Why Homework and Marathon Monday is a Bad Mixed Drink

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Tanks. Parties. Running. No class. 7 a.m. mimosas to accompany “Sweet Caroline” on repeat and “For Boston” chants to get the legs moving. On Marathon Monday, Boston College has it all. Located on mile 21 of the Boston Marathon course, BC students take it upon themselves to be the loudest, most insane and motivating cheering section for the overly ambitious runners. We follow the traditions of our wannabe frat star forefathers as we engage in antics to get ourselves prepped and ready for a four hour cheering extravaganza. While my buddies were kicking off their first Patriot’s Day in Boston with umbrellas, ponchos and beer, I was stuck on the fifth floor library perched on the windowsill with a mediocre view of the action.

During the weekend, family commitments kept me sidelined from my work. My courteous professors kindly assigned a theology paper due at midnight on Monday and a political science research paper due Tuesday in class. As the hearts of my native Bostonian teachers warmed to the sight of sweaty men and women in short shorts voluntarily torturing themselves, they could take comfort in the fact that I was experiencing a different kind of torture.

When my neighbors commenced their “chug” chants and a Calvin Harris-cluttered party playlist at 6 a.m., I like to believe they confused their paper-thin walls for soundproof cement. No more than 10 minutes after my peaceful wake-up, I heard a knock on my door. After scrounging for a semi-clean shirt to put on, I opened my door to two pretty girls decked out in their marathon attire–or lack thereof. They quickly uttered, “Sorry wrong room,” and walked away. Classic. At that point, I decided to cut my losses and head to my burial ground, O’Neill Library.

I reasoned that a fifth floor room with a view of the marathon course would appease my burning jealousy. Surprisingly enough, I’m not Socrates. My reasoning skills failed me, and my jealousy quickly pulled the old Texas switch and swerved into dejection as the sole student on the entire floor.

I spent five minutes on my work, then 10 staring out the window, then 20 cooling off my fire red face in the bathroom and repeated the whole process in one-hour loops. Neither Dante’s Inferno nor the Federalist Papers could melt the glue between my eyes and the window. Shocking, I know. While fully aware of my congressional-level procrastination, I couldn’t pull myself away from the view of my stumbling but grinning peers and the runners they celebrated.

By 2 p.m., I managed to get an almost respectable amount of work finished just as the crowds of runners and fans began to dwindle. My angst was quickly fading into hunger so I decided to grab a snack from the dining hall. When I entered the cafeteria, I was confused and horrified at what I initially thought was a re-enactment of the aftermath of the Battle of Normandy. Wet and muddy, I saw the early risers hit the wall hard. I quickly got my food and ran from the groaning and passed out patrons back to the library.

Oddly enough, the sight almost made me happy. I was on schedule to finish my work in the early evening, I wasn’t passed out, and I was dry and clean. It’s the little things in life, right?

As I attempted to find my annotated bibliography in my computer documents, my already pale Irish skin grew even whiter. Spoiler alert: I never found it. A document I thought I had saved disappeared from my computer like a thief in the night. I spent the next hour dissecting my laptop’s hard drive for my lost document, but to no avail. Instead of leaving the library early, I now had to once again track down all my sources, format my bibliographic entries and write the source descriptions in addition to completing the two papers. A late night was imminent.

I stared out the window to see that the rain had stopped, but there was no rainbow on the horizon. The sun hid behind the densely packed clouds as it set. A few drops trickled down the glass in front of me. My friends were still napping, but soon would wake and gather to recount their days and piece together an almost accurate timeline of events. I was still on the fifth floor, but I had to be. Today was my day to miss out, when my work came first and when I sacrificed for tomorrow’s GPA.

Next Marathon Monday, I won’t be so responsible.

Jack O'Reilly is a sophomore mathematics major at Boston College. He seeks to be a gentleman and a scholar in all walks of life: professionally, athletically, socially.

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