No, not when birds are chirping and squirrels are extravagently bounding over sidewalks and up the trunks of trees. Not when you can go outside and toss a frisbee or hit a wiffleball either. Not even when love is in the air. Most certainly not that.
It is the time of year where you see away messages like this:
“A Brain? More like a jello mold shot through a jet engine.”
“This all nighter sponsored by Red Bull and the letter Z…”
“1 down, 45 pages left to go.”
Yes. The fury that is the unlimited pain of procrastinated work has recently snuck up on me and exploded like a neutron star. And there really is no need for hyberbole. I have impossible amounts of work, and its no one’s fault except my own. Right now, I haven’t slept in 41 hours. But for those of you who know me, you might ask: what else is new?
To illustrate, though: Last night I was up polishing off the finishing touches of my academic writing portfolio on how to motivate boys to read. 9:00 AM rolls around, its due at 11:00, and it needs a conclusion. I’m in my track pants at the computer in the lab, wrapped in a blanket, I’ve had 2 cups of tea and 2 sobe energy drinks, there are gold fish spilled all over the place, and my eyelids are falling fast. I turn to the keyboard and I write this:
beginning of this project, it had been promised to you, noble reader, that at
its conclusion you would contain the following: an awareness of the problem
currently facing our nation’s boys, an understanding of why this problem is
occurring and it matter, and ideas about programs and solutions helping
motivate boys to read. Just in case you
missed something, here it is, our global point, once more delivered to you for
your reading leisure. This is what is
Then I go on to restate the points of my argument and the steps to a solution, so on and so forth. Notice my careful syntax and personification of the reader as a nobleman. My favorite phrase might be “an understanding of why this problem is occurring and it matter,” or it could be what I wrote next:
that, folks, is how you motivate boys to read.
Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
Now let’s make it happen.
Followed by this picture:
And I turned it in. Honestly, who am I? The project is worth 60% of my grade. And I concluded with that photo. I stumbled deliriously to the bookstore, bought a three ring binder and some dividers, holepunched the thing and turned it in. Then, in the 100 person lecture, the professors selected me from the class as one of three finalists for the editing competion. They had reviewed people’s editorial comments and revision work and selected me and two other people to compete head to head in one last editing battle – the victor to be decided by class applause. I was given a 5 sentence paragraph on the toxicity of niacin in cow lactation and the ration procedures by which to manage its something or other. A very difficult selection. My job was to translate it into readable prose on the board. In under 5 minutes. So, I get up there and grab the chalk and realize that I am in no mental state to perform this exercise whatsoever. I write about 3 sentences as best as I could, and then eventually turn the excerpt into a story about me. I think I finished with the sentence: “Ration management in the Niacin has been maintained by many cool people, the kind of cool people who would think long and hard about writing a paragraph about cows’ milk, and who would probably elect Harrison as the winner of this exercise incidentally.”
It didn’t work. I got second place.