Quoth stressed students: “Nevermore”

by Samana Shrestha

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a lengthy Econ chapter that was quite devoid of charm—

In my lib chair swiftly slipping, dreaming of a class for skipping,

Suddenly there came a blaring of the library’s alarm

“’Tis some sleepy fool,” I muttered, “who has set off the alarm,

They deserve to come to harm.”


Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December

And my cocoa bought hot from the Bean had long ago grown cold

The all-night section grumbled as we sleepily all stumbled

To escape the awful shrieking—our bones ached like we were old

Like a gang of zombie convicts who would never be paroled

For to Vass our souls were sold.


Gone my soul was to Ask Banner and my academic planner

And to Moodle I had sworn my heart to keep forevermore

Rapidly my heart was beating—I was nervous for my meeting

With my nutty old professor, whom I actually adore

To convince him to forget about my latest sad quiz score

A pathetic 64.


Presently we found the student, who, with actions so imprudent,

Had triggered the infernal bell that shocked me from my trance

But of course it was a fresher who, beneath the Vassar pressure,

Had forgot to swipe his card as out the door he swiftly danced,

His finished essay clutched in hand, straight through the door he danced,

Without a single backward glance.


All at once, I felt like eating, so with notions of Retreating,

Blearily I packed my books and stumbled hungrily towards Main

But of course I had forgotten that my scheme was misbegotten

No home fries till the morning—how completely inhumane!

No Twisted Soul, no Crafted Kup, not even cheap chow mein

Hopes of snacks were all in vain.


Back toward the lib now turning, empty stomach loudly churning,

Soon again I heard a ringing and I couldn’t help but groan

“Surely,” I could not cease pledging, “’tis the bell once more alleging

That a hapless 2019 grad has left the midnight zone—”

Then I reached into my pocket and plucked out my buzzing phone

Caroling a call from home.


Rapidly I sought to rushing my dear mother, who was gushing

All about her current getaway to Californian shores

As I pictured her reclining on the beach I started pining

For a climate more amenable to venturing outdoors

Saying my goodbyes, I shuffled, shivering, toward the library doors

And bumped into sophomores.


I paled at the realization: ‘twas a night for recreation!

The group of sophs that stumbled past was quite thoroughly trashed

Angrily I decried Friday, which I’d designated my day

To catch up on work so on the morrow I could, unabashed

Switch out coffee cup for shot glass till my friends and I were smashed

In despair, my teeth I gnashed.


Now my sorry ass, not quitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On this creaky wicker chair inside this room that I deplore;

And my eyes are ever-blearing as I’m at my textbook peering,

And the lamp-light, far from cheering, throws my shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted—nevermore!

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