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Published on September 27 2007

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Published on January 18 2007

Believe it or not, I really *did* have a procrastination post partially written; but was too lazy to put it all together and post it. But now I know the reason why. I have had a nasty problem lately with getting motivated to accomplish anything. I swear, there are days I drip dry rather than expend the energy to towel off after a shower. Style the mop? Not a chance-- drag a comb through it, twist it up, and call it good. I park with my textbook for class and read one or two paragraphs over and over and over--and still don't have a clue what I just finished reading. The essay due this weekend? Ummmmm.....if I start on Saturday, will that be too late? Cook food? Hmmm, how about a nice PB&J sandwich for dinner tonight? You got your protein, your fruit, and your grains. A nice balanced meal, right? But now I know what the problem is. It's not "winter", which is my usual all-purpose excuse. It's far worse. I am showing symptoms of a new disease-- and the bad news is that it may be incurable. Australian Scientists Discover New Disease
Motivational deficiency disorder Extreme laziness may have a medical basis, say a group of Australian scientists in this week's BMJ, as they describe a new condition called motivational deficiency disorder (MoDeD). The condition is claimed to affect up to one in five Australians and is characterised by overwhelming and debilitating apathy. Neuroscientists at the University of Newcastle in Australia say that in severe cases motivational deficiency disorder can be fatal, because the condition reduces the motivation to breathe. Trials of indolebant, a drug to help combat this condition, are underway and initial results are promising. "Indolebant is effective and well tolerated," adds Professor Argos. "One young man who could not leave his sofa is now working as an investment adviser in Sydney."
I gotta get me some of that stuff. ;-)
Neurologist Leth Argos is part of the team that has identified the disorder. "This disorder is poorly understood," he says. "It is underdiagnosed and undertreated."
They almost had me going, even the part about being too lazy to breathe-- until I got to the name of the neurologist. "Leth Argos"? Now, I am enough of an English geek to recognize a Latin etymology occasionally. Lethargy, anyone? I feel something pulling on my leg now...... I did a little more googlystuff, and sure enough, this site picked up an article originally published by the British Medical Journal-- on April 1st, 2006. Too bad they didn't notice the date. Feeling smug at catching this little gem-- can't fool Mother Laurie, after all-- I looked around a little more at this Scientific American site, until I came across this article. It seems that the fine art of procrastination has been summed up in a mathematical equation. (The first thing I did was check the date. Fool me once, etc.)
I am a moderate procrastinator. Even when I believe that I would be best served by finishing a task (say, filing this story), I will occasionally put it off in favor of some short-term reward (like a much needed caffeine fix).
(I already like the writer of this article. Java, anyone?)
This tendency on my part to delay what is in my long-term interest can now be explained by a simple mathematical equation, according to industrial psychologist Piers Steel of the University of Calgary. Steel developed the equation U = E x V / I x D, where U is the desire to complete the task; E, the expectation of success; V, the value of completion; I, the immediacy of task; and D, the personal sensitivity to delay, as a way of mathematically mapping a given individual's procrastination response.
U = E x V / I x D. There you have it. Even though I suck at math, I now have an excuse for writing a four page essay in the two hours before it is due.

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Published on August 18 2006

Working on my "resume" for my "how-tp-do-an-online-class" class at APUS. It's required that all students take this as their first class towards a degree. I'm trying to worm my way out of it, having done the UW classes over the last year. To get out of it, a student is required to turn in an essay on "why I don't need to take this class"...and a RESUME. This is going to be the most BORING resume ever written. Should I include my stint as a salad girl in a restaurant? I learned a lot about lettuce on that job, after all. How about my very first job, washing dishes in the school cafeteria during lunch when I was in 7th grade? Or my fame as 'sconsin's first female paperboy at age 13? (Who knew I'd be breaking down barriers so young? 8-| ) I definitely need to include my job as a carhop at a drive-in fast food joint in wintertime to show my determination to succeed--you know what tips are like when you deliver trays of food to people who have their defrosters/ heaters running full blast to keep their windows from freezing over at 20 below zero? Not good, lol. Hope they don't giggle too hard at a resume of 26 years as a factory babe.

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Published on February 9 2006

One of the books off my Amazon wishlist arrived today, so I took a five from the horrors of Turbotax to thumb through it for a bit. The book is I'm a Stranger here myself by Bill Bryson. It's a series of essays written by a travel writer who lived in England for twenty years, but decided to return to the United States to live, and his observations of how his home country has changed since he left so many years before. I'm enjoying it immensely! One section deals with license plate slogans:
Still I can't criticize because I live in the state with the most demented of all license plate slogans, the strange and pugnacious "Live Free or Die". Perhaps I take these things too literally, but I really don't like driving around with an explicit written vow to expire if things don't go right. Frankly, I would prefer something a little more equivocal and less terminal--"Live Free or Pout" perhps, or maybe "Live Free or Bitch Mightily to Anyone Who'll Listen."
Now that sounds like a Wisconsinite at heart!!

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