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20 March 2002 (Wednesday): sleep is for the weak

I was up until 5 again last night. Need to stop doing that. I'm feeling the way I did all through college, when unpaid interest was constantly accumulating on my sleep debt: awake but stretched thin, as though there were something artificial about my whole conscious existence. 95% human, 5% zombie.

I didn't need to be up that late, at all, but somehow I got sucked into tidying up my financial books and finishing my tax returns. I was determined to make the numbers work on my balance sheet, and after that I amused myself trying to maximize this year's deductions. I also cleaned my room. My secretarial urges are a tad frightening at times, which is ironic given how absentminded I am and how easily I misplace stuff. But yes -- I have an uncanny amount of focus about a very few things in life, and accounting seems to be one of them. How odd.

At Gaudior's place last Sunday, conversation meandered over to ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and its sibling affliction AD/HD (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity). Most of us seemed of the persuasion that it's partly an individual problem, sure, but it may be more about unreasonable societal expectations than anything. "I took a course in classroom management once," Lynn said, "a pretty useless course, but one thing I did learn was that the average seventh-grader's attention span -- a normal one's, now -- is about half an hour. Half an hour! And we make these kids sit in a classroom all day. It isn't natural." Another person, a graduate student in religious studies, added that she'd recently lost the ability to concentrate on anything that she didn't find truly interesting. "It's as if my brain finally rebelled against my social conditioning," she remarked, "all those years of reading boring articles and living in the library. Now as soon as I start on something tedious, I get this physical need to get up and do something else. 'Go out! Run around! Feel the sun!' It's as though I'm being forced to become a human being again."

Do human beings play with tax software until 5 in the morning?

Would that I could fixate on more worthwhile things. In-depth analyses of world politics, for example. Or environmental justice campaigns. Or even something as ordinary as an extended conversation with Liz (who turns thirteen today), so that I wouldn't catch myself mm-hmming like a typical distracted adult with her, as happens more often than I am comfortable with.

Heck, even if I could play Halo long enough to kick butt at it, that'd be cool.

posted by enjelani @ 02:28 PM PST

Replies: 1 comment

Uhh... slightly weird here (okay, i'm reaching by a little bit, but...).

Your subject on March 20th was "sleep is for the weak"

My subject on March 22nd (right after midnight, so closer to the 21st of March), was...

"sleep is for the weak"

I ain't kiddin ya! :


(Yes it's late. No comments on my sanity please.)

posted by syndromes @ 07 07 2002 01:44 AM PST