I open my eyes (rub my eyes). I can still feel the trickle of drool under my mouth. So i brushed it with mu sleeve. I took a looked at my watch. It's 2.05 am in the morning.
Did i just said 2.05 in the morning???!!!
Oh no! Oh shit! Oh my @#$%%^&! I stood up and turned to Wayne. I yelled at him. "Why didn't you wake me up Why? Why didn't you wake me up at 2 hours ago?"
Oh no, I'm not going to finish this. It's doomsday for me...
Wayne answered. "Hey, bro. Relax... You haven't slept for two days. You need some rest before you can carry on."
I sat down to take a moment. I needed to calm down.
Contest chair, judges and fellow toastmasters,
I was sitting on the chair in a design studio 2.05 in the morning but i was not alone. Together with me were my studio mates of Bachelor of Architecture. We were working on our final project at the eleventh hour. In less than 7 hours, we were going to do our final presentation of our final project of the semester.
We are not night owls. We are all nighters and all dayers. Because we usually work from day to night and from dusk till dawn. We are fighters! Just because we believe that the best usually comes at last. SO we save the best for the last. We save the best design idea for the last minute.
I looked around. All my friends were still working. I turned back to Wayne to check his work progress. As usual, He the Kiasu-guy, had everything ready. Drawings and sketches in butter papers, and mock-up models to show his design development. Presentation boards to tell the whole story of his design scheme. But why did he stay up? He stayed up just to check on others. He wanted to make sure nobody outwit him at the very last minute.
I turned to my right, Che Lan was sitting there too as cool as cucumber, with his headphones on and eyes stuck to the laptop. I asked, 'What are you doing?' Shh! Shh! Shh! I'm watching The Last Samurai. Please don't disturb.
Suddenly, I heard a sound from behind. Fhok! Fhok! Fhok!... Beh, the lose cannon who was always uncontrolled at the crucial moment, approached from behind with a T-square in his hand. Fhok! Fhok! Fhok!... He was swaying the 1 meter long T-square from left to right and right to left, repeatedly. As if he was ready to pick up a fight. He walked straight back to his place and looked deep at his design model. He raised his T-square and Bam!!! Bang Bang Bang! He crushed his model into pieces. Oh boy, that was crazy. Please don't try this at home. Just do it in a design studio.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Designers in creative industry agree that there is no such thing as Best Design. No matter how hard you review and reassess your design scheme, it will become better but still there is room for improvement. My lecturer once told us, do you know why you got the grade C? Because A is for God, B is for me, and C is for you!
Therefore it is inevitable that designers tend to work until the very last minute.
Imagine you work for 3 days without sleeping? To make things worse, you are too busy to take eat and take shower. So you skip shower, and eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner 3 in 1. That is why people like us do lots of funny things when are sleepless, pressured and exhausted.
In order not to fall asleep, one of my friend developed this skill of singing when you feel like sleeping. He would start singing and humming the same old song over and over again until his battery runs off.
For me, it is easy. I just keep on talking and talking not to anyone but myself. I talk to myself while I'm working so that i don't fall asleep. But that hardly work.
Fellow toastmasters and friends,
6 years of Architecture Education might have been grueling to me, but what i learned from this experience was priceless. Trust me, it was definitely far more than just the skills of not to fall asleep.
~ End of speech ~
P/S: I drafted this speech for my humorous speech contest. The story was inspired by real experience during my architectural education in the university.