Thursday, April 9, 2009

Weekend Assignment #261: Is Your Homework Done?

Once again, I think Karen picked an assignment that speaks specifically to me. This week she asks:

Weekend Assignment #261: For most of us, school was quite some time ago, but I bet we all remember what it was like to have homework due. Did you start right in on homework when you got home, or put it off until the last minute, or put it off until it was actually late?

Oh yes, I remember it well. I still have nightmares about it. I'm serious. Actually, last week, Mr. Unfocused linked to an awesome cartoon that nailed it perfectly on his Twitter page. That is the exact dream I have! Exact!

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, I never did my homework early. Oh, it's due on April 25th? Okay, I'll start it on the 23rd. I'll have plenty of time. Of course, when I actually start it on April 24th, well that "plenty of time" turns into: holy crap this is a big project! Why?! Why, didn't I start it sooner? Why?!!!!

No, I'm not exaggerating at all. Sure, when I was younger I did my homework right away. Heck, I used to work ahead some times. Then, sometime in high school, that all went out the window. Some of it had to do with not having as much free time, but a lot of it had to due with laziness. Or a case of, there is some much other better stuff to do now. I was bad.

I can remember a few specific cases from college clearly. Once, a friend and I stayed up all night to prepare for a test on the US Constitution. We both decided not to study at all until the night before. Actually, I think he ended up sleeping through his test since it was a little later in the morning.

Jenn and I also stayed up all night finishing up a magazine layout project. I remember waiting in line at Kinko's at 3 am, or so, to get final copies made. Part of it was waiting too long, part of it was just the work involved. Who am I kidding, it was because we waited too long. I still have that magazine though. Anyone want to see it?

In my senior year I ran into a major time constraint for a final paper in one of my psychology classes. There was no way I was going to finish in time, so I had to call the T.A. and ask her if I could turn it in the following morning. Luckily, she said yes. If I failed that class I would have been going to school for another year. This was year five already.

I guess you could say I am a procrastinator.

Extra Credit: Are your homework habits reflected in the way you handle tasks now at work or at home?

Oh my, yes! I hate to say it, but I haven't changed a bit.

How about you? Did you do your homework on time?


Karen Funk Blocher said...

Oh! Your all-nighter stories sure resonate with me! Have I mentioned the time I finished editing a film at 7 AM for an 8:30 AM class, and then curled up on the classroom floor to try to get in an hour of sleep?

Florinda said...

I haven't done my homework for this assignment :-).

I've found that when I have lead time for a project I tend to think the deadline is further away than it really is, so I procrastinate too. Ever notice that last-minute projects always turn out to be a lot more WORK than you'd anticipated?

Mike said...

Karen: I hope you woke up before the class came in! That sounds like something I'd do. :)

Florinda: Oh yes, I know that very well. :) You sound a lot like me.

Unfocused Me said...

Two stories about putting things off in college:

Freshman year, fall quarter, months before we started going out, The Siren came across me at midnight, sitting on top of the dresser in a friend's room, reading Joseph Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy; I was less than halfway through, and had a paper due on it the next morning at 10:30. It was probably the third time we'd ever spoken, and she was horrified. I got the paper done, got my usual B, and moved on.

Senior year, winter quarter: 30 page (10,000 word) paper on the 1990 defeat in Congress of what later became the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. I wrote it in 30 hours straight, and got up from my computer every hour on the hour to have a cigarette. The Siren and I were living together by then and I wasn't allowed to smoke in our apartment, so I had to bundle up and go outside. Grade: B+. Because I'd learned a few things in 4 years.

Upshot: on procrastination, I'm totally with you.

Mike said...

Unfocused: 30 pages in 30 hours? I could probably do that, but it would be 30 pages of, "all work and no play make Jack a dull boy." :)