A-level keeps lights on through the night

By Robert Katz

With finals coming next week, the A-level of the Regenstein Library has been full of people working hard to finish papers and to study for final exams late into the night, pounding away at computers and staring at texts until the early-morning twilight.

Third-year in the College Neena Kapoor sat reading for her ethics paper, which she insisted would help her act ethically later in life when she becomes a doctor. “This is due Tuesday, and I’ve done no reading for it,” Kapoor said. “Plus, I have a final Monday. I’m fucked.”

She swears by Red Bull to keep her awake. “And I come to the A-level where there’s noise.”

Jon Hersh, a third-year in the College, offered a different view on the boisterous atmosphere. “I hate everyone that studies on the A-level. It sounds like a cafeteria.”

Hersh was writing about policy concerning drug re-importation. He said that he was studying so late because, “who goes to bed at 1 a.m.? I don’t like Bar Night, I only go to Jimmy’s during the day to unwind over a pitcher because being there at night—inevitably drinking heavily—is too expensive.”

Al-Turk, a first-year in the Divinity school, sat at a computer and typed a paper about feminism in Egypt for his class on Islamic political thought. “This paper is important because it may help ease the divide between Islam and the West,” he said.

He was driven to finish because he knew the quarter was almost complete. “It’s the end that keeps me going,” he explained.

First-year in the College Leslie Kurkjian worked at the adjoining computer, writing a social science paper about Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals. Fueled by Rockstar energy drink, Kurkjian pushed herself late into the night because she plans to visit a friend who is already on break from school over the weekend, losing valuable study time.

Kurkijian remained undaunted by the late hours and recognized the potential academic rewards of her hard work. “Nietzsche is a challenge to read,” she said. “It helps my reading skills. I think in a different way.”

Adam Cooper, a second-year in the linguistics Ph.D program, worked to convert a presentation into a paper that needed to be turned in later that day. “This is what I want to do. So this is the first step to see that goal. I made a choice to go to graduate school and concentrate on this particular discipline and get practical knowledge,” he said.

A self proclaimed “caffeine person,” Cooper said he tends to work late and then sleep late the following morning. “I’ve never been able to get work done in the morning,” he added.

Mike Stern, a third-year in the College, tried to polish off his Constitutional law paper in the early hours of the morning but, unlike some students, said he felt no preference toward late-night work habits. “These three hours that you spend down here will help you as much as any other three hours will help you,” Cooper said. “The studying in these three hours will have an impact on your class, and your grades, and you can apply that information down the road.”