Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Art of Slacking

No one needs to be taught how to slack. Slacking is easy. Effortless, even. However, making slacking into an art is an entirely different thing.

The most important bit of the art of slacking is the deceit. As I much as I dislike the term, Randy Pausch's 'headfake' makes a lot of sense here. The goal of the artful slacker is to never appear to be slacking. Even more to the point, the artful slacker is never caught slacking.

Last night I drifted off to sleep while awkwardly thinking about an almost lover from my past. Who knows why homegirl came back to me last night, but it was an interesting thought experiment to remember that most uncharacteristic of Mays. Anyway...when I woke up this morning at 8:40am, I laid in my bed - fully awake - for several minutes before I decided to make a move.

Today is that day of the semester when the one class of the day is canceled and there is no reason to go to campus.

Knowing I had a full day to myself, I determined that what I really needed to do was organize my bookshelf. As soon as I found out I passed the Comp Exam earlier this week, I have been dying to incorporate the comp list books into my other books. This seems like the last step in acknowledging that the Comp Exam is completely behind me. So...while still sitting on my bed, I rearranged my bookshelves. First by category, then alphabetically. I now have anthologies and writing about writing across the top. Non-fiction on the two top shelves. Fiction on the next four. I still have a bunch of books that won't fit on my Dollar Tree shelves, but one day I'll have a glorious library. These shelves will do for now.

I allowed myself to work with the bookshelf until 10am. 10am, of course, is when The Martha Stewart Show comes on in Orono, Maine. I scrambled downstairs and readied a bowl of cereal in front of the television set. Now my roommate might be the only one to understand why this upset me, but Martha was touring Mexico on her show today. Ugh. I did not watch. I disappointedly watched Hoda Kotbe and Kathy Lee on the Today Show. It was okay, but not what I wanted.

After the lack of Martha, I read a bit of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. We're going to be discussing the book in my YA lit class next Wednesday, so this reading cannot possibly be condemned as slacking. :) See how this works? Anyway, The Book Thief is a really gorgeous moving book and I'm only 100 pages in. It's a work of historical fiction about a girl in Nazi Germany as told by the Angel of Death. Like I said, gorgeous and moving.

Between chapters, I vacuumed the apartment. It didn't take long and it was oh-so-gratifying. Let's just say that it really needed to be done.

After finishing Part 2 of The Book Thief, I researched cupcakes. I wanted to find the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe for this coming week's National Vanilla Cupcake Day. I haven't decided if I will take the cupcakes to campus on the actual holiday or make the vanilla cupcakes for my YA lit workshop on Wednesday or Stuculty on Thursday. Either way, I've decided to try Amy Sedaris' Vanilla Cupcake recipe. Success.

When I realized that I had been messing around with vanilla cupcakes online for over an hour, I decided I should do something else light that would create the appearance of productivity. Dishes.

Dishes done, I showered. At noon. Ladies and gentlemen, when you can live half of your day before you take a shower, that is a clear sign that you are slacking.

If after slacking all morning and feeling quite relaxed and chill, you can then look forward to the rest of your day without having been caught slacking, then you, my friend, are an artful slacker.

Isn't it nice that I can now shamelessly use the John McCain "my friend" without any fear of having to listen to it for the next four years? :)

In conclusion, I am quite pleased with my slacker performance this morning. My roommate just returned home to evidence of vacuuming and dish washing. I'm clicking away at my laptop, a clear sign that I'm working diligently on something relentlessly academic.

Well...I guess I should actually make something happen with my afternoon. I need to grade about 7 student paper revisions and plan my 101 class for tomorrow. But for now...I'm making grilled cheese.

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