A Bedtime Story
Once upon a time, I had no problem whatsoever getting up at 5 or 6 in the morning before heading to school. Obviously, I generally didn’t get much in the way of rest that way, but that was during a time when I would prefer being able to eat my Lucky Charms without having to rush out the door. Plus, I also got the chance to see some very lovely sunrises.
Unexpectedly, this period of my life was as recent as my senior year of high school (apparently, my tastes in breakfast cereal become less nutritious as I get older). I can’t quite figure what might have happened to me in the past two months to change me from the bright-eyed morning person I once was into a semi-comatose dust mite that will only leave the warmth of its linens to feed.
I can’t imagine that my bed here is any more comfortable than the one I had at home, although the curtain of freshly-laundered socks hanging across my bunk does offer a certain coziness to the place. It’s definitely not any warmer up here in Cambridge, a fact that becomes more and more evident with each passing day. So why do I enjoy my slumber so?
Skipping over the obvious answer (psets), I’m going to instead attribute my newfound perpetual drowsiness to the fact that there’s virtually nothing to do here in the early morning. The only things I’d find here when I awoke would be a still-sleeping roommate around whom I’d have to tiptoe and a still-sleeping campus with no one to talk to. Back home, if I got up early enough, I might seek out a guilty pleasure to pass the time (I’m referring here to 5:30 a.m. episodes of Voltron, stop snickering), but even that loses its shine when there aren’t any parents to gleefully avoid.
Then again, it’s possible my newfound affection for my covers might not even be a problem. After all, I still get up plenty early, even if the line between the breakfast hour and lunchtime has become blurred by the time I crawl out of bed. I don’t have any particularly compelling reasons to get up earlier than I do now. After all, what could I do? Get in line early, in November weather, to go to the thrift store? I’d end up having to wear a coat so thick they’d think I was shoplifting. I could play some computer games, build a boat, or write a novel, but then I’d have nothing to do during my midlife crisis.
Don’t get me wrong, I realize that there are plenty of things that I could do … theoretically. Reading, that long-lost hobby, probably couldn’t hurt. Of course, then I’d feel like a workaholic for getting up early to read about multivariable calculus. That, or I’d feel guilty for reading 121 of the World’s Greatest Knock-Knock Jokes instead of my book on multivariable calculus. Practicing a musical instrument might be a good idea, but I can’t imagine there’s much call for professional kazoo players. I don’t think my hallmates would appreciate the loud buzzing of the Imperial March in their ears, either, regardless of the hour.
Still, with the recent end of daylight saving time, it just might be worth the effort to be conscious during the morning hours. Waking up with the sun in what looks like the noontime sky would probably freak me out if the clock didn’t show that it was only half-past-eight. Of course, by the same token, I could just as easily argue with myself that I’d only have to switch back anyway come April, and that Arizona and Hawaii (the non-DST parts of the United States) might just have the right idea.
Besides, as part of the MIT culture now, I have an obligation to fulfill. Half the reason our mascot is the beaver is because they’re mostly nocturnal. What kind of school spirit would I be encouraging by being up and about during the day? Tim would be ashamed of me.
No, I suppose I really don’t mind being compelled to sleep in more and more often. I won’t feel sleepy during class and I can snooze right through all of the daytime soaps and skip right to prime time as I eat my not-for-rabbits breakfast cereal. That, and I’ll be waking up to some gorgeous sunsets.