Tag Archive | procrastination

Mondays and Antecedents

Garfield and MondayWell it was Monday again. As usual, I put off grading papers until the eleventh hour last night, so I had to get up early this morning to finish the job and post the grades on the school “blackboard” before I left to teach my nine o’clock class.

In the beginning of the semester, I put off grading papers because  the plethora of grammar and misspelling mistakes fill me with pain and show me how much work I have to do. By now, though, I am pleased to report most students have advanced leaps and bounds, and I enjoy hearing their stories. Why I procrastinate at this time of the semester, well, I don’t get it. I guess it’s just a bad habit I’ve fallen into.

Truly, I love this time of the semester with my folks. By now, I’m left with the people who really want to learn, and we’ve reached a level of trust. Today, we covered the different elements of pronouns. As I went through the text and stood in front of the room, I spied several heads looking at the test. Oh, no. Classroom, we have a problem!  I recognized some of the grammatical terms were perplexing them. OK, grammar has terms–after all, we have to call a part of speech by a specific term, otherwise we couldn’t communicate when we dissect sentences. A term like “Antecedent” threw them for a loop.

So, I shut the door and said in a quiet voice, “I want you all to know that this room is a safe place. If you don’t understand something, I’m not going to think less of you if you tell me you don’t understand. You are letting me know that I need to try again to help you turn on that little light in your head. If you’re having trouble, don’t you think someone else might be having the same problem? By asking a question, you’re helping your classmates and you’re helping me be a better teacher. And as long as I’m your instructor, I will do my best to help you learn.”  Everybody took a collective sigh of relief. It was like I recognized a huge elephant in the back of the room and had the audacity to talk about it.

Finally, a hand went up and the student said, “I’m sorry. I just don’t get this.” Then another student said, “I was having trouble, too.” We all laughed together and took another swing at antecedents. I felt confident when they walked out the door today of two things. One, I don’t think anyone will be afraid to ask a question going forward, and two, I had slayed the antecedent mystery.

It was a good day, wouldn’t you say?

Monday, Monday–Can’t Stand That Day!

It’s Monday again; a day when most of us start our work week. A day when we drag ourselves out of our glorious weekends and get back to the “real world.” So after taking Sunday off, watching football games from noon until ten thirty at night, I’m going to try to get back in the groove of my life after my first cup of Monday morning coffee.

I think it’s appropriate to speak about procrastination today. All week, I’ve put off cutting my grass. I’m sure my neighbors wish I would move and someone who loves to cut the lawn would move in. I have also been putting off getting the oil changed in my car, and since Wednesday, I’ve had a pile of papers to grade for my writing class. There were two assignments — one to write ten sentences and identify the parts of speech, and two–write a paragraph about a reading they were assigned. I’m not looking forward to opening my briefcase and settling in with my red pen. I guess it’s because I already know what I’ll be reading. And most of it “ain’t pretty.”

I never used to be a procrastinator, in fact, I was the person who always put the hardest task first. I know after I got the hard one done, it was down hill from there. I don’t know when I caught the procrastination bug. But I’m suffering from it nonetheless. It must be I’ve reached the age when I realize that most of what I have to do isn’t really that important. But was it ever? Probably not. I guess I’m also old enough to know that there’s always a negative to a positive.  A good balanced by the ugly? The fun canceled out by the mundane? A high followed by a low?

Facing Monday is so darn difficult. I know settling into my routine will bring more of the same. Maybe that’s why I postpone the inevitable as long as possible. Only deadlines defeat procrastination and keep me moving.

So for all my Monday mourning friends, I am right there with you. I’ll pour another cup of coffee and get the papers graded and posted by this afternoon.  I’ll aslo write a couple more chapters in my latest novel.

What are your plans?