Tuesday, August 30, 2016

*BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!* And so the fall semester begins...


Wow, so...I don't really know where to start. The beginning would be good, but I'm so tired that I can't remember what that was. Let's see...

On Saturday I had a picnic at my friend and colleague Cindy's house. While out in her back garden, I started suffering from seasonal allergies so badly my sneezes were frightening local wildlife. My eyes were watering, my nose was itchy, and my entire face felt miserable. I ended up having to leave early, with a curmudgeonly Anne, who decidedly did NOT want to leave early. I had her walking beside me sullenly out to the car after we said our goodbyes, I toss her in there, and away we went.

Between Cindy's house and mine, which is maybe a 5 minute car ride, I sneezed what felt like 100,000 times. When I got home, I immediately took a shower, and I sneezed in there too. After the shower, I drank tea and laid around taking it easy and knitting in my pajamas, and sneezed some more. I ended up going to bed at 9 pm just to stave off the misery, taking a Zyrtec on my way up.

Sunday dawned with my nose finally feeling non-itchy, but I was decidedly operating at less than 100% capacity. We made it to Mass, we made it out to get the kids school shoes and a few final supplies, and to my in-laws for dinner. After that more knitting in my pajamas ensued.

Right before we settled into bed Sunday night, I nervously showed Mike my new travel alarm clock, that I bought especially because I have two 8 am classes this semester:

"It's supposed to have a 'gentle' alarm sound. I'm nervous about it working right and going off, because I hate being jarred awake by alarm clocks. But I have to make sure that I'll be up by 6."

This one can sit right on my bedside table and lives on my side of the bed for quick turn-off when the "gentle" tone unfolds.

"Why don't you test it out now?"


"Oh. That's a really good idea."


I set the alarm for a minute hence, and wait nervously. One minute later:

*gentle beeping noise*

"Oh good, that's not bad at all!"

"No, it really isn't."

I happily set it for 6 am, and read myself to sleep. I turned my bedside lamp off before Mike, closed my eyes, and attempted to fall asleep. Except I was so keyed up about classes starting, and about how nervous I am about all of the teaching I'll be doing this semester, that I couldn't settle my mind down and actually sleep. But I laid with my eyes shut and tried to settle myself.

I did what I could, and soon Mike turned his light off. The instant he did so, a searing blue light permeated my eyeballs.

*eyes fly open*

"What the!"

My new gentle alarm clock has a "soft glow" that lights up the entire face when it senses darkness. I will grant, one DOES want to see what time it is overnight, but this is decidedly Too Much Glow. However, at that moment, I didn't exactly want to turn the lights back on to figure out how to dim it.  I quietly angled the clock to minimize the blue glow on our faces. I could see Mike discreetly turned over on his side so that the light wasn't shining on him. He didn't want to squash my gentle alarm clock dreams.

That all settled, I tucked back in and prayed to fall asleep. I tossed and turned. Tossed and turned. TOSSED AND TURNED. Until I finally drifted off into a fitful slumber. And then...

*BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

*bolt upright*

Why is it that the gentlest of beeps sounds positively PIERCING in the middle of the night?! And gosh, didn't it seem like I JUST fell asleep?! Wait. I DID.

*looks at glowing clock face*

*clock reads...* Wait for it... MIDNIGHT.

*insert emoji of screaming face here*

I set the alarm for 6 am, but apparently there are multiple alarm settings (why God, why?!) and my 6 am setting got pushed to 2nd. And the first setting defaulted to midnight. Well, I figured this all out the next day, when I was calm and coherent, rather than incredulous and ragey. In the moment, I turned the alarm off, and tossed the entire thing under the bed, relying solely on the other, non-alarm clock, in our room. Thus, I had no guaranteed alarm. Thus, I woke up automatically EVERY 20 MINUTES, my mind needing reassurance that I would not oversleep.


It was a LONG night. When 6 am rolled around, it was, needless to say, extremely difficult to get out of bed. And I was DRAGGING for the entire day. I was already downtrodden from the allergies, and the lack of sleep just made everything exponentially worse.

And the students? I had three classes yesterday, two more this morning, with one this afternoon. Very sweet, very respectful. But super quiet, and with a perpetual deer in headlights stare back at me whenever I pointed the Beatific Beam of a smile out at them:

"And if you ever need help with anything, that is what I am here for! I have tea waiting for you in my office."


In response, I get:

*blink blink*

I did get some smiles, I will grant, as I wove my always anecdote-heavy way through the first day of material. And nobody fell asleep, even in the 8 am section.


So I'm getting there, but let me tell you, I feel overwhelmed. And tired. So, so tired. Today it was a little better because I didn't have class until 9:20, but tomorrow it's back to 8 am. Offering it up for all of you. :0

What is going on with YOU, dear reader? I would love to hear all about it. :)


  1. Hope your alarm works correctly tonight. I've been relying on mine more since we are in the process of selling Grandma's condo and I've got to make sure it looks nice before I leave in the morning in case there are showings while I'm at work.

  2. Hi Melanie! Yes, I hope so too. :0 I set all 3 "alarm settings" to the same time, just in case!

  3. I used Sleep Alarm on my iPhone for years when I needed an alarm. With my Fitbit now tracking sleeping it is not needed. Now if I need an alarm I would do it with my Fitbit. Good luck!

    1. Steph, I have a Fitbit & should try out that feature. I usually charge my Fitbit overnight, but its not like I couldn't change that. :)


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