Thursday, October 11, 2007

Computer and Homework Gods

I have always been a procrastinator. My motto is essentially "Why do now what can be done with more adrenaline from all the time-pressured stress later?" It doesn't help that I am a night owl that gets a second burst of energy around 11 pm.

Last night while I was procrastinating going to bed in a late burst of energy, I stumbled onto the below essay which was my first (and currently remains my only) piece of published creative writing (I have published very boring analytical work stuff but that doesn't really count, even though I enjoy that too). I vividly remember forgetting I had to write this "personal essay" for English class junior year until the night before. I had no idea it was being entered into any sort of contest until I was told it was to be published in our school's magazine (I didn't say it was published anywhere of note). Anyway, the whole process taught me that if you put something long enough and don't try too hard, you might just win something. Enjoy the read (remember, I was 16).

My computer is giving me "that look" again. You know the look. It is the one that says, "Stop procrastinating and do your homework." I try to avoid it so I throw a blanket over it. Much better. But now I have to do something about the books all over the floor. They don't have the "look" the computer has, but they give off bad vibes of their own. For some reason all that my books ever do is make me feel guilty for not picking them up. Who would it really hurt if I didn't do my homework? Right at this point I don't really care. It doesn't seem important. I'll just shut my door and go in the other room.

I walk upstairs and what is sitting in the living room? The piano and, next to it, my saxophone. They both are having a competition to see who can scream out "PRACTICE!" the loudest and with the most emphasis. The piano wins. I sit down, but I don't get out the jazz band music I need to practice or my lessons. Instead, I reach for something that fits my mood. A loud and clamorous piece, one that just sounds mad. But soon this gets boring and the whole time I'm playing I can feel violent messages, sent from my jazz band music, coming down and penetrating my skull, warning me that if I don't practice Northway will not be pleased. But then I think, why should I even bother going to jazz band at six-thirty in the morning? I'm not a morning person! Maybe I should do my homework.

I venture back into my room, praying that maybe the history and English gods have decided to show mercy and make my books disappear. I slowly open the door, only to be greeted by a gust of Nordic air. For some reason my room doesn't get heat, especially when homework is around, and my sacrifices to the homework gods were futile because my books are still there. So I head back down the hall looking for a heater to make the homework atmosphere a little bit more agreeable. When I finally get back to my room and get the heat up to human conditions, I realize my books are not going to disappear and in order to get anything done I need to uncover my computer. But first I see my planner. Ah, yes, that is all I need, a little organization and some prioritizing. The tape that I bought with my Franklin said all I had to do was keep track of my assignments and use their simple method of prioritizing, and I would awe my teachers while my grades would shoot up. They failed to mention that I had to actually do the work after I planned it.

With that out of the way, I undraped my computer and fired it into action. Now what? The phone rings. Relief! I'm sure it is for me. I answer, "Hello?"

"Is your mother there?" asks the voice.

"Yes, let me get her," I say ever so sweetly, realizing right at that moment that my mom better not stay on long because I feel the sudden urge to bond with the phone and reach out and touch someone, anyone, no matter my or her homework status. "MOOOOM!!!!" I scream, not wanting to go find her. "PHOOONE!! Don't be on long. I need to use it!!"

Now, of course, I cannot start my homework because then I would just have to stop so I could talk to my friend. Looking around my room I see a book, one of those books you didn't even want to read when it was on your grade level. So, of course, I pick it up. Before I realize what I am doing, I am deeply involved in the lives of two idiotic junior high girls who act nothing like any human being I've ever met. I forget my homework, forget I have an urgent phone call to make, and I read until eleven. AT this time I have finished the book and am too tired to even think about my omnipresent homework, so I turn out the light and go to bed. I have yet again successfully procrastinated all my homework to the point where the only solution will be to do it in some other class tomorrow.


tiff said...

That is FABULOUS! And it's no wonder we're friends. Although I never got anything published in the elite Expressions Magazine. (Is that what it was called?)

Ma said...

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to read your published essay again. It brings back a lot of memories of you as a child such as:

- always reading(even as a young child)especially late at night when you were supposed to be sleeping.

- telling me, while you were in elementary, that you didn't need to learn to write neatly because you would just type everything on a computer. I never could convince you that you still needed to write neatly even though you type extremely fast.

- you always had the answers to everything and never needed your parents advice or help because you just looked everything up in a book or encyclopedia. That was before the internet. What would you have learned with the internet back then? Pretty scary thought.

I could go on and on, but you have always been a reader starting at a very young age, you have always been curious about everything and always willing to do your research, you have always enjoyed writing (as long as it was on the computer) and you have ALWAYS been a night owl. That seems to be when your creative juices really start to flow. No wonder you became a lawyer!

Beck said...

Hee, that was great. You should write more creative pieces - even at 16 you had a voice.

lizzie said...

so great! i never got anything published.

michele said...

i'm glad you posted that. annie loves the expressions magazine, but somehow the pages where this essay should be are missing. now i am complete.

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