Capsicum Burn and The Structured Procrastinator

I have a midterm tomorrow in one of my worst subjects, statistics. I would rather get guilt ridden text messages from my ex-boyfriends everyday than write this exam. I even shed tears last Monday when I got a lowly 63% on an assignment. In all fairness, I did mess it up big time (I blame the cat-death thing as a distracter). Anyways, I have been having fits of anxiety and discouragement, followed by complete ignorance of the exam.

On the positive side, I have noticed that I am busying myself with other productive tasks. Ahem, right now I am writing this instead of going over the assignments. I have been able to get work done, but I have also enjoyed the sweet fruits of procrastination. What is more, this phenomenon I am experiencing has a name, is a thing, and is a winner of another thing.

It is called ‘structured procrastination‘, a theory put forth by John Perry of Stanford University, who won the Ig Nobel prize in literature. The just of his philosophy is as follows:

“ …. the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important.”

Bingo! Therefore, instead of writing out PROC GML code, one might find themselves cleaning, baking pies, or canning.

I may or may not have been doing these things…

OK, I have been doing all these things!

Friday night I made and canned jalapeno hot sauce using ingredients from the Mac Market. I can already tell I am going be the best Grandma. I still doubt all the other titles like girlfriend, wife, or mother- but Grandmother, I got that one all figured out.

To conclude, procrastination has been productive. I want my fellow hard working student body to keep this in mind. We don’t have to be on task 100% of the time. For one it is boring, and for two, there are other more delicious things to make than grades.

Also, I want to urge all of you to try canning. For those with lab skills, this is like a walk in the park, or a nap. Nothing in the homestead comes closer to the feeling of being in the lab (which I know you love and can’t get enough of), than sterilizing jars, measuring liquids, using a timer, etc etc. I only wish I had a sonic bath so I could remove the bubbles from my jars…

Links for Canning

Bernardian (overlords of canning supplies)

The Preservation Society

Essential Habanero Hot Sauce

* One warning about working with hot peppers, wear gloves! I rolled my eyes at this warning, ‘yes of course I won’t touch any mucosal membrane with pepper-laden fingers. Sheesh, I am not a toddler’. Except, it actually burned my fingers, never mind my eyeballs. For about a week after my first canning venture my hands were pained to the touch. So be careful.

4 thoughts on “Capsicum Burn and The Structured Procrastinator

  1. Another FYI – The Ig Nobel Prizes are organized every year by the Journal of Improbable Research. Another great source of constructive procrastination.


  2. FYI

    The Ig Nobel Prizes are an American parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October for ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research.


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