So for my Education class I just had to hand in an essay worth about 25% of my grade. The way the assignment worked was that I needed fifteen hours of classroom observation. When this was finished I had to write an essay on the classes I observed, fill out an observation sheet on one of the classes, and then fill out a pre-written checklist for every teacher I observed.
Being an idiot, I observed twelve teachers over 4 grades, none of which even taught the age group I hope to teach (the school I went to observe was like five minutes away from my house, meaning it was extremely convenient to get to). This meant that I needed to take detailed notes on every single class so I could write a summary of the class and my opinions of the teachers and teaching style in my essay, all the while making connections to things we’d been learning.
I had the observation hours done probably a month or even a little more before the paper was due, so I had plenty of time to do all of the paperwork. Well, the day it was due I walked into class, saw people taking it out, and had a minor panic attack when I realized I had completely forgotten about it.
I’m not proud of what I did next, but I still did it: I told the teacher I had the essay on my computer at home, and of course would have it e-mailed in later that day. Naturally she wasn’t happy, but there you go. She never explicitly said points would be taken off, but she didn’t deny it either.
So, I went home and spent maybe two hours frantically writing this essay, knowing I needed to get it in while there was still reasonable doubt on my side for her to believe it was already done. Once again, I’m not proud of what I did, but in order to try and keep up the illusion that it was already finished I lied and told the teacher that I tried to send it in earlier and got an error message. Amazingly, in what can only be described as the irony of God, my e-mail had gotten caught in her spam filter, so she bought it.
I got a 100 on the paper.
The moral of the story was obvious: do not procrastinate. I’m not always going to get that lucky, and to pass I was forced to resort to lying-which is wrong.
I still didn’t get the message. Yesterday ANOTHER major paper was due for the same class, and the exact same thing happened. This time, though, when I saw people taking it out I completely freaked out and sprinted out of the room, then spent that class period writing the paper. I submitted it via e-mail about 20 minutes after class ended. I have no idea what the grade on that one is yet, though I was promised that there would be no points taken off for lateness at least, so that’s something.
The point of the story, besides the opportunity to both brag and self-deprecate at the same time, is basically to tell you that if I’m like that with two essays, neither of which even needed to be cited, I find it quite plausible to believe that a full senior year thesis might kill me when I attempt to write the whole motherfucking thing all in one day. As in, the effort and lack of sleeping, drinking, and eating may shut my body down, not to mention my own inability to fully accept that I’m really going to fail, which will just have the result of making it more painful when the F inevitably is given.
I still have SEVERAL essays all due in two weeks for my Civil War class, one of which is ten or more pages long as well as a couple that are at least five or so pages long. Yaaaaay. And I still haven’t started them. Well, at least I can’t lie this time, whatever happens-they’re due my final class, and if they’re not in they’re not in, and that’s it. The end.
So: Don’t procrastinate unless you’re SURE you can handle it. I overestimated my own skill at it, and if I do say so myself that isn’t easy. I nearly paid a terrible price for my hubris. Don’t make the same mistake I did. GET YOUR WORK IN ON TIME. And don’t lie. Besides being morally wrong it’s just not worth the stress that goes along with it. Believe me-I know.