Off the Record. 17 Nov. 2012
Hello everybody, and welcome to an Off the Record? Now I know what many of you are thinking; “Where did this segment of the blog disappear to? We see an Opinion piece, and tons of Rhetoric, but no Off the Records. Why is that? Well for starters, I guess I really have not had much to say that would fit into this category until now. Another reason would be that Rhetoric pieces are – in a sense – easier to craft than the other types I host on my blog. Strange as it may seem, those are my reasons and or excuses depending on your point of view. Now, this Off the Record will be a sort of pressure valve designated to release some of the bent up frustrations I have about anything and everything. Extremely broad and wide-ranging, but nonetheless here we go.
Right now it is the month of November and for many students it is assignment hell month. What do I mean by that? To remove the extra details, it basically boils down to a time where everything is due for every class. Now the issue of procrastination is what comes to mind when I speak of this, and for those of you who are elite-students who get everything done in September, well good for you. Smiley-face stickers for your term paper and even a gold star for your forehead, hope you’re happy you over-inflated toddlers. Now as for the rest of us, yes the vast majority of students do procrastinate, but then so do politicians and even administrators who have a mountain’s worth of paperwork to go through and are at a point where they hate their job and wonder why did they spend four years in university and how did they end up here. Yes I am stereotyping the average mediocre manager in an office environment but you know that without this example, my little adventure down Frustration Avenue would end abruptly, so onward we go.
Right, assignment hell month; throw in some uncooperative project partners and you get; “everything went down the drain and now you are tearing out your hair and throwing your sanity out the window, month.” Yes I have had to deal with a project group that felt like wrestling with small little puppies who are overly active to the point that the couches are now chewed and torn to ribbons and the misses is angry that I chose such hyperactive dogs to begin with. It is just pathetic to see some project members make up excuses every time they miss a meeting. Oh I had a fender-bender (car accident); oh I had a soccer game. If I received compensation for every excuse you gorillas made, I would have fifty-six dollars and ninety one cents. I could actually do something with that money, but instead I have empty hands and an ear full of lies. Luckily the project went off without issue, we presented, and we passed. Now that is over, you all can go back to your banana trees and leave me to my readings. Unlike you ‘boys’, us men have other duties to attend to. We have more assignments due, more papers to write, and more projects to present.
I guess this is the real reason behind the fact that these assignments are due near the end of the semester. You are expected to have retained some of the knowledge taught, and in turn are able to produce some work to show that the information has stuck to your ribs like a good bowl of oat meal. Yet I like to think there is an alter-motive to this series of bombardments against our newly constructed ramparts; to test us and to see how we deal with a changing environment. Whether you are going to be a middle-manager, or a high-ranking office executive, schedules and timings change as life marches on. Sometimes what you have penciled in for the week may not go as planned and you are left with some rather unhappy moments and possibly some cold soup and sandwiches. The ability to adapt to changing conditions quickly is a skill that must be sharpened and tested constantly. Why do infantry soldiers rigorously drill until reactions to things like ambushes become second nature? Why do they familiarize themselves with weapons platforms to the point where it is muscle memory? They need to be familiar with their operational procedures so that they have a high chance of success and a low chance of failure and subsequently, death. Now for some in their respective fields of study, the story is quite similar. You are near the end of your program, and you have had to repeat a few courses. If you do not familiarize yourself with the material taught, you will figuratively sink into the abyss.
Yet it is what we do best as students. Sure we may procrastinate until a few weeks to a few days before the assignment is due, but I guess this is how we practice our ability to adapt to changing conditions in a stressful (for some) environment. I am certain though that they did at least a bit of research prior to the culmination of their assignment and arrival at their respective due dates. Ultimately, this is all part of the university/college experience. In the end the majority of us are in our early twenties, and we have much to learn, and much to see. So we will continue to procrastinate to an extent, some more than others, and eventually we will either perfect the art of time management or perfect the skill of adaptability. Either way, it benefits the student in the end, unless of course you decide to sell hemp walking sticks. In that case, good luck, because I cannot see a viable outcome for you ‘bud’. Now for all those elitist, structured and well organized students who think they are vastly superior to all others due to their ability to have their assignments completed by the end of the first month of the semester; I hope you enjoy living out the rest of your days in apathy and endless routine. After all, that is what you are good at, is it not?