I know you know. But I’m going to tell you anyway. The story of my life for the last month and a half (except, of course, the beautiful respite of my 10-day winter break). This is what I’m going to tell you. It won’t take long. You wake up. You shower. You eat breakfast, and make 2 sandwiches. You take these up to “the lab,” which is really just an office but you call it the lab to differentiate it from the place where you got a salary and fringe benefits. See, it’s better! It’s THE LAB. It’s SCIENCE. So you settle in around 9am, knowing that there won’t be any company until early afternoon, because you’re only hardcore if you work in the lab from 2pm until 3am, the 9am to 11pm guys are weaklings.

You settle at your tiny desk (tiny because there are already 7 students in this office, but the alternative is to sit alone in a room with no windows), and you spend roughly the next 12-15 hours rearranging the magnetic fields on a hard drive. Change this one to a zero, this zero to a one, etc. Nothing fancy. Somewhere along the way eat your sandwiches or go out for fast food that isn’t any better for you because it’s Thai rather than Burger King–coconut milk is a bitch. Go home. Pretend you have time to do something before sleep, realize you don’t, sleep.

Now, fundamentally, this bitching is bogus. We both know it is. And yet, no matter how perfect the scenario, there is always something to bitch about. So I’m just going to bitch away here. The last 36 hours or so were excellent. Deadline: 2pm Wednesday. Go in on Monday, work your “normal” hours. Tuesday, after 8 beautiful hours of sleep, head in around 9am. Finish the crucial elements of the submission around 10pm. Decide to do another example. Spend the next 12 hours or so getting that working. Around 5am, decide to only allow changes to the paper text by 3-way consensus of the authors (language faculties slipping). Submit final paper around 7am. Order delirious co-authors to sleep as necessary, sleep none at all yourself until the last frame is rendered, roughly noon. Submit.

SUBMIT! Submit. submit.

And then, it’s over. The last few days have been a beautiful, chemically-induced haze. I think I may almost be ready to face normal life again.

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