Just Another Snarky Student Blog

September 18, 2007

Reading for Fun: How to experience time lapsing without hallucinogins

Filed under: college,distraction,fun reading,guilt,reading,school,students,summer reading,time lapsing,unassigned reading — justanothersnarkystudentblog @ 4:10 pm

Girl reading a book under the covers

Do you remember the days of summer reading time? Endless library trips? Feeling like summer lasted years?

With all my college school work building up, I’ve been reminiscing about those long sunny days. At any given time, a kid could pick up a book, thumb through it for a couple of hours, and feel a sense of peace. Even though some precious summer time was dedicated to reading, it didn’t feel wasted. Quite the contrary – a bit of reading helped to magnify the greatness of every other summer activity: swimming, hikes, playing with friends and siblings, and simply being outdoors… under the expansive blue sky.

No More.

Ever since entering into college, my “fun reading time” has suffered unimaginably. Just the other day, I could not stand to read about “Literacy in the early 1900s” anymore, and “The development of gendered toys” was making me crazy. I could not stand to read about another GI Joe or dollhouse, and I rolled my eyes at the discussion of how slavery in the south allowed white children more leisure time (don’t get me wrong, all very interesting, but I needed a freakin’ break!).

So I did it.

I picked up an old favorite book I’d been eyeing on my shelf – The Running Man by Stephen King , and settled down to do some –much needed — fun reading. With no one else home, I stretched out on the couch and let myself become immersed in the story.

Before I knew it, hours had passed, and I had read 70 pages! Holy shit! 70 pages?! I need to do that much more homework reading for tomorrow! Ahhh crap.

This is how it goes:

  1. Do homework.
  2. You really want to take a break.
  3. Do more homework.
  4. Decide to take a break before your brain implodes.
  5. Look around your space – what else is there to distract yourself from homework?
  6. Identify fun book or magazine you’ve been putting off.
  7. Consciously say to yourself, “I should really be doing homework, not reading for fun.”
  8. Consciously say to yourself, “Fuckit. I NEED a break… I won’t let myself get distracted for long.”
  9. Read for fun.
  10. Somehow, a time lapse occurs and hours pass, unnoticed.
  11. Need to pee (or get thirsty, or the phone rings).
  12. Note the time.
  13. Consciously say to yourself, “whaa? How did that happen?! I thought I was only reading for a little while.. It’s been.. 2+ hours?! How is that possible?! Oh no! I need to get back to homework!!”
  14. Do homework.

This isn’t like some of the other college student cycles we’ve been through – because it won’t repeat right away. You’ll do homework until you feel like your brain will implode and you’ll allow yourself to be distracted by something else – the internet, a phone call, TV, but you won’t get back to that book. Somewhere in your mind, you are vaguely frightened that it stole so much of your time, without you even noticing. You may even shun the book, hurling it across the room (as I did, just the other day). But don’t fret. Soon you’ll forget… and pick it up again over the weekend.

THEN you’ll repeat.

70 pages of fun reading?

Dang, I coulda finished my homework in that amount of time.. and more!.. Stupid brain, needing a break. Gah!

–JASS

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