Monday, July 25, 2011

On Efficiency

I’m not the most academically minded student this semester.  In the past I could study like a champion, but somehow my efficiency has slowly leeched away and left me wondering where my hours have gone.  Seriously, I used to slam out at least two papers an hour, but now even the most basic intro paragraph takes monumental effort. 

No, really. This blog post has taken literally days to formulate.  I’m so lazy right now.  Instead of attending to that pesky reaction paper, I would rather sit on my bed and stare at the calendar on my computer, slowly watch time slip away as I quietly zone out. Ohmygoodgollygracious, I think dazedly, I think I’m going to graduate. 

I’ll glance at the clock, desperately hoping one of my housemates will call up the stairs and rescue me from academic prison. 

This is a new trend for me; I used to be a good student.  I did my assignments ahead of schedule and had plenty of time left over for other interests. Reaction papers were minor annoyances in life, took me only a few minutes to BS.  But now I struggle to find creative ways of saying, “This was a great event/class/speaker and I am a more complete person for attending.”  Why can’t I just say, “This was a great event/class/speaker and I am a more complete person for attending.”  Seems straightforward enough to me, but somehow my professors still think it’s insufficient. 

Occasionally I will go to the library and schlep all my books and bags up to the fourth floor, wrap myself in isolation and try to block out all external stimuli. I will be productive. I will be efficient! I will get work done! Yeah! Boo yah! I just need *one* good party song to get me pumped up…and after 20 minutes of my own private dance-party-in-a-chair (thank heavens the fourth floor is usually deserted) I realize that I have done nothing.

Bad Self, I mentally slap myself. Back to work.

I change the music to something more soothing, a nice piano mix on Pandora, and immerse myself in paper-writing.

Then the sun peeks through the window.  And it’s so warm.  And I’m so sleepy.  And the chair I’m sitting in isn’t particularly comfortable, but the one over there is a recliner-type chair…maybe just a quick break.  When I wake up with a snort a half hour later, I scold myself again.  Really bad Self.

Settling back into work, I’ll re-write my goal list, crossing out the things I know I won’t get to:

  • edit Courtney's paper

  • plan IR slides

  • read poems

  • column

  • blogs (2)


  • VWS response

At this point, I have accepted my sharp decline in efficiency.  Rather than crank through dozens of mundane reaction papers, I would rather hang with friends and bake cake at 1 am, or drink wine and cluster in front of the TV to watch Jeopardy!  

I know I’ll graduate. I don’t know when I’ll next spend time with the people who have become my college family.  So…it’s not actually laziness. It’s re-prioritizing.

That's my story and I'm stickin to it.

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