Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Confession: "I love deadlines.

I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by." --Douglas Adams

Instead of writing my paper (still and again for the last, like, 36 hours) I'm going to theorize about why I'm soo bad at deadlines. Because I think it's a thing.

And the obvious bit: I'm not super great at self-discipline. This isn't a thing I'm proud of, and is something I could change with some work, and I haven't or whatever (I've started, actually, and my forees into self discipline have been liberating and empowering: I am in the business of doing, etc.). My friend delivered some Cadbury fresh from London yesterday and I thought for a second "I could keep this as a reward for something later," then dismissed the idea as silly and lit in. It was delicious. I shared with my friends. I finished it after lunch.

Deadlines though? Hate 'em. Hate them like I hated practicing teaching at the MTC with Brother Young glowering through the tinted glass and stopping me every 5 minutes telling me how bored he was or the time the football coach taught driving range and I forgot my right and left and it was awful and growly and queasy? True story.

I live for exceptions to the rule. That, in fact, is what I'm banking on. I'm wagering that my professor won't start grading until tomorrow morning at the earliest, so I can take my sweet (free, self-defined) time tonight knocking ideas around and email my draft to her some time late this evening.

Because deadlines stress me out. I took a job this summer that paid like $3 less an hour because I could set my own-ish hours and I regretted it for like 5 minutes. I'm 15 minutes late and no one's glowering, I go to the dentist without asking permission, I take a long lunch or leave early and I work hard and get the job done with no one breathing down my neck (or telling me that I'm weeding wrong? What?). It's lovely.

And something about exceptions to the rule make me feel like a real person? I go in and talk to a professor (and sometimes tears come, I'm also sort of a stress case) and we bond over the fact that I'm not a mind-blowingly awesome student, though I have them laughing at jokes as I leave, and there's recognition there: you, ke, are more (or at least as) important than (as) the rules.

Rachel wrote about running for the love of it and not for the regimen, and there's some of that in what I'm writing.

The inevitable question is whether this is a thing I want to change or something I'm going to inhabit and work around. Which I guess doesn't really matter now (because the paper is due in an hour and its 30% written) but is something I'll think about. Later. When I feel like it. :)


  1. I totally empathize with most of this, especially the I'm not a stellar student, but I can make the professors laugh while they quell my freakout (whether they know it or not in my case).

  2. I beg to differ! You are too a mind-blowingly awesome student! And I would add, writer, person, human being.