I had a fantastic idea at approximately 9:30 p.m. last evening. Why not go get some coffee to rejuvenate my attempts at studying? And I did. Now, as I sit here writing this, it is 1:40 a.m. this morning. The sarcastic side of my brain says, “Congratulations Lauren, you have discovered what having an espresso at night will do.”

“What’s that?” you ask. Let me describe to you the events of the last four hours.

9:30 p.m. ? I yell at Cheryl and threaten to thrash her if she doesn’t come to the Common Ground Caf with me for coffee. My reasoning for getting coffee is that it will be a good substitute for eating ? thus further deterring the freshman 15 ? and it will also help me concentrate on my espaol ? which I spelled wrong on my notebook cover ? “Espagnol.” Anyway, we get there around 10 p.m. and wait in line for a little bit. I get my espresso and Cheryl her smoothie. Apparently, moderation of temperature is a new concept for the staffers there and I have to ask for a cup of ice to cool things down a bit. I am satisfied, if not pleased, with my espresso. It did burn my tongue, but it tasted okay. Now I knew I’d be able to handle reading something about social theories and laws for another hour, and of course the “Espagnol”.

Ah yes, so here I am reading the most interesting essay about theories and laws of social science ever written, and still the caffeine has not kicked in. I’m sort of disappointed, like that feeling you get when your pet hermit crab dies. Did I do something wrong with my coffee? Did I drink it too slowly? Maybe the ice cubes watered down the caffeine’s effectiveness. Why haven’t I gotten that extra jolt of energy that I so desperately need to finish my work? When will it come?

Okay, okay, it really is time to focus on the Spanish. Uno, dos, tres, cuatro ? oh hey, I forgot to take a shower today. Along the way to the bathroom, I stop to speak to some migrant freshman males who have inhabited my next-door neighbor’s “residencia.” Where is that damned caffeine? Is my metabolism messed up? Should I go see a doctor? I never really drink coffee, maybe my system needs time to adjust. Should I feed my hermit crab crackers, bugs or not at all?

Midnight ? let’s continue with the Spanish. At 12:30 a.m. I decide that I should really go to bed. My roommate is asleep and that is my cue. This is the exciting part ? it’s 1:53 a.m. I’m writing this story because I can’t sleep. And now I can say with complete confidence that caffeine works at exactly the time you no longer need it.

Gagnon can be reached at lgagnon@campustimes.org.

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