Descartes used to lie in bed until 11 in the morning. Meditating, coordinating—intellectual achievements of this caliber could perhaps be mine as well if I only slept in a bit more. But I’ve actually been getting up pretty early. It’s really bright outside now, and the sunshine glimmers on the lake, and they let you serve yourself eggs if you get to the dining hall when it’s not a huge rush. Going to the library around 8 or 9 is also nice, and watching the rising sun hit the totally trampled down prairie while scrolling through your email certainly lends itself to some interesting introspection on the phenomenon of modern life.
This pattern might not hold, though, for several reasons: for starters, my really good friend Nora, who was on a literary adventure in London, just moved in next door to me and she’s basically nocturnal. (I genuinely think that one of the most challenging parts of college is that you get to live with your friends). The fire alarm in my dorm went off at 1:30 AM on Saturday, and at 2:00 in the morning last week, I finally thought of a way to prove this really cool circle thing from 7th century Arabia. One of my professors has our papers due at midnight, and it’s actually warm enough to contemplate things like Frisbee at very odd hours indeed. So we’ll see--my spring sleep plan might need to be subsidized by generous afternoon naps. But there’s a lot of cool stuff going on (challenging part of college, number two).
For starters, Louis Menand is coming to Carleton on Friday. If you go to school here, are visiting for Accepted Students Days, or live nearby, you should come to convocation, because it will, most likely, be extraordinary. I’m in the middle of The Metaphysical Club right now, and it’s really good. The talk is called “Why the case for liberal arts is hard to make,” and I’m expecting to see professors overturning podiums (we only have one in the Chapel, but they could bring more) and librarians throwing great works of literature into the air. Maybe some of the math teachers could even throw rainbow chalk (they have a lot of that). It could be pretty epic.
Speaking of which…intramural sports are back in session! I saw an All Stars of David (Jewish Students of Carleton) volleyball game from the library today, and played for the fourth Myer’s Frisbee team, Crouching Myers Hidden Dragon, on Monday. There have been select hours, usually around 4:00 or 5, where it seems a travesty to remain inside. Hopefully this just serves to make me super productive when the weather is one degree too cold or there is, you know, a single cloud in the sky, but I’m secretly hoping the bugs will come back before I fully surrender to the alfresco experience. It is somewhat difficult to take notes in trees (and feels kind of like eating salmon next to your goldfish).
Finally, my classes are really good. I know I keep saying that, I’m sorry. But it’s true. I get to read about individuality and liberty, the nature of knowledge, and how afraid people were of a number for "nothing." I get to do math that is organized in these neat little futuristic-looking boxes, and I leave every Moving Anatomy class feeling, I swear, two inches taller. So yes, I will be a truth-knowing, autonomous, robotic sasquatch by the end of the term. (If you think part of this is contradictory, you clearly underestimate the mighty sasquatch, and I would refer you to the BFRO [Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization]. They’ll set you straight).
Sensational sunset? Perhaps. But not a terrifying twilight? Are you so sure?
What about now: 0 is a number!