Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alarm Clocks

Last night I set the alarm on my phone for 7:08 AM, 7:15 AM, and 7:39 AM. I set three alarms for a reason. The first alarm is just a warning. It's saying, "alright Sam, you're gonna be gettin up soon." The second alarm is the real sign for me to throw back the covers and grace the new morning with my presence. The third alarm is a safety net in case alarms 1 and 2 fail. If I'm up by 7:40 AM, I still have time to get up, dress, brush my teeth and be to class on time. All of this careful preparation is done with the intention of waking up in time for my 8:00 AM class on American literary modernism. Even though this has become a bit of a bored routine, I was actually really excited to go to class this morning for several reasons: 1) I had actually completed all of the reading, 2) I had found the reading fascinating, and 3) I really enjoy this class, as much for the professor teaching it as for the subject material.
So this morning at 7:08 in the AM the dulcet tones of Dave Brubeck's Take Five gently roused me from sleep. As I woke up I ran my daily diagnostic analysis and decided I wasn't hungry. Thus I made the decision to skip breakfast in order to enjoy a few extra minutes of sweet repose. So I grabbed my phone reset alarm 2 from 7:15 AM to 7:23 AM and nestled back into the comfort my pillow and blanket. I instantly fell back asleep assured that my phone would do its duty and bring me back 'round at the appropriate hour. But my phone betrayed me.
I don't know what I'd done to offend it. Maybe considering I've allowed it to die a time or two it had so hardened its affections towards me that it felt the need to exact revenge. Maybe it's seen me giving more attention to other electronic devices such as my laptop and ipod and it's gotten jealous. Maybe it was tired of me taking it for granted and sleeping through its daily reminders to wake up. Or maybe 8 human months equates adolescence in phone years and it's just going through a rebellious phase. Whatever the case may be, it decided not to carry out its assignments with regards to alarms 2 and 3, and I slept on unperturbed.
A while later I came out of deep sleep into semi-consciousness with the thought, "Man this has been a long 15 min." I blindly reached for my phone and my sleepy eyes struggled to focus on the leering face of this self-important Benedict Arnold. As the blurs merged into one, I read 8:02 AM and immediately jumped out of bed, adrenalin coursing through my body. Thinking a series of unmentionable evils towards the world of electronics in general, I pulled on my pants and shoes, grabbed a notebook and a pen and raced to class, arriving at 8:10 AM.
Later during class, as I sat with my classmates discussing Richard Wright's visit to Indonesia, I pulled my phone out and looked at it. How could it have betrayed me? How had I missed the warning signs that our relationship had grown cold? What might I have done to prevent this travesty? More importantly, was the trust gone forever? Would I ever be able to sleep well at night knowing that such an occurrence might repeat itself? I reviewed the alarm settings in despair and was inspired to vow two things: 1) I will never again take for granted a properly functioning alarm clock. 2) I will always make sure alarms 2 and 3 are, in fact, set to AM and not PM.


  1. Love it! That's happened to me a few times =] Also,
    1) I love that you set your alarm to uneven times. I always have mine set to 7:03 or 6:57 or something. 2) I always program my alarm with at least 2 to 3 snoozes, for exactly the same reason you have three alarms. They monitor my sleeping in =]

  2. You see, that's the funny thing about alarm clocks. They can't read your mind. Glad you at least made it to class today. :)

  3. Totally has happened to me before and I believe that is the worst way to wake up. I'm just impressed that you put clothes on and got to class in 8 minutes. But I bet your zipper was down. :)

  4. Did I ever tell you about the time I slept through one of my finals? True story.