That is the question 239 students had to ask themselves on Thursday night (or, more precisely, Friday morning.) After two incredible plays in the afternoon and at night, the Misanthrope and Camelot, and wandering around downtown Stratford in search of supper and snacks for the night, these students returned to the hotel room to face this dilemma. My room personally had settled things beforehand, playing a long game of monopoly and attempting to play a game of poker until taking solace in the realization that just about anything at four in the morning is “SO DEEP.”
I was left on the way home to contemplate the true nature of this conundrum. Normally, when students decide to go with or without sleep, not sleeping is what will save one’s academic ability by allowing time to complete assignments put off. Sleeping only allows you to relax. In Stratford, this is reversed. Sleeping is what will give you the stamina to follow along with the third play. Twelfth Night, being the longest of the three at just over three hours, was also the only one seen on the trip by William Shakespeare, which meant the complicated, signature dialogue of the man to whom the festival was dedicated. Not sleeping in Stratford is what allows you to relax, but in a much different way.
The beautiful thing about Stratford – and any overnight trip, to be fair – is that it allows students to spend time outside of class with those they appreciate most in a different atmosphere than usual. Staying up all night is not a hassle when you have three other students you love and respect who you can talk to about anything – what is said in the room stays in the room. This eight or so hours in combination with the rest of the free time in between plays is truly what makes the trip amazing. The plays are a close second.
I’m not claiming that there is a definite answer to this age-old question, or that those who slept had less or more benefits than those who did not. The right choice to make is not to sleep or not to sleep, but instead to go on the trip, and be presented with those two options. So deep, am I right?