beautiful coma via electric blanket. Set the dial to [H] and eyelids to closed and. . . I dream in data analysis code.** Okay, not an ideal dream, but at least I am sleeping.
3. The Body is a Vessel Built for Caffeine Storage: An entire pot of coffee? Child’s play. However, I do refuse to use anything harder than espresso shots, and even 2 or 3 shots of espresso in a hot beverage is about my max.
Mental Boundaries

1. Multi-tasking: Two tasks at once? That’s it?! Pick your knuckles up off the ground, caveman, and learn to really multi-task. For instance, it is 10:50 am on a Tuesday and I am currently engaged in the following:
  • Listening to GIS disease tracking lecture
  • Paper crossword puzzle
  • Harvesting Farmville crops
  • Updating assignment due dates on the Google Calendar
  • Shopping at rei.com
2. Creativity: There is no bounds to creative ways to eat, sleep, get out of a pickle, create a pickle for someone else, communicate with friends, etc. I also find that my mind is so mumbo-jumbled, that the things I say make less sense, but people think I am being funny. I just roll with it.
3. Memory: If it isn’t related to the following items, I have forgotten it:
  • Rotaviral vaccination in developing countries
  • Mandatory AED placement in Hennepin County
  • Official University of Minnesota email as an effective communication method to inform students about H1N1 preparedness
  • The risk to human rights by allowing water to be treated as a for-profit commodity
Emotional Boundaries

There are currently no emotional boundaries, because the last three weeks of a grad school semester strip the student of all signifiers of emotion, except tears. There is no patience, no sympathy, no empathy, no epic joy, a little epic heartbreak, little compassion shown, tons of sarcasm, heaps of dramatic and heavy sighs, and many tears. Except, luckily I have crossed into the realm in which there is no time to cry. Which is good, it frees up all the time I was spending sobbing to actually do some work.***
*I bet pickles with salsa could be good in someway. I’ll let you know.

** So a lot of times when I am frustrated by irony, I will say “Jesus!” Rarely am I a “Jesus Christ!” exclaimer, but I do like “For christ sake.” Okay, so then the other day I say someone else’s blog in which they typed “Geezus” in place of what I assume is to be “Jesus” when used as an exclamation. So then I debated what to type here, where I eventually decided not to type anything. But, what is up with that? Like misspelling his name means you aren’t using it in vain? Gimme a break. Jesus.

*** This could be interpreted as the most giant “I don’t give a flip about anything else.” This would not be wholly correct or wholly incorrect. Take it as it is.
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2 thoughts on “Paper Writing: Pushing Every Boundary You Ever Thought You Had Set”

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