It was a rough morning. I was up until 5:30 in the morning finishing the final paper for the Soccer, Culture, and Politics in Latin America class that had been my initial impetus for coming to Argentina. After several kettles worth of mate and a lot of keystrokes, I finally managed to complete the assignment.
I laid down to try to get some sleep before my conversation final, but instead of blissful slumber all I managed to get was one hour of in-and-out drowsiness before somebody decided to start laying on the buzzer to the apartment. I hoped the first burst was just a dream and turned over. The second one rang louder and longer as I returned to full consciousness. The third involved 30 seconds or so of continuous ringing.
This went on for a (not-so-)good ten minutes or so, alternating short and long bursts of ringing making it impossible to reach any form of sleep — much less REM patterns. I dozed on and off for the next hour or so after whoever was downstairs finally gave up their game, but it was a rough day the rest of the way that involved plenty of caffeine.
I gave up on getting any actual rest and fired the computer back up, reading through the paper one last time before sending it off to Carlos. I have a feeling he knew exactly what he was in for when he wrote the assignment, considering I asked him during the last lecture on the Thursday prior whether there was any maximum length to go with the five-page minimum.
He smiled and said no, almost a challenge to the students, and what emerged from my late-night typing was 16 pages about the concurrent growth of soccer in Brazil and Argentina, from the sport’s introduction by the British in the late 1800s to the current rivalry between the two South American soccer powerhouses that manifested itself yet again this year at the World Cup.