I am afraid that my alarm clock might have the wrong impression of me— and yours of you too! With little exception, an alarm clock's sole glimpse into natural human behavior is that groggy, meandering bumble towards the bathroom door, which we perform dutifully every morning, not offering any indication whatsoever that we might possess such things as grace, balance, or eyes. You must also keep in mind that your alarm clock's impression of you is immediately preceded by you smacking him on the head— or wherever that ever-evasive snooze button might be——- and is immediately followed by you fumbling with the knob and shuffling out the door with the hanger still sticking out the back of your shirt.

Perhaps I'm just paranoid though. I'm not used to this whole alarm clock thing. See, if you're like me, you hadn't used an alarm clock until college because you had a far louder, more obnoxious wakeup system, called your mother. Of course, if you're a lot like me, you also have an uncle named Burt who came out of the closet at Thanksgiving Dinner via a painfully detailed puppet show, starring the turkey. Fortunately, not many people are a lot like me, so we'll turn our attention back to members of the family who are still allowed near day care centers.

Although I've since repressed nearly all recollection of it, my mom used to wake my brother and I up for elementary and middle school by singing "Ri-ise and shi-ine and give God your glory, glory children of the lord" at a volume that was nothing short of merciless. It wasn't that we were a particularly religious family, she just chose this song because it was the most annoying song she could find in the whole wide world, and because it could be repeated over and over endlessly. That one lyric, in fact, happened to be the only lyric. Now I would be remiss if I did not add that when I say she was "'singing' the song, I mean that my mother's singing voice is similar to the noise a hippo might make, should it give birth to an out-of-tune tuba. Also, as far as my brother and I could tell, the song's lyrics advocated the religious sacrificing of your children. That part didn't bother us too much. Actually, at that ungodly hour, we had our fingers crossed.

My mother, possessing a special brand of optimism that is neither repressible nor motivating, would then continue this grueling wakeup process by prodding my brother and I with some of her favorite upbeat slogans. May I add that nothing acts like knives in the ears of a middle-school slacker quite as well as catchy, upbeat, go-get-"'em mottos. Yet every few seconds, my mom would chime in with sayings like "the early bird gets the worm", "this is the first day of the rest of your life" and "don't make me get the whoopin' strap." I'm just kidding about that last one— there was no warning about the whooping strap, you just knew it was out when you felt it between your shoulder blades.

Now that I'm off in college, I sleep twice as much as I did back at home. However, don't judge too quickly— and don't think I don't see you, you parents, with your superior work ethics and your cold, adjudicating eyes— for I am not a lazy student" comparatively. Believe it or not, I've roomed with kids who wouldn't so much as roll over, should a small asteroid happen to fall directly on their forehead. My freshman year, it required an extraordinarily determined group of professional movers, not to mention an intricate system of gears and pulleys, to get my roommate up before noon.

Calling college students lazy has all but become a national pastime in recent years. However, I refute this perspective. We are by no means lazy—we are by all means procrastinating. In the same way that we procrastinate everyday activities like homework, studying, and sobering up, so too do we procrastinate sleeping. We don't necessarily want to procrastinate, it's just our nature. Believe it or not, I've tried time and again to fight this natural tendency, but I always end up putting it off. It's now at the bottom of my "to do" list, just below "get a good night's sleep" and "freeze hell over." I speculate, however, that when any one of those things happens, the others will follow soon after.

So "what's the solution", you might ask. What are college guys and girls like me to do when it comes to going to bed— and getting up— at a reasonable hour? Me, I'm still looking for a clock radio that will play "Rise and Shine" and berate me with excessively upbeat encouragement every morning.

If you've got questions, responses, or you'd like to comment on my driving, please feel free to email me at comeydean@yahoo.com