DON’T PANIC: The end is near, but there are options

Sonjiala Hotchkiss and Sonjiala Hotchkiss

I recently spent some time moving heavy pieces of furniture around in my apartment which is about the size of a medium hat box. I say medium only because I’ve lived in smaller. The important thing to remember is that this rearrangement was necessary.

Yes, I had a paper to finish and assignments with past due stickers, but this move would increase my efficiency by placing me in a more balanced environment. Good planning is not procrastination; it’s preparation.

I couldn’t find the measuring tape, so it was all visualization and poking around with the most stick-like thing I could find; a near-impossible-to-assemble shower curtain rod with the spring-joined pieces folded down and taped together.

Stick in hand, I got all the large pieces moved into place. The fact that I was happy that the bed was now tucked away such that it wasn’t visible from the threshold of the opened front door gave me pause to wonder whether I had unresolved issues. I eventually concluded that the happiness was a result of my polite consideration of prudish guests.

So, I’m polite and considerate. What a healthy boost to my self-esteem, another leading contributer to efficiency. Pausing to give thought to politeness couldn’t possibly be procrastination. Rudeness was one of the top ten enemies of efficiency.

As I sat to rest, I must say that I was not inspired by blobs of stuff laying about seemingly everywhere. This is the time to borrow a couple words from my old friend Douglas. I take out a crisp sheet of printer paper and grab the nearest marker. I write it in two lines very carefully and neatly and in all caps. DON’T PANIC.

I pulled myself together. From the blobs and shelves and the desktops, I gathered a significant pile; an important pile. I pile together the bulk of the resources needed for my paper. I make sure the stack is stable, tap the top book and blink my eyes repetitively.

The dust bunnies joined together, dancing in rings across the room. They were all singing. Their tune was jaunty and full of notes. Before long I started to dance. I never heard a word, but I knew that they were singing about love and world peace.

I sat at my desk, still tapping my foot. I started to type about moving furniture or unfinished furniture, maybe French furniture. Back home there was always one or two who swore that all their furniture was shipped over from France.

I drowned out all the talk of consoles and commodes, petrins and panetieres, sofas and settees. I rolled my eyes before closing them. My pen against my lips, I dreamed of smoking a cigarette in a Paris bar with great jazz and cheap wine.

I woke up and realized I had written a bunch of stuff. Without thinking I selected it all and checked for the word count: 487. Just a few more words and I’m sure that I could turn this in for something.

I arranged the books on the shelf above my monitor. I calmly started to write about how students shouldn’t panic at the last minute. There were options out there. Students should definitely talk to professors before running away, failure a certainty. Tell the professors about your serious preparations and how you worked hard to be efficient.

You might be able to get an incomplete for the class giving you a full year to finish all the unfinished work. Why I did that very thing just last year… oh crap. Word count: 596. Great, at least one assignment got done. Final word count: 607.