Evidence of Learning
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Drugged Exhaustion

Some evenings I am so tired that I feel like someone has slipped a sedative into my after dinner tea. Tonight is one of those nights. As I try to catch up with my RSS feeds, my eyelids close for longer and longer times, until finally the nod of my head snaps me back to wakefulness, and I realize that I had been briefly asleep. When this drugged exhaustion overtakes me and I’m trying to mark papers, the written feedback often ends up being two or three nonsense words scrawled on the page, and I can see exactly where sleep has won the skirmish with consciousness. At that moment, I have no choice, but to put down my pen, and call it an evening. If I persist in pursuing my purpose, the results are never pretty, and are, in fact, often completely unintelligible. The strange part of this observation is that this evening fatigue did not manifest until I got older. During my younger years, I had no trouble staying up into the early hours, and many a time I watched the sun come up with no repercussions the next day. I finally can relate to the expression, “Youth is wasted on the young.”

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