Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stuck in an infinite loop

I’ve never been a good sleeper. Even when I was a little kid, I remember being stressed out and having trouble sleeping. When I was a sophomore in college, I think I slept like 2 hours the entire year and it almost drove me crazy. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be one of those people who could fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow and then be able to stay asleep through anything.

Tonight (this morning?) is typical for me. I went to bed around 11pm (a fairly reasonable hour) but woke up at 2:30. Done. Wide awake. Ready for breakfast. Won’t the sun come up already? The longer I was awake, the more I became stuck in an infinite loop. Ten billion things were going through my head with each passing second. I should go to the grocery store in the morning and get more soymilk. I should think of something vegan to take to M and S’s party on Thursday so that I can have something to eat. I should figure what in the world I am going to make for the impending tri-state Thanksgiving Odyssey and how I am going to transport it all. I should do something with that small yet unnerving pile of things I just noticed under the bed (that has probably been there since we moved in). I should get up and try to work on my Fallback Foods paper some more. I should, in general, do Pilates or yoga.

I finally gave up trying to go back to sleep and thought maybe I’d get up and do some work. When I opened my computer, there it was—an email from SL with his long awaited comments on 2 (of the 6) dissertation chapters I’ve sent him. What better way to be greeted at 4 in the morning. I considered not opening the message, but then decided that the not-knowing would be worse than just jumping right in and seeing what he had to say. Besides, its not like I was getting back to sleep anyway.

Much to my surprise, it wasn’t bad. He seemed to like it, or at least not find any major logical errors. Most of his comments were about my grammar. I do feel that one area where SL and I definitely disagree is grammar. My hellish year in 8th grade advanced English was practically like getting a PhD in grammar (needless to say, Amy will know what I mean), so I feel that I know a thing or two. It seems like SL had a similarly traumatic experience in his youth, but with a teacher who taught slightly different grammatical principles. And maybe I do like to push the envelope a bit. For instance, I am quite fond of beginning sentences with introductory clauses (such as this one). SL has tried to break me of this habit for years. I also like to split infinitives, and I think that—as long as its used sparingly—there is nothing wrong with the passive voice.

Even though SL’s comments were not catastrophic (there’s an introductory clause again), I’m still too wound up to go back to sleep. Maybe when I go to the store to pick up that soymilk, I should also get some chamomile tea.

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

loved your 'loop' story -- glad to hear the comments came in okay ... now go take a nap!!!! how's that for grammar?????
hugs, auntie

gutzville said...

I always get the critisizm from Cara about commas and where the shoud, and shouldn't go, Oh and spelling allways w/ the spelling

Anonymous said...

Needless to say, I know what you mean too! - Ashley ;)

amypfan said...

Needless to say, Ashley and I are grammar pros. We also received master's degrees in 8th grade Grammar Boot Camp, and now we both pass on this delightful subject to our students. And I think you're fine. :)

Fergie79 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fergie79 said...

Mrs. Applen is my hero! I may not have thought so at the time, but her Nazi ways have made my life a lot easier through the years.
- Nikki

Melissa said...

Nikki! How has life been? Actually as I was writing this blog, I was remembering how had you told me that we would one day appreciate Mrs. Applen's Grammar Hell. Needless to say, you were right :)