By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 76 – April 11, 2004
“Written at the Last Possible Second”
Now Playing: “Run” by Collective Soul
The weather here in Canada (we only have one climate) has been gorgeous lately. Everybody is outside playing Frisbee, tanning and barbecuing with their friends. Unfortunately, it's also exam time in Canada, which means everybody's holed up in their rooms or in one of those weird cubicle things they have in the library, straining their eyes and overdosing on vending machine coffee. Of course, these two statements contradict each other rather completely, so you astute readers will dismiss them both as a pack of lies, and discontinue reading this illogical and borderline incoherent column more or less immediately. For the rest of you, here's what happened:
-I'm going to take a stand here and some of you may not like it: I think The Simpsons has gone overboard with celebrity guest voices. They used to have all these really cool celebrities like Dustin Hoffman and Michelle Pfeiffer and they'd integrate them into the plot and everything would be kosher. But in a recent episode they had guest stars Tom Clancy and Thomas Pynchon read ONE LINE. That's right, they flew these authors over to LA, put them up in a hotel and paid them good money to read ONE FREAKING LINE. And the kicker is I bet you have no idea what Tom Clancy sounds like or who the hell Thomas Pynchon is. You illiterate sonofabitch.
-The reason I chose to harass you and insult your intelligence with that last “joke” is that I've been watching a lot of Simpsons in lieu of studying for my exams. I've also been doing a lot of other things that don't include studying in lieu of studying. Procrastination is the heart of any good college student's routine, and we all take it pretty seriously. For example, I have actually elevated procrastination into its own art form. Someday I'll write the book on procrastination. Not today, but someday. For now this article will have to do.
-How many needless all-nighters have you pulled in your college career? You'll have an essay due Monday, so you'll wake up Sunday morning bright and early with the intention of going to the library, doing your research and having the term paper done by suppertime. But of course you never make it to the library because you wasted the entire day smoking pot and masturbating to blurry bestiality pictures you found on the net “by accident.” Next thing you know it's 11pm and the library is closed so your “research” consists entirely of pulling quotes pretty much at random off of websites (“Hottest Bestiality pr0n – Clik Here!”). Sure, you'll get your paper done before daybreak, but at what cost?
-I think Instant Messaging programs are the most productivity-stifling programs in existence. I can't write a three-page paper on Swan Lake (double-spaced) if my life depends on it, but I can outdo the word count in “War and Peace” ranting about how I can't believe Jake slept with Melissa because she's such a dirty ho. And also I kind of liked Melissa.
-You had better believe I just compared my IM rants to the work of Tolstoy. I should save a copy of my Instant Messenger conversations and sell them to fools who don't know who Thomas Pynchon is. Think of it as something like War and Peace with poorer spelling and more emoticons.
-On average, about 10% of studying time is devoted to actual studying, in the sense of reading, memorizing facts, highlighting passages from the textbook so you won't be able to sell it after the exam, etc. The other 90% of “study” time is spent calculating to an appalling number of significant digits the absolute lowest grade you could possibly get on the final and still pass the class. They say kids today are bad at math but I've seen philosophy majors put together complex formulas that would stump Will Hunting. (Not surprisingly, they still wind up failing the class. Maybe if they had spent a little more time studying philosophy…)
-I've seen people who always write down their assignments and exams as due a day earlier in their daily planners. Like, say they have a big final on Tuesday, they'll write down that it's actually on Monday so they'll get their studying done before the last minute. These are the same head cases who set the clocks in their house forward 10 minutes so they won't be late. How many times can you trick yourself before people start suspecting you have a learning disability? Just once I'd like to see one of these social rejects miss their exam because “they thought it was yesterday.” That'll teach them to not put off studying 'til the night before.
-Quote of the Moment: I had a study date planned for 4pm, but was told (via Instant Messenger, no less) that we should delay it until 6pm. When I asked why, I got the following illuminating response: “I just need to go break up with my boyfriend again.” What can I say? A procrastinator's work is never done.
-What do girls do to procrastinate? Guys have Xbox, sports, fast food and cars. I don't know a single girl who enjoys any of those things. Find me a girl who likes Halo, watching football, eating at Wendy's and driving around until you run outof gas and I'll marry her if you can somehow render her blind so she can't see what I look like. Until then, I'll assume these types of girls don't exist. So what can females do when they're looking to waste some time? My guess is knitting.
-Note to Self: Write one more joke in this space before submitting humor column for publishing. Aw, heck, I've still got a while before it's due. I'll write it later.