Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Burning the Midnight Oil

You're either a morning person or an owl. The famous lark and owl dichotomy estimates when we are at our most productive. At some in your life, you will cross the line and step into the shoes of your alter-ego. The lark will inevitably oversleep for nights in a row- upsetting the circadian rhythm- and thus cross over into owl territory. Usually this happens at University, when you're up partying too hard with the roommates, watching one Matrix movie after another or just marathon watching seasons of 30 Rock.
With the advent of the personal computer (or Mac, for you Apple fans) and ultrafast Internet, burning the midnight oil has changed completely. No more are you stuck at the library's reference section, afraid to take a pee break lest someone up and offs with your textbook on Biochemistry. No more will the librarian bother you to put away your iPod, even though it isn't audible to anyone but you. And yes, there is so much information out there that studying becomes no longer a headache, but sometimes a pleasure.

During the day, I do little of educational worth. I do chores around the house, clean and dust up and do quick runs to the bank, check my email and watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory on television.
Then the government mandated 2 hour blackout occurs, during which there is plenty of sunshine but no electricity to escape the heat of the late afternoon. These two hours, I use to read up on my novels (Stieg Larsson's trilogy and a primer on the American Political system) and also on my Japanese. After the power returns, the next couple of hours are spent on coffee, TV and the loyal iPod. Then as evening arrives, the textbooks are opened up and the journals are opened and I read up on immunology. Each time I brush up on the basics, I learn something new and the prospect of being a tad more knowledgeable than ten minutes back is a real thrill. I split the week between boning up on basics and looking for PhD's. And more often than once, I have a question or am doubtful on the definition of a certain word. Open up Google and hey presto, done!
And Youtube is a rich treasure trove of information on biology and immunology. There are many lectures and demonstration videos covering everything from immunology to basics like 2D electrophoresis! Never again will you be building up on weak foundations or faulty assumptions.

The day ends for me at 2 am when my brain finally stops listening to me and shuts down. I plop down and before I know it it's late morning again. There are a few disadvantages to being an owl: You can't go for a morning walk; can't see the old uncles "jogging" in their shorts; you miss the extra Vitamin D that you get only at sunrise, but hey- you wake up just late enough to justify brushing your teeth and avoid being judged by the neighbours. Hey, atleast you're getting some work done, yeah?

Are you an owl or a lark? Hope to hear in the comments.


Zach George said...

I am one of those people who go to bed early---in the morning :P

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