The Hidden Difficulties of an 8:30 Class

Student Living by

There seems to have occurred in the past week a strange increase in the percentage of my daily conversations revolving around the subject of where on campus is the best place to make poop. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least four conversations of that sort, not all of which involved the same interlocutors. Sophisticate though I admittedly am, I must admit to the charge of having initiated at least one of those conversations.

See, for the first time in my two-plus years at McGill, I have a class starting at 8:30 AM. Because I’m a smart-ass, and currently obligated by the responsibilities of two part-time jobs, in late August I constructed what I then conceived of as a genius schedule, by which my presence is requested in classes only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but on those days non-stop from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM, with barely a long enough break in the middle to blink my eyes, not to mention to dislodge my breakfast (what little I’ve had time to consume) from my aching, creaking bowels. This all on top of the fact that I am a prodigious coffee drinker, downing three cups practically before I wake up, and two more before I even realize what I’m doing. Then there’s a few more cups just to keep me awake during classes, necessary no matter how interested I am in the course material or in the student-on-student debate going nowhere fast. This steady diet of coffee, the first cup of which I’m usually unable to get through before rushing to the john, potty-lit book in hand and Radio-Classique on the stereo, as well as the firm conviction, inherited from my dear father, that ritualistic morning poops are just where it’s at, means I’m in serious trouble for the rest of the semester.

The natural solution would be to wake up early enough to conduct my business at home. Problem there, however, is the coffee. Back when I was really into efficiency and waking up early and wanted to rule the world, I used to be into drinking coffee on the toilet. But now experience has taught me, in this as in other situations, that the result of joining together two things one cares so deeply for – in this case, coffee and pooping – is not necessarily something to be desired. I’ve found it compromises both components, and degrades the morning experience – sacred to me, as to my father – as a whole.

Another solution, one I’ve tested a few times with moderate success, is quietly excusing myself from that first class in order to do my business in a campus restroom, in peace. The obvious drawback here is missing a good portion (for me, a very good portion) of the lecture, material which, if your professor doesn’t record the lectures or post the notes, you may very well never otherwise have access to. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m at a point in my life when if I need to go poop, I’m going poop. With half a dozen cups of coffee rolling around in my belly, and an unwavering commitment to my own happiness, I hereby challenge anyone to try and stop me.