I’ll get to it in a minute

By Elizabeth Perveiler

Like all of you, I should be studying with the fury of a thousand suns for finals – but instead, I’m writing a column for the Northern Star. It’s not really in my job description (see the byline, folks) but when I was asked to write this for the finals edition, I was more than happy to oblige.

Why? (OK, pretend you want to know.) Because it’s what we all relish during this dreaded week of final papers, tests and projects – a distraction. Every semester I say I’ll change my slacker ways and until about the fifth or sixth week of class, I’m a model student. I go to every class, do the assigned reading and take all those horrible, little 10-point quizzes. And then it happens – I make excuses for everything.

For example, when I should have been studying Sunday afternoon, I made the mistake of turning on the TV. You know that C-SPAN2 Book TV channel that usually has old men presenting their books about things like Dutch elm trees and the effect they had on soldiers in the Civil War? That station never seemed more entertaining. An hour and a half – GONE! I was so upset about all this wasted time that I slammed the remote down on the table and cracked my nail. There went another 15 minutes to trim, file and re-polish it. Ah! See what a vicious cycle it is?

You’re probably saying, “Stupid girl, take Stephanie on page 10’s advice and turn off your TV, IM and cell phone.” Mmm hmm. Yes, I am one of those people who needs noise on in the background when I study, and my rationalization was to turn on boring C-SPAN2. We see how well that worked.

I got so frustrated that I decided I was hungry. I thought, “Lauri and I need to go grocery shopping. All we have is pancake batter.” I’ll give you three guesses to what I did then – and the first two don’t count. My friend Annie and I (come on, I can’t complain about distractions to myself) spent an hour cooking, eating pancakes and doing the dishes. Another hour shot.

Finally, I sat down on the couch with my notes, books and highliters. Focused, ready and attentive. No TV, Instant Messenger or cell phone. After an hour goes by, I realize that I was studying! It can be done! I quickly dismiss the idea of a study break and get back to the books – but I was unsettled. Then it hit me that I had to be at the Star in 15 minutes, column in hand.

I give up. NIU should offer Excuse Creation Studies as a major. I’d graduate with honors.