It’s essay time, folks. So naturally I’m tapping away at my keyboard to write… this blog.
Let’s talk about procrastination, shall we? Because lets be honest, as the semester is drawing to a close, it’s all any of us that fall under the “student” category have been doing lately. Granted, some methods are more productive than others, but whether you are writing an epic novel about a swallowed community living inside a whale or just lying in bed, watching youtube videos and eating Nutella by the spoonful (note: dip the spoonful in granola, it will change your life), we all eventually arrive at the same end– with a completed, fairly successful essay. Yeah, I don’t know how it works, either…
That said, I will share with you my personal favorite method of procrastinating, and how to achieve it:
Building a Blanket Fort (and commencing to live inside it forever)
This past weekend I built a blanket fort with my friends Rebecca and Connor and watched Harold and Maude inside it, thus combining my two favorite things. I would never leave my forts if I didn’t have to. In fact, when I was 19 I lived in a blanket fort for an entire summer. Perhaps my flat here needs a downy transformation…
Blankets, Pillows, Bed Sheets, Safety Pins, Chairs, Friends, Books, Fairy Lights
1. Place your chairs in a circle facing away from each other; a domestic stonehenge.
2. Drape bedsheets across the tops of them like a spider’s silk. Let the edges hang down to make quiet walls. Secure with pins.
3. String fairy lights along the creases and linings– welcome the milky way, strands of dew, freshwater pearls.
3. Billow the blankets and pillows inside your hideaway. You are a bear preparing for hibernation.
4. Crawl in, your arms full with books to be strewn and piled in corners.
5. Curl into your nest. The whole world is soft and sinking.
6. Bonus: Using a hardcover atlas as a tabletop, sip a cup of earl grey. Unwrap a Twix bar and bite off each end, then drink the tea up through it like a straw. Melty chocolate and tea-soaked cookie will ensue. (This is, in my opinion, the Brits’ most brilliant invention and discovery. I am in awe.)
As for the essay I’m putting off…
…it is actually pretty interesting stuff. At least in my nerdy, hyper-literate opinion. I am comparing and contrasting the way that the romantic poets (specifically Coleridge with Rime of the Ancient Mariner) and Washington Irving (“Rip van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”) use the supernatural in their writing in similar ways but to different effects. For example, they both use it to reflect on current political events in the wake of nearby revolutions (for the Romantics it was the French revolution, for Irving the American Revolutionary War), but the romantics use the uncanny to reflect how disturbing the situation was, while Irving raises questions about the success and legitimacy of the drastic American transformation.
What I am most excited to ramble about, which is frankly why I chose Irving for this essay, is the way he takes Germanic folklore and applies its conventions to a fledgeling America. The United States was too new to have developed a mythos organically through oral tradition, so Irving basically decides to create one himself– he writes European-style fairy tales about America, and is able to fabricate a sort of constructed folklore where there wasn’t one before. While we’re on the subject, Hawthorne does the same thing in his collection of short stories, Twice Told Tales, by re-writing puritan America into an almost mythical place of legend.
…See, I could have just written that into my essay instead of here. I’m literally avoiding my essay by writing a similar yet unusabley-colloquial version of my essay. I am a fool.
With that, dear readers, I will leave you with a picture from the inside of my journal– another of my favorite methods of procrastinating: