May 31, 2010

burning the midnight oil

Do you remember Midnight Oil? I loved that band! I first time I saw video footage of the band, I was mesmerized by Peter Garrett's odd dancing on stage and haunting, jittering voice. I loved it. I was in 5th grade. And it really was Midnight Oil that drew me towards punk music.

But that really has nothing to do with the title of this post. It is now after 3am and I'm still up. I have found over the last few months that I get the majority of my school work done between 10pm and 3am. It's not ideal but that's just the way it is. There are a few reasons.

I've vowed to be around and available to my kids. Even if my nose is buried in books a lot of the time lately, I do my best to give them as much attention as I can. And Brooke deserves the help. She works hard at taking care of our children and I do my best to help her when I am around. So, until everyone else goes to bed, I've not found a ton of time to study some weeks. Hence, the "burning the midnight oil."

There's a few survival techniques if you're going to try and pull off this stunt:

1) Be a person that doesn't require a lot of sleep. If you do, life's gonna suck. I don't require a lot of sleep. If I can get one night of a solid 6-8 hours, I can pull off 3-4 the rest of the week usually. But now that I'm closer to 40 than ever before, we'll see how long that lasts.

2) Don't eat a heavy dinner, no seconds. I eat almost every dinner with the family and we eat vegetarian at the house most of the time. So, this works for me. Otherwise, you get sluggish and nothing's gonna keep you up!

3) Coffee. The key is planning your coffee. If you start drinking it too late, you'll be up the rest of the night. I start at 9pm and that way I'm wearing out at about the time I finish what I've scheduled for the night. Tonight being an exception... I started drinking coffee at 10:30pm... and I'm still wide awake... which is why I'm blogging at this ungodly hour.

4) Gum. I prefer spearmint. It helps keep me focused and awake for some reason.

5) Loud and fast music. This is a must! When I do homework is when I listen to the loudest and fastest music I've got. Really intricate, experimental, avant garde stuff I can't focus with. So, while I love listening to bands such as Radiohead, Fugazi and Refused I can't listen to them while I study. Because I just want to listen to music and appreciate the art. Nope. Can't have that. Lately, I've preferred Cancer Bats, Hour of the Wolf, The Bronx and It's Casual. The only exception to this rule is if you know an album inside and out and nothing ever surprises you about it. I'm obviously easily distracted by music. I used to rely on online radio stations but I've gone back to my own catalog usually. Lala.com was great, but it is going away. Last.fm loads too slow and Pandora picks some weird matches every once in awhile... I actually get offended by Pandora sometimes: "How dare you think I would like that?!"

Okay, I'm starting to get tired now. Good night!

Posted via web from jason evans

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