From time to time I cycle between narcolepsy (I have friends who can verify this after I fell asleep on a beach, in a car, on a chair, on floor several times during one weekend) and insomnia. I think a lot of this is stress-based, when I am stressed I just don't sleep, but prefer lying in bed paying out worst-case scenarios across my ceiling (I stuck glow-in-the dark stars up there too, but without my contact lenses all I can see if a greenish-yellow haze).
Last week, while I was really battling with insomnia, I downloaded a chess application to my phone and decided to pass those very long 2am-6am hours playing against my phone. I lost. Badly. And continued to lose. I had it set on easy, but I swear that thing is like the chess grandmaster thing like that AI program that beat the real chess master and really freaked out everyone! It's been a long time since I played chess, and the time during which I was any good at strategizing only really lasted about 3 months as nobody around me really plays it, but still!
As the days passed I felt my playing improve and I lasted longer into each game before quitting in a huff, but I still couldn't beat it. The insomnia worsened as I couldn't sleep without paying at least one game at night, which often stretched into several hours of battling a stupid cellphone app. One day I pulled out an old chess board and set up the game on there - I found being able to move pieces around in real life made strategizing easier - and did quite well until I made one tiny little mistake and the machine totally destroyed me!
By the end of last week I was exhausted and jittery and drinking WAY too much coffee and still losing. And we had to head off on field trip with a bunch of undergrads. To be honest, it was an easy trip, with 3 lecturers, the two of us and about 20 students. The lecturers stayed in chalets and we stayed in a tent to keep an eye on the kiddies.
Things I learned:
- I am getting old/growing up. While this group of students was more immature than most, I found myself feeling increasingly different from them - the good old alone-in-a-crowd feeling.
- I really cannot handle being around people all the time anymore. I ended up taking a walk at 1am on the Saturday night just to have breathing space.
Although the men's showers are way cleaner than the ladies (for once) it is not advisable to sneak in and use them in case a bunch of men decide to queue outside your shower stall and discuss their personal lives.
- Taking a random hike without students attached is a lot of fun!
- My sleeping bag, while largely waterproof, lets water in around the zip.
It rained, the tent leaked, I woke up with a soaking pillowe and wet feel, but a remarkably dry torso!
- My new camera is totally awesome and I'm finally getting the hang of it (bear in mind this was first real opportunity to take it out and play around with the settings) although I have a LONG way to go!
- The students who appear to be self-sufficient and enthusiastic in class are actually extremely annoying, particularly if they include a pair of severely over-competitive siblings.
Anyway here are some of my photos from the weekend. nothing too exciting but better than another weekend in the city!A lizard, because I can! This little guy was adorable, maybe about 5cm long -including the tail! I'm totally saving up for a macro lens!
A pretty view with a river running between two koppies
A very cool swallow nest with different coloured mud.