Posted by: beansai | November 13, 2007

Have you ever done a dumb?: Confessions of an intermittent moron

    Today was a dumb day. I pride myself on generally being smart in the deparment of common sense. I may not be a 4.0 gpa kind of gal, but I have a good sense of what is smart when it comes to day in, day out living. Well, today was one of those days that I have to kick myself for crossing that boundary into idiot’s land. But that’s a lie. It didn’t just start today, it began yesterday.

    Naturally I procrastinate addressing my homework to the very last minute…or at least the very last day before it is due. This weekend has been no exception. I spent Saturday and Sunday cleaning and piddling around the apartment, generally being only semi-productive. I had the advantage of Monday being a holiday, which meant no classes, which meant one more day for me to disregard my homework. So Monday evening roles around and with a hefty list of a couple of essays to address, I finally buckled down around 4:30 P.M. to begin researching and writing. A few hours later and a couple of distracted breaks inbetween, I had one essay down, or at least a rough draft.

    At this point I decided to move on to another essay type assignment that was due for the same class as the essay. This assignment was essentially a detailed proposal of our coming final paper. Of course, up until this point I haven’t done an ounce of research. In fact I don’t even know what the topics for the assignment are. So after putzing around and shuffling papers I finally decide on a topic and then begin to tackle the questions that need answering for the proposal. At this point I’m beginning to panic. I didn’t realized how involved of an assignment it was and naturally the hours are ticking swimmingly by. I can’t help but glance constantly at the clock to panic even more to realize that eleven is rolling around and I’m not even beyond the second set of questions.

    Through my insurmountable frustration, I somehow got it into my head to go through the requirements for the entire research paper to see if I could get a better idea of what direction I should be taking this proposal. To my dismay, I realize that the primary sources I had chosen for the assignment were invalid because I had discussed them in previous papers. At this point I can’t help but think, Shit! Again I am scrambling around trying to start from scratch on this proposal. I’ve painted myself into a corner and I know it and I’m beginning to feel claustrophobic. Piles of disorganized paper are cluttering my desktop I can’t find anything, so I decide to go old school. Grabbing a spiral bound notebook and a pen, I sprawled out on my freshly vaccuumed bedroom floor with my assignment instructions next to me. Pounding out a general concept of what I had to do, I managed to address all but one set of questions.

    At this point I’m beginning to breathe again and my eyes are beginning to complain from staring at a computer screen for too many hours. The problem is, my work still isn’t done. My rough draft essay is still waiting to be finalized, so I turn to that and simply read through and change a few minor things, call it a day on that essay (I’ve given up on the idea of a profound, well-rounded essay at this point and just want it to be done). Now I’m back to my proposal. All I have left is to list four secondary sources. Secondary sources? I don’t have any of those… Here comes the Shit! again. So, it’s passed midnight and I’m sifting through online sources and catalogs for anything that remotely pertains to my topic and the two books my proposal is based on. Three hours later and I have all four sources, heavey-lided eyes, a massive headache, and the 100 word synopsis written that is required for all four of the sources that I didn’t actually read. I’m exhausted, so I save emailing the assignment to my professor until the next morning. I choose not to do my homework for another class.

    Bed time. I can’t go on, even if I really wanted to. Five hours later my alarm is going off and my brain refuses to turn on, my first class of the day is out of the question, besides, I didn’t do the homework anyway. So I grab a couple more hours of sleep. The second time around that my alarm goes off I am feeling better and jump quickly to finish up last minute touches on my proposal and send it off to my professor. Relief and a touch of guilt pervade as I hit the send button. I shouldn’t have skipped my morning class, I’m going to suffer the consequences…too late now, what’s done is done, why feel guilty? But I do.

    Class time rolls around and I make my way to campus with my practically unaltered essay and I head into the classroom, once it is emptied of the previous class, to take my usual seat. Soon enough my classmates begin to filter in and they are discussing the proposal that is due Thursday…WAIT!Thursday?….no it’s due today, TUESDAY! I can’t help but ask them that they are positive it is due two days from now. They confirm again that it is. The little voice in my head is racing, telling me that it is due on the fifteenth of November, today, the fifteenth of November…wait…is today the fifteenth of November? This thought prompts me to check my cell phone to double check the date…(fill this in here with your choice of expletives, because I’m pretty sure I used them all in my head, when I realized…today is Tuesday…the THIRTEENTH of November).

    Here I am, before class has even started and I am mentally kicking myself for such a stupid mistake. Everyone tells me that I should be happy that I already have it done…I don’t have to worry about it anymore. Well, if only it were that simple. Okay, I did a dumb. I can accept that, it happens; I’m only human. My biggest annoyance has to be that I opted to complete an assignment that wasn’t even due for this particular class instead of attending and completing homework for my other class. Think of the extra sleep I could have gotten! Oh well. I’ll manage, right? Of course, life has a cruel sense of humor. In strolls my professor and I’m already feeling like an idiot. Then she proceeds to inform us that the proposal is no longer due on Thursday November 15th. She has decided since we are simply emailing her the assignment, it is now due Sunday November 18th. There I am, squirming in my confining desk, even more irritated than before. I hate myself…or at least such moments of irresponsibility. I manage to make it through class, though I can’t get that little voice out of my head screeching moron moron moron moron moron!

    After class I make my way almost immediately to work. I tuck away all my frustrations…or at least the larger part of them…and smile while my co-worker and I are shift changing. Once she is gone and I have the work place to myself, I hop on the computer and check my university email. There in my inbox is a reply to the assignment that wasn’t due today, that I sent this morning to my professor. I’m wondering if she has noticed that I dated everything for the fifteenth. With a bit of trepidation and humility I open the email, fully expecting to be laughed at. This is what the email said:

April,

You get a gold star for being the first person to turn this assignment in. You will get my responses to your proposal before anyone else.

Sincerely,

Professor P.

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