The ding!

It’s 10:53 p.m. and the 11:59 p.m. deadline of an assignment is fast-approaching. I love this pressure. I write better under stress. The adrenaline makes me race harder to the finish. Words are flowing out of me faster than ever because they have to. I sip old, room-temperature coffee and read the piece out loud to the cats over and over. I get up on my feet in between readings and feel a rush each time I fix something or find a way to make it better.

I’ll never be fully satisfied with my work, but I have to let it go before midnight. I know generous feedback is waiting on the other side, and this is something I’ll miss when I graduate. The “real world,” as I like to think of it, rarely tells me what I did well or how to fix what I did wrong.

I add a (generic not-so-great) title to the online document: “When I graduate, I’ll miss…” I add my name and the date.

I download it, save it into the appropriate folder on my desktop and upload it to Brightspace, making sure my college email is open and my laptop volume is on. I press the green “submit” button.

And there it is – an element of my post-secondary experience I’ll truly miss – the magic, “I did it!” ding.


“This email is to confirm that your submission to assignment folder When I graduate, I’ll miss… was successful,” says “No Reply Brightspace” at 11:58 p.m.

I did it! The euphoria is real. I feel more alert than I have all day and will probably be awake until after 3 a.m. I know it won’t be long before the next deadline comes into the foreground, so I savour the rush of “the ding.”

Once I graduate and log out of Brightspace forever, I’ll miss the way “the ding” made me feel, late at night in my basement studio, just me, the cats and my coffee.


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