The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Cogito Ergo Procrastinatum

This Thursday, aside from being my 41st birthday (I expect presents and will be taking note of those who fail to wish me felicitous returns), class 3 of my 8-part philosophy evening course will be dealing with the Great Rationalists – Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz.

With the half-term autumn break, I’ve had 3 weeks to prepare my notes.

So why, oh why, have I left everything to the last minute, again?

I had every intention of not only doing the research for this class, but to get ahead and have most of the rest in hand by the time we came back. But no – in exactly the same way as when I was in school, I kept putting it off believing I had plenty of time.

I keep trying to drum into my son that if he just did his homework on the day he got it from school, rather than the night before it was due, then his life would be so much easier. He could go out and play, conscience clear and worry free, knowing it was all in hand.

“But Dad, you leave everything…”

“Enough, son! Don’t you see I don’t want you to grow up to be like me? I want you to grow up better than me. I want you to have all my perfections and none of my failings. I want you to have my analytical capacity, your mother’s cooking ability, your uncle’s natural charm and your grandpa’s principles. Get any one of those mixed up and you’ll be as screwed up as the rest of us…”

Did you know one of the contributing reasons to Descartes’ demise was his patron, the Queen of Sweden, insisted on having her philosophy classes at 5 o’clock in the morning and, along with the harsh Swedish winters, this lead to him getting ill and dying of pneumonia?

Sitting up all night in a cold and draughty castle trying to get his notes ready for an early start the following morning was obviously a bad move. Perhaps if he'd been a little more organised he'd have lasted longer.

So what the bloody hell am I doing writing a blog entry when I’ve got a class to prepare?


Excuse me for one moment…


Carole said...

Of all the minutes in a day the last one is the most important. Nothing would get done without it.

You could give all your students the rational behind blogging over preparing. Sort of a hands on "Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz."

Restaurant Gal said...


And have a wonderful 41st. Enjoy some birthday cake for me.

ADW said...

I already wished you a you know what and it's bad luck to do it more than once. Or am I just lazy?

Anyway as the Queen of procrastination, I henceforth dub you one of my knights.

michael greenwell said...

i find studying and preparing everything endlessly fun and fascinating unless it is the thing you are meant to be doing.

Brave Astronaut said...

If a man has a birthday in two days and he alerts people to its existence two days prior, when is he really celebrating the day?

Discuss . . .

Kim Ayres said...

Carole - if we could just cram all those last minutes into one day, just think what we could achieve!

RG - thank you

ADW - so you did, although I don't check MySpace so much. Are you on Facebook by any chance?

Michael - the other book is always more interesting

BA - well how are you supposed to organise huge celebrations and national days of honour if I don't give any advance notice?

gimme a minute said...

You share a birthday with my wicked stepfather. Now you know.

I have convinced myself that I enjoy the adrenalin produced by an approaching deadline and that's why I procrastinate for Ireland. I convince myself of a lot of things.

Charlie said...

Since your students have been off for three weeks, they've forgotten everything you covered during the first three classes.

I would use week four, then, to review the first three—no one will ever notice, and it frees you up for any prep work.

Forty-one, eh? Somehow, you're catching up to me. Happy birthday.

savannah said...

you've been thinking, sugar! now i have to find the perfect birthday smartassecard for you ;-)

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Ahh, procrastination. I know it so well :D

And Happy Birthday for Thursday, mate!

Mary Witzl said...

Carole's comment made me laugh. And Charlie offers sage advice there: I'd do just that, and I was a champion procrastinator teacher.

Believe me, we are in the same club. And I say almost exactly the same thing to my eldest (a better procrastinator than even I) that you said to your son, only less eloquently and with possibly more vigor.

Mary Witzl said...

Oh -- and Happy Birthday! Though maybe you should put this off for a couple of weeks?

Dr Maroon said...

"...this lead to him getting ill and dying of pneumonia?"

So what're ye sayin'? Causal?
Descartes is my hero. His sherry is tops

Stinkypaw said...

Of all people you should know that time is futile and slips away... (I'm assuming here, since you're the philosophy teacher and all) ;-)

Little sausage said...

In case I don't get online tomorrow...

Happy Birthday!

Tom said...

Happy Birthday, Kim. And thanks for sharing the true reason for Descartes' demise (I always thought it was because he stopped thinking... bad joke)

I also understand that Sartre died from Nausea, Darwin from natural causes and Thales drowned... not true?

Kim Ayres said...

Gimme - I'm a stepfather myself. I used to dream of practicing wickedness, but in the end my heart wasn't in it.

Charlie - nice idea. Unfortunately I have one student in particular who would rat on me. Too smart for his own good.

Savannah - I got it, thanks :)

FLG - thanks :)

Mary - of course the real procrastinators are the ones who mean to comment here, but haven't gotten around to it yet...

Dr Maroon - coming from the man whose slogan is "I drink therefore I something or other..."

Stinkypaw - objective time is constant, subjective time is varied and unreliable. 500 words. On my desk by Friday.

Little Sausage - thank you :)

Tom - and George Berkeley disappeared when his girlfriend stopped seeing him...

Nea said...

Happy Birthday.

Swedes are still in the habit of starting their days early. However cold it gets, whatever the depth of the snow, school starts at 8 a.m. sharp.

And thank you for the Storytellers blog, a brilliant idea.

The Birdwatcher said...

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?

Happy returns for thursday. Oh to be 41 again.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Happy birthday for tomorrow, Kim! Although in Scotland I think it's already 7 minutes into today.

Procrastination is a filthy habit -you'll grow hair on the palms of your hands, you know.

Sini said...

Happy Birthday, Kim.

Gerry said...

Happy birthday Kim

Kim Ayres said...

Nea - thank you, and welcome to my ramblings :)

Birdwatcher - I live by that maxim

Sam - I have to shave my palms regularly

Sini - thank you :)

Gerry - thanks :)

The Hangar Queen said...

Happy Belated Birthday Kim.My...41 eh? 'Tis the age of a villain you know.

Got sorted with the story btw.

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