Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Little Bout of Ubi Sunt

One thing I miss about college is the opportunity to be irresponsible. Even for obsessive class-goers such as myself, there was always that comforting knowledge in the back of your head that if you really wanted to, you could just screw it and play flash games all day. I always ended up going to class, but the option was always there. And class was usually only for a few hours each day. Even if I was responsible enough to go to class, I could always decide to blow off homework that day and go to Shari’s with friends. Not that I did that much either. The point is that even if I didn’t take these opportunities to slack off, it was nice to know they were there.

I don’t really have that anymore. Sure, realistically I could just decide to skip work for no reason, but it’s not the same. You can skip class or homework for a day with almost no repercussions (depending on the day you skip…), but even just missing one little thing for work has consequences that are pretty undesirable—like losing your job. I’ve stopped feeling that fulfilling my basic obligations (used to be school, and is now work) is making the responsible decision. Now it feels like doing what I have to. I have to make responsible decisions by going to the store, cooking, cleaning, studying for the GRE, etc. I have to work twice as hard to feel responsible.

It’s a rainy, dreary day here in Idaho. There is a very distinct divide between things that seem acceptable on rainy days and things that don’t. Mainly, everything and anything productive just seems sinful to do when it’s raining. Here are some things I’d rather do that what I am doing today (which happening to be working eleven hours).

-Skip forward ten or fifteen years and spend the day doing Halloween crafts with the kids. There would be tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch.

-Go back ten or fifteen years and do the exact same as above with the roles reversed.

-Watch a whole season of Dexter with Brian.

-Sit on the porch (assuming we had one) under a blanket and talk (to family/friends who would also be present) while watching the rain.


-Bake cookies and then eat them all.

-Get deeply involved in some (probably an RPG) video game and play it all day with no guilt.

-Watch a scary movie and eat popcorn.

-Take a ridiculously long and hot shower/bath.

-Leisurely clean the house while watching some marginally interesting documentary.

-Curl up with some completely trivial, but exceptionally interesting, book that will keep my interest for the entire day.

-On that note, go back to my time at college and spend the day getting ahead on reading Anna Karenina and whatever the current book for Eastern European literature may be.

Notice that I did not mention dealing with whiny, disobedient children (in this scenario, my future children will, of course, be adorable and obedient just as I always was) or cleaning for seven hours straight. But alas! The opportunity for irresponsibility has left me. I will be doing none of the things I’d like to and both of the things I specifically chose not to mention.

Being an adult sucks.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Online ADD Tests

(I wrote this awhile ago, but not surprisingly, I kind of got distracted and forgot to post it...)

I am a hypochondriac, and I decided last night that I must have ADD, so I looked up some tests online. In the middle of taking one of them, I got distracted by a scab on my face and picked it. Annoyed by my inability to leave my poor, broken out face alone, I got up off the couch and headed into the bathroom to survey the damage. After inspecting my face for a few moments, I put a little make-up on it (the husband being out of town is no excuse to let oneself go!) before leaving the bathroom. On my way back to the living room, I got an unstoppable craving for frozen cherries, so I diverted myself again, this time to the kitchen where I got my little bowl of cherries and went back to the couch. After about two and a half more minutes of researching ADD, I typed “www” into my address bar to see which of my favorite sites popped up. I saw Hulu and remembered hearing something about the season premiere of Community (which is one of the funniest shows in all history) on the radio. So I opened it up and got the show ready to play before thinking, “Do I really want to interrupt what I’m doing for thirty minutes?” Sometimes I’m delusional about how much I’m really getting done. So I decided to change my facebook status to something about how ridiculously distractible I am. Upon reaching Facebook, I saw I had a message from Miss Bailey (side note: at this point in writing this, I checked to see if she had replied to the response I sent her). I found it rather humorous that I was distracted on my way to sharing with the world how easily I am distracted, so I decided the whole topic merited a blog post instead of just a facebook update. And Brian always wonders why I’m so exhausted.

I think that’s the real point of ADD tests, especially online ADD tests. If you can make it through the tests, you win! No ADD. Instead of having questions that are applicable to ADD symptoms, they should just have a bunch of questions like, “What is your favorite kind of dinosaur?” and “Would you rather face a zombie invasion or a vampire invasion?” If you are inactive on the page for more than five minutes, a window pops up with a number to a local mental health clinic. The only problem is that those questions are fun. It’d be easy to finish a test like that, regardless of your ADD status. So they’d have to be lame questions like, “What is the square root of 31” and “What is a zeitgeist?” I’d be happy to write a test like that, but I’d get distracted.

(Oh hey! I forgot I had Community all ready to play!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Why I Graduated Summa Cum Laude...

…or “Why I Never Hung out with You.”

While going through some stuff from college, I ran across and old notebook. Most semesters, I had a place to keep notes for each class and a random spiral notebook where I’d make lists, schedules, notes for papers, and other such odds and ends. This particular notebook was from spring semester of my junior year. I’m not sure I remember all the classes I was in, but I know I was in American Renaissance, British Romanticism, Literary Criticism, and Creative Non-Fiction Writing. Oh. The other one was Medieval Europe. Yeah, that’s all of them. What follows is, no joke, taken directly from a schedule I made myself for a particularly busy day, though I admit that there are no notes as to how rigorously this schedule was followed. My comments are in italics.

5:00-5:15 Wake up This means for the day, folks… not from a nice afternoon nap.
5:15-6:00 Go to Wal-Mart I can’t remember why I was going to Wal-Mart at this ungodly hour, but I vaguely remember being angry that this day existed.
6:00-7:30 Read Moby Dick I am quite certain I am the only one who finished Moby Dick for Vic’s class this semester.
7:30-8:00 Breakfast I do schedule meals, but no shower... there's no time for that foolishness!
8:00-10:00 British Romanticism paper
10:00-11:00 Read Shelley
11:00-12:00 Lunch/read Moby-Dick
12:00-1:00 Workout I worked out every day this semester. While taking all these classes. WTF?
1:00-2:00 Lunch/plan meeting Who knows why I scheduled lunch twice… I assure you, I ate only one lunch this day.
2:00-3:00 Westminster Round meeting This was right at the end of junior year, meaning I had just been handed the reins as Westminster Round President forcing me to plan last minute barbeques and the like.
3:00-4:00 British Romanticism paper again…
4:00-5:00 Read Stuart Hall
5:00-6:00 Stuart Hall presentation/dinner
6:00-7:30 Read Foucolt For anyone who hasn’t read Foucolt, this is not good bedtime reading.
7:30-9:00 Read Kristeva This is even worse bedtime reading.

That is absolutely ridiculous. I have another almost-as-depressing schedule a few pages later. This one, though, starts at 5:30am and ends at 8:00pm, so it’s a little tame in comparison. One sad side note, though, is that next to a two hour chunk of time set aside for the British Romanticism paper is the word “FAIL.” written after I apparently failed to perform to the standards I set for myself. Oddly, I remember this semester as less stressful than the semester after where I was a TA for two classes and basically sat around doing nothing all the time. It’s always been an odd feature of mine that when I am insanely busy (taking Chaucer, Core 350, Russian Lit, Eastern European Lit, and generic-easy-night-class at the same time) I end up managing my time with near perfection and am subsequently less stressed than when I am sitting at home on Monday because I only have a part time job and a grad school application hanging over my head because it gives me the option of procrastinating. And it’s hard to relax when you know there are a million other things you should be doing. Like cleaning your car where you found that blasted notebook in the first place.