Monday, 8 December 2008

On Why Writing My Take-Home Is So Painful

[Warning: this post contains whining about my life on-line. If this does not appeal to you, get off the Internet entirely.]

I'm writing a take-home exam. It consists of three questions, each regarding three thinkers and consisting of roughly four pages, as I cannot exceed twelve altogether. The process has so far been more time-consuming and painful than I had anticipated.
The reason is not limited to the fact that I don't find the topic very interesting. The reason is not limited to the fact that this process consists of lots of skimming through the texts for relevant material. The reason is not limited to the fact that I do not feel like I am in any way contributing to the academic community while writing this. The reason is not limited to the fact that my boredom incites me to eating unhealthily and unnecessarily. These are all contributing factors, but they have not essentially ruined the last two days for me.
No, the reason is that I have no focus, and therefore spend upward of a third of the time allotted for "working" on ridiculous forms of procrastination that are only mariginally more satisfying than the work itself. Had I had the concentration to just finish the miserable question all in one shot--or even in two intensive shots--I would then be able to go and do something I actually enjoy. I could read a book, or work on something creative, or play a game, or whatever. But I could then spend a significant amount of time on some activity that I could walk away from and say, "I'm glad I did that."
Instead, though, I waste time on Facebook applications. What a stupid way of spending the day. I also researched who the Crazy Babysitter Twins are. (They were credited to the Grindhouse flicks, and apparently they're a big deal right now. I suppose if you're willing to do photoshoots like that, you would be.) I also spent better than an hour on xkcd.com. Penny Arcade got some attention, as did the blogosphere (some readers will note comments from me on their own blogs). I watched the fake Grindhouse trailers on YouTube. I am pretty sure I spent time on Wikipedia, but I don't actually recall what I did there. Oh, and I looked up the list of fetishes from the xkcd comic I posted previously. Yeah, weird, I know. But I had to know. You can look it up yourself you want. "Deviant Desires," I think, and throw in "fetish map." A Google search should get you there. The domain name has been removed, but enough people have blogged about it that the original image and some of the content are still available, at least at the time of writing this.
So I theoretically remember everything I did. I can guarantee, though, that I won't look back on today and think, "I am so glad I did that. It satisfied me deeply." No. If I look back on today at all, I'll think, "What a slave I am to the computer. And I abused time so badly. And I pushed my computer to it's physical limits, more than likely. How horrible."
I feel unclean, somehow.
But tomorrow...
I have a study class thing for an upcoming exam. That will get me out of the house and will force me to interact with people I haven't seen for more than a week.

And I have Running and Reading, which will force me to run and discipline children and walk long distances in the cold in running pants.

I will also do more of my take-home. But tomorrow might be worth something. More, at least, than today was worth.

To make up for the unhappiness, I will post some pictures that should hopefully improve everyone's mood.

1 comment:

Jon Wong said...

My curse in life is that I find very few things worth doing if not done with other people. But you know this. I also watched Good Will Hunting. And what I've learned from this (along with a previous incident where Julia chastised me for claiming to have not seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) is that I should NEVER claim to have not seen any film that's made pre-2000 without double checking that my claim is, indeed, true. Like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, I have actually seen Good Will Hunting before. Sometimes, I neglect to remember the names of many films I saw before I got into my crazy, film-elitist phase in and around 2005.

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