Do you ever get the feeling that someone could do all the necessary research to write the Dummies Guide to Screw-Ups and Grand Oversights after following you around for a few hours? I was talking to someone Wednesday about a summer night years ago, when I left such a wake of logistical destruction and poor job performance that I locked myself in a tiny kitchen bathroom for like, two whole hours and then proceeded to blubber and wail myself out of consciousness. In a sort of two-for-one bonus, by quarantining myself there amongst the stainless steel sink and porcelain throne, I simultaneously shrugged off the list of duties I was responsible for that evening, thus increasing my level of negligence exponentially. It takes work to be that irresponsible.
The real state of my computing skills was brought into the light this afternoon at work, and unfortunately for those in my office, the quality of my accounting expertise would make you believe that a Cabbage Patch taught my Consumer Finance class in college. I even have a hard time with calculators. And no, I'm not referring to the scientific kind.
When I was in college, I got into the habit of pulling all-nighters when I had a paper to write or a big exam to study for. Once during my junior year, a roommate and I stayed up all night to work on a two-pronged project for Oceanography. We were asked to design: 1) an imaginary water-born craft for oceanic exploration, and 2) a new sea monster. I can't remember what kind of futuristic submarine I conjured up, but I do recall a cleverly-designed sea turtle with a beaver tail-like paddle that was covered in spikes. I think I also gave him a red Santa cap. You can't just buy an education like that.
You are beginning to see how productive my night sessions were. After another of these nocturnal episodes, I spit out a term paper for an anthropology course (it was only my declared major - I couldn't be expected to care about the field of study - that would be just too much). A little while after turning in my work, my professor called me into his office to give me the verdict. It wasn't good.
"M, you're a bad writer."
Well, at least someone did their homework. He was right. I was rotten at winging it, and I liked him quite a lot for calling me out on it. He didn't only tell me that I was not the next Emile Durkheim or Clifford Geertz, he told me that I needed to change how I tackled my academic projects. I needed to chip away at my work one day at a time and not wait until the very last hours before a deadline to start roaring my intellectual engine.
But who wants to waste their time with all that? Most people strive to learn from their mistakes, but not me. I like to do my part to keep the average American, well, average.
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