You think you know a person until you live with them… I am currently residing with my sister and you would think that after having previously spent roughly 15 years in each other’s continuous company, we’ve got one another sussed. (For you who are now trying to do the maths: I left home when I was 17 and there is 2.5 years between us. Are you with me? Good. Moving on.)
She’s even recently spent some time in my flat but as she is now on home turf so to speak, I discover different sides to her. Also because she has now started her (second) post-grad course. Her approach to work is very different to mine and though I always knew this, I also thought that she left it to the last-minute. This seems to be a misconception. In the week before the essay is due, she starts reading and revising all the paperwork and sources whilst making notes and high-lighting. Then the day/night before she collates it all together and types up everything in one go.
I would start weeks before, writing bits and pieces as I’d go along and put them together into an essay over the last week. Granted, our subjects are also very different: she draws schedules of chemical molecules and I pretended to physicalise the colour purple (no ma’am not even the play, the actual colour) on stage. My essays would be a little more subjective in argument and especially when writing for English literature you’d try to be a little clever and pretentious with quotes. Her essays have diagrams and figures. (She tried to explain to me that she misplaced a radical in her drawing, I could just nod and look at what really just looked like a dot to me…)
When I tell people about her, they note that she must be the brains of the family then. I can only agree and add that she is pretty too. (And no, they won’t ever get to meet her.)
Last night she was still typing away when I fell asleep. She had to get up at nine to print out the work and draw the diagrams in (see that kind of thing would just freak me out, I would have visions of broken printers and disappearing pencils.) When I woke up, I saw her standing next to my bed and though surprised it was nine already, I smiled and waved at her. She looked at me as if I had completely lost the plot and gave me a wave back to humour me. She then turned off the light and jumped into her own bed. It was 5am and she had just finished the essay…
Of course she finished it on time this morning and I just got a text that she handed everything in and she might stay out to catch a movie with her friends tonight. (“God, now I also need to socialise!” she sighed. Which amused me.) I don’t know how she does it, but it may lie in the motto she’s upheld from the age of 14: Sleep is just a poor substitute for coffee!