Monday, May 25, 2009

Joe: Professor Koch on Procrastination

It was my intent to begin this letter with a lecture on procrastination delivered in Prof. Koch's inimitable style. This is how I used to work it. In those days I got off at 4:30 so I would be home considerably before 6.

Since dinner would be ready at 6 it was hardly worthwhile to begin studying. So I would start reading the LI Daily Press. After supper it would be only a few minutes till Lowell Thomas comes on so I might as well wait. (Please excuse the shift of tenses to the narrative present.) Well, a fellow needs some amusement and what's fifteen minutes; so to WEAF for the Chesterfield program with Fred Waring. Time out to rest so now it's 7:30. The half hour from 7:30 to 8:00 was really the difficult time to waste. I usually couldn't think of a valid excuse for not studying. Since I wasn't a lawyer, I usually got by without one.

Of course, everyone knows that the good radio programs come on a 8 o'clock so I was saved. This was good for Monday and Tuesday nights. Wednesday was a tougher struggle for I knew if I could get by Wednesday, I was saved for the rest of the week. What would be the use of studying for the last two days of the week? Occasionally, though, I would lose on Wednesday nights and I would have to make some attempt at getting to work.

I usually got seated at my desk about 9 but I was still struggling. I could rearrange the papers on my desk for ten or fifteen minutes , but finally I would have to pick up my book. However, there was still life in the old procrastinator: instead of opening the textbook at the assigned chapter, I could skip a hundred pages or so and then begin reading there. If I was near the end of the book, there were always other ones to look over. At approximately 10:30 the struggle would be over. It always puzzled me why I felt so tired after studying for only three hours.

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