Sunday, May 8, 2011

Procrastination Part 1 – The Life of an Academic

Procrastination can take many forms, sometimes it even wears the guise of a celebration. I should have been doing homework, but with the semester almost at an end, freedom was too close not to take a taste. No, I did not go on a hike to celebrate the almost-end of my first year as a grad student, and exorbitant quantities of reading and “thinking.” I slipped some plastic out of my wallet, sat before the all powerful glowing screen of my laptop and shopped, an activity I don't take lightly.

It was time to free myself from the chains of bondage, let my hair down and rip at my bodice – or at least send my credit card number into the ether and purchase a subscription to the New York Times, of which I had long dreamed.

As with most unwholesome indulgences, guilt followed quickly on freedom’s heels, stomped on freedom’s toes really. With the click of the "buy" button my bliss bubble popped and feelings of foolishness oozed out. I did not wallow. If the realization that I was already a year behind on all non-essential reading deflated my glee, it was time to get reading. I sat my plump white ass in a chair and started in on last fall’s copy of Massachusetts Wildlife, expecting to read about Semipalmated Sandpipers, Brook Trout and Wood Turtles. Why go into the wild, when the wild can find you while you sip tea on the veranda?

Blasphemy? Well, what else do you expect from someone who put their hiking blog on hold to pursue the esoteric academics of Children’s Literature? If nothing else, my education has turned me into an armchair. I was going to say armchair historian or traveler or philosopher but really at this point, I’m just an armchair. Though sedentary (and not good for one’s posture or circulation) reading can be expansive in unexpected ways.

Massachusetts Wildlife in hand I found myself projected far beyond the cuddly turtles and fluffy birds I'd expected and into a strange mysterious world where I found myself thinking, “Wow, those are some sexy guns.”

Typically, as the good liberal I am, the descriptives I would attach to the word “gun” would be prim and disapproving. But apparently, this modern instrument of death was once an art form. Reading about the detailed metal work and beautiful inlays of the early handcrafted rifle sparked admiration in my bosom. Yes, I had to mention bosoms. It’s Mother’s Day, it’s a bosomy holiday. And if you haven’t thought of that perfect gift, now you have. No, not the gun, a subscription - to your local wildlife magazine, it just might inspire a new thought, or two.

[“Double History: The Embodiment of Craft & Sportsmanship” was the article that lead to all this expansive thought, found in No. 3 2010 Massachusetts Wildlife, written by Ernest W. Foster, Jr., with superb photos by Bill Byrne. Annual subscriptions are cheap too – only $6 a year. The West Virginia wildlife magazine is free. Sadly some states, like Washington State, don’t seem to have a state wildlife magazine. In that case, I recommend a subscription to a state Audubon Society Chapter or national subscription to the Audubon Society.]

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to thank you for this great post!! I enjoyed every little bit of it, I have you bookmarked and waiting for all the new stuff you post.