Stuff I Do Instead of Stuff I’m Supposed to Do

Procrastination is a topic that is incredibly overdone, but I don’t feel like I would be true teenager if I didn’t mention it. I often avoid homework in the typical fashion. I scroll through Twitter and Instagram. I watch Netflix. I eat. However, I think I have some atypical ways to procrastinate as well. Here’s a list:

1. I write blog posts. This is what I like to call “productive procrastination” because I’m not numbing my mind in front of an Xbox for hours on end–I’m cultivating it through self-expression, or something eloquent like that. I want to write for a living, so practicing is obviously more important than calculus.

2. I paint my toenails. I actually hate most nail polish varieties, but painting nails is like miniature real painting, and I like painting. I think the fumes help keep me awake long enough to do the stuff I’m supposed to be doing–like calculus.

3.  I google what the toe next to the pinky toe is called. After I apply the last coating of polish and finally open my calc textbook, turn on my calculator, sharpen my pencil and get out a fresh sheet of notebook paper, I look down at my now brightly-colored toes. I notice how some of the polish is not quite on some of  my toenails. Then I realize that I accidentally rubbed up against something, and the polish on the toe next to my pinky toe on my left foot is smudged. Then I start wondering what that toe is called.  Is it the one that went to market? The one that got roast beef? The other one that did something else market-related? I quickly open the family laptop, knowing that I cannot proceed with such trifling pastimes as calculus when important life questions beg to be answered.

4. I remove the paint from my toenails. Somewhat satisfied to learn that thinks that the toe next to my pinky toe is called a “wedding ring toe,” I sit back down in front of my textbook. I try for a good 30 seconds to do the first problem, and then I decided to take the polish off of my toes in order to give my brain a rest as a reward for its commendable effort.

5. I clean my gerbil cage. After removing most of the hideous coloring from my toes with a cotton ball and some good old ethyl acetate, I slump into my the chair in front of my desk, pick up my no. 2 pencil and take a deep breath, ready to begin. Except, as I inhale, I don’t like the tingle in my nostrils. Some would blame the unpleasant aroma on nail polish and nail polish remover fumes, but I know better. I glance over at my gerbils’ tank. I haven’t cleaned it out in a good 4-6 weeks, and I decide that now would be an ideal time to do so. I won’t go into the entire process, but it involves lathering the tank’s insides with generous amounts of bleach while racing to finish before the gerbils chew through their temporary living accommodations.

6. I build my gerbils a castle. I am in front of my desk again. I look over at my loving little rodents in their nice, clean home. They don’t look happy. An untrained eye would think that the gerbils’ snuggling and cuddling was a sign of comfort and elation, but I know better. My gerbils are bored, and, as a result, lethargic. I go to the pantry and grab as many boxes as I can carry, leaving the now unboxed cereal and cracker bags naked on their shelves. I go back to my desk and put my calculus supplies in my book bag–I will need plenty of space. After 30 minutes of cutting and stacking, I finish my masterpiece and put it in the tank. I can tell they appreciate the change as they begin frantically gnawing on an empty Cheerios box to create a new entrance.

7. I watch my gerbils destroy the castle. This takes about an hour and is very entertaining.

8. I build them another castle. They enjoyed the first one so much that it would be cruel to deprive them of a second. Also, as I watched them chew the first one, I learned from Google that if gerbils don’t have an abundance of cardboard to chew on, their teeth get too long, and they are unable to eat anything so they starve to death. Nobody wants that. Plus, I have leftover supplies all over my desk, and I need to get rid of them in order to accommodate my homework…

9. I watch celebrities do impressions of other celebrities on YouTube. I don’t really know how this always ends up happening. One minute I’m finding a particle’s acceleration, and the next, I’m watching  Benedict Cumberbatch impersonate Chewbacca.


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