The Right Way to Procrastinate

A human looking up at a giraffe is me looking up to essentially everyone around me.  Everyone is overwhelmingly tall, and then there is me.

If you know me, you would know I’m quite short. I stand at 4 feet 11 ¾ inches (although my doctor is now telling me that I’m only at ½ inches. So it is a very sad day, I lost ¼ an inch. My height must be why I’m perceived as younger than I am.

Just last week, I went to the mall to go shopping and as I’m browsing through the clothing racks, a woman approaches me and asks if I would like this white sweater because she wants to get it for her daughter that’s around my age. Turns out, her daughter is 14. Not exactly the best feeling to be mistaken for a freshman when I’m currently a junior in high school. But it’s not the worst guess someone has taken.

Photo ©2014 by Tom Heinze [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
Photo ©2014 by Tom Heinze [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
This coincidence coincides with the new mode of writing in English because I’m currently writing an example essay. And this essay happens to be on my height and the experiences and problems I encounter with it.  I was absent the Monday that my class reviewed and read an example essay, so I had no idea what it was (I think I’m finding myself more confused than not when it comes to English essays). After reading an example example essay, I was still confused, but after some research, I found that I had to just write an essay using examples. I was short on time and had 2 hours to finish all my homework and this essay was due tomorrow morning, so in just 30 minutes, I finished my essay. I just kept thinking “I’m sorry for who has to read my essay. Gosh, this is probably my worst essay I’ve written. This doesn’t seem anything like an example essay. I guess I’m going to have to rewrite this entire essay this weekend.”

The next morning comes and we’re peer editing and I’m up next. I’m literally hiding behind my hands because I feel as if my essay is horrible. What I didn’t expect from the essay was laughter. I expected a lot of constructive criticism and a necessary rewriting of the essay. But every couple sentences, some of my group members would burst into laughter. “At least they’re enjoying it, maybe it isn’t as bad as I thought.”

At the end, I simply stated, “I know this isn’t an example essay….” because I truly thought this, but surprisingly, I received quite the opposite response because they thought it was and even better, they didn’t believe that I needed to change anything. I might have just written my best essay and under a strict time constraint because I procrastinated. On my second revision, I got similar responses; there was laughter and a lack of changes, although, it was suggested that I lengthen my essay and add another example or two.

Photo ©2007 by VisualAge [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
Photo ©2007 by VisualAge [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
So the moral of this story is to wait till the last minute to do your English essays because that way, they turn out the best. No? Okay well, I believe the reason behind the success of my example essay is because I poured myself onto a paper. I didn’t have time to think about grammar, spelling, or anything else, I just needed to get my ideas typed out onto a document and print out four copies for peer editing tomorrow morning in second period. My first draft was literally all my experiences and thoughts vomited into paragraphs with the raw emotion I felt.

My rough draft is similar to a zero draft. Zero drafting is when a prompt is given and you just write for a set amount. No stopping, just writing, whether on topic or not. I just write and write and open my brain to all ideas and thoughts. I could write in fragments, rant, use slang, and write messily. I think that is the genius thing about zero drafting. Everyone has those moments when they have a genius idea or something important to say, but by the time it gets around to saying or writing it, it is a lost thought that you’re desperately attempting to grasp on, but can’t seem to get a solid hold of as it slips from between your fingertips. Zero drafting allows the brain to literally dump all ideas onto the page before they can escape.

All my ideas were captured into this essay, making it the most successful of all. If you want to read my example essay, you can here.

Break has arrived! A nice two weeks off of school to spend time with family and friends. Or to study for upcoming tests and finals. Or to sleep until 12 PM. I’m going to be busy doing all of these, so I’m taking a break from blogging. See you in two weeks! Happy Holidays!

-Mary

 

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