Monday, March 10, 2008


This is a story from my childhood, to give you an idea of just how bad a procrastinator I can really be. Early on, it wasn’t clear how tall I would be, how much hair I would have, or even whether I was gay or straight, (or something else), but it was always clear that I was a king procrastinator. Possibly even a god.

Today I babysat my cousin, who’s in grade five at a local private school. I have a standing arrangement with my uncle to pick him up from school and look after him for the evening once a week. We all like the arrangement, not just because it’s an opportunity for me to get paid, and my aunt and uncle to get the rambunctious little rascal out of their hair once a week, but he and I have a great deal in common. Perhaps too much in common.

Most of the time, we just play video games and/or zone out on YouTube. Theoretically I’m supposed to help him with his homework, but he never seems to have any.

A few weeks ago, he needed me to help him come up with a question for his science project, and I recalled the last time I ever did a science project. I was in grade eight, and for months my science teacher kept telling me I’d better get cracking. The night before the science fair, I mulled over what I was going to do about this huge daunting project that I had to complete before I went to sleep. I collected some cardboard, and some blank paper, and piled up all the resources in my room. By two in the morning, I still had nothing written, and passed out. The next thing I remember is my dad coming into my room telling me that the school bus was waiting, so I grabbed all my materials, shoved them into my backpack. I poured myself a glass of water, drank from it, then held it up to the window, letting the sun shine through it. This was my science project. Light refraction. I drank the water and kept the glass, and climbed aboard the bus.

On the bumpy ride there, I began drawing pictures of light refraction, along with labels, and ways this knowledge might be used to better humanity. In homeroom, one of the other kids turns to me and looks at what I’m doing.

“Are you seriously making up your science project on the morning of the science fair?”


“You’re unbelievable.” A bunch of them laughed. To some of them, I was a lazy loser, and to some, I was some sort of hero. Perhaps more of an anti-hero. But still, they were all impressed that I somehow pulled it off, as was I. I even passed. I got a D, which I think is fair, because I do understand how hard some of them worked. Maybe I would have been willing to work hard too if only I’d had someone to give me a bit of guidance from the get go. Maybe if I’d been on the right track, I would have put together a project that was worth marking. Maybe.

Now, some fifteen years later very little has changed. I had all these goals I somehow thought I would fulfill by now, and that the way would somehow show itself, but clearly it hasn’t. I finished high school, and then university, all the while putting off the figuring out what to do until I was finished. But even now, I’ve still no idea.

I started off with this blog assuming it might lead me to the next step. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. I’m a third on the way through the month now, and I’m finding it hard to contribute to all three blogs every day, but at least I’m still at it. I’m not a quitter. I’m just not necessarily a winner either. Not yet. Next month I’m going to switch up the blog a little. At this point I’m thinking of keeping my daily anecdote, (this blog), but making the other two weekly or biweekly, and perhaps adding a new one. I might do book reviews, and maybe some short stories. Wow, what a meandering conclusion.

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