It’s amazing the effect that having very little to do will have on a guy. I’ve spent the better part of this week, so far, channeling George Costanza. I’ve done as little as humanly possible, but not on purpose.
Yesterday was “reading day.” At ASU, that’s the day when people are supposed to study for impending finals. I only have one final. Aside from that, I only had one paper to write and several days to do it (my final isn’t until Monday and, hey, I can’t be expected to study for that already). In an amazing feat of complete inefficiency, I set aside three entire days to do the paper, something that could be finished in a few hours. Here’s basically how it went down:
I needed to watch a movie for my silent film class and write a paper (one with ill-defined guidelines, at that…read: no set page length) about; I needed to discuss the film in terms of what we went over in class. Long story short, pick a movie, write about focal length, silent film convention hand-me-downs, etc. I chose “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” I figured I needed to watch the movie twice, once to get the hang of it and another to take notes and be insightful.
Tuesday was the last day of school and I didn’t have anything to do afterwards. I figured I’d write most of the paper, polish it up over reading day, and have the rest of the week to do whatever. I wrote two and a half pages, went to a party, and played multiple games of Warcraft III. So much for that.
Wednesday I again had the best intentions of finishing it completely. I slept in (“Hey, I only have to write a paper,” I tell myself). After I got up, in the neighborhood of 11, I went to spend some quality time with a magazine in the can, and when I came out, Sonath was sitting in my office chair. He cheerfully said hi and scared me silly. It was only after I sat down and my heart stopped racing that I could reflect on how lucky it was that I had already “taken care of business.” Our contingent of generic cleansers and wheezing vacuum cleaner would never have rid the apartment of that mess. Anyway, I sat down and wiped the sleep from my eyes…over the course of about ten minutes. Meanwhile, Sonath was chatting with Brad on my computer, impersonating me, and told Brad to come over. I asked Sonath what he was doing and only after Brad signed off to leave did he tell me that he was chatting with Brad and now he was coming over. Great…so much for the paper. The rest of the day was spent screwin’ around except for the brief interval in which I wrote another two and half pages. Much to my chagrin, I had only covered about half my material. Merry Christmas, Steve! You’re gonna be writing about sub-par chase movies for the rest of the week! Way to be a jerk!
Today, I powered through the rest and finished. The paper, she ended up being ten pages long. It’s pretty boring…I hope my prof doesn’t mind. It’s probably pretty disjointed too…it’ll read like Gertrude Stein. I guess that’s what you get when you write at about fifty different sittings. I was pretty tired or distracted for a lot of it, too. I can only hope that I didn’t subconsciously interject into the paper things like:
“ME WANTEY PLAY WARCRAFT III”
“So to sum it up, the film needs more hefty men riding comically small tricycles.”
“I just burped and it tasted like carne asada burrito.”
“Why am I writing ten pages about a movie that has Don Knotts in it?”
The take home lesson kids. Be productive. If you’re gonna put off your paper, put it off and slack right. Don’t lie to yourselves. And don’t leave your front door unlocked.