Tom Rasmussen

Revision has caused TOM RASMUSSEN to go insane.

computer computer room exam term exam term stress insanity printer Queens' Tom Rasmussen

Having always tip-toed the line between sanity and madness, it is really no surprise that exam term has flung me well and truly over the edge. Upon arriving in the beautiful, sunny land of Cambridge after the Easter holidays, I remember thinking that this term I was gonna be mellow. I envisaged myself listening to Coldplay, relating to the lyrics, having regular naps, and generally living a blissful existence.

Astonishingly, I maintained my level headedness throughout weeks one and two, and debatably through week three. But, as the number of hours I spent in the library crept up, and free samples from The Fudge Kitchen slowly fell, I felt that squeaky noise in my head returning.

I first realised that I have become insane on Sunday. Having had a relatively productive day looking at metabolic pathways, and actually not falling asleep, I was feeling fairly stable. I wasn’t yet ending every sentence with: “Just ignore me – I’ve gone insane,” or tears.

I strode to Queens’ computer room, full of nerdy metabolic joy, in order to print my ‘Monday-morning-hand-this-in-or-you-will-die’ Physiology reports. I was feeling good. Upon entering the room, I was greeted by the college computers – my now sworn band of enemies. They appeared to be humming sweetly at me. Little did I know.

I assumed a seat at the nearest computer, logged in, and plugged in my pen-drive. I was feeling chilled, I had Coldplay on my iPod, life was good. But, the computer wasn’t having any of it. Take two: I moved up one computer, logged in, and plugged my pen-drive in. But, for a second time, the computer wouldn’t recognise my hardware.

NINE COMPUTERS LATER AND NOT A SINGLE FUCKING MORSEL OF RECOGNITION. I left the computer room with pube-hair (from the frustration), a sweaty body (from the anger), and finger nail imprints on the palms of my hands (from clenching my fists). I was no longer the picture of serenity I had been an hour before entering the room of doom.

Once I got back to the library, I decided to pull myself together. After smoothing my frizz-bomb hair in my Acer Crystal Eye Webcam (I sound so tecchy), and applying some Lush hand-cream to ease my wounds, I decided the best course of action would be to email myself these files. I thought I’d outsmarted the system. I felt so damn clever.

Tom 1 – Computer 0.

Shimmying my way back to the computer room, I felt unstoppable. The ball was in my court. The emails opened, I retrieved my files, and I started to print the work. Everything was going well. I was disproportionately overjoyed.

But, alas: three pages into the printing of my 100 page report, and the printer breaks.

That was it. The flood gates opened. Yet again, a computer-printer combo had got the better of me. And there I lay, for what was potentially hours, sprawled across the gritty carpet of the computer room floor, sobbing. It was then that I realised that my sanity was in tatters. And there you have it. I’ve gone mad.

These days, I have to eat three pieces of chocolate flapjack every morning to keep me from tears about work and the prospect of failure. I rarely wash my hair, for lack of time, and it’s taken on the form of a giant, ginger sea urchin flopping about on my head. I’ve also developed a strange fear of cutting my nails, in case I lose all my revision knowledge in the process.

I am a hollow imitation of the man I used to be.