Yesterday I spent the whole day working on my last paper for my last class of law school. After a tiresome weekend gathering notes and rereading sources, I spent Monday sitting at the desk in the study stringing my quotations together and trying to sound coherent. When I really get into the writing process, I find that words come into my head whose meaning or spelling is unclear to me, words like compunctious or inexorable, and I have to look them up to make sure I'm using them in the right way; thankfully I was able to find this groove for much of the day.
I was about halfway finished at ten p.m., when the muscles in my neck and shoulders were tense and knotted, so I decided to stop for the night and settle in with L to watch "The Hills." But as we enjoyed the antics of those golden-haired morons, I felt uneasy. I was unsettled, my mind was racing, and I kept asking myself questions. "Why is Lo being such a bitch to Audrina?" was one question. "What am I going to do about this paper?" was another.
After the show ended I had an epiphany: I had to finish that paper. Tonight. Right now. As L went to bed, I kept pecking away at my computer in the dark study, listening to Coldplay on my headphones, and finished my paper around one in the morning.
Five hours later we were awake to go to the gym, and my mind was immediately alert and engaged, thinking about the paper and the slight changes I wanted to make. It was odd to be awake so early and yet feel so attentive -- like a fighter pilot or something. After the gym I read the paper one more time and was pleased with myself; it's definitely not the worst 31 pages I've ever written (sadly, that title probably goes to the short story I wrote about Star Trek: The Next Generation in eighth grade).
Then I went up to school, printed it out, and submitted it. I sold back three of the novels we had read for the class for a grand total of ten dollars. I cleaned out my locker. I bought a diploma frame. Then I came home and went to Chipotle and bought myself lunch with the ten-dollar bill I had received for my books.
And now here I am, finished with law school coursework, sitting in my sunny apartment as the sun shines and the birds chirp nearby. There may be a nap in my future, maybe some reading for pleasure. Right now I'm not thinking long-term.