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Monday, June 18, 2007

The Final Exam

Technically speaking, I had all the time in the world to study.
Practically, it boiled down to about two days.

It was an extremely important test. So great, in fact, that for a while I couldn't even bear to think about it. So I didn't.
But time marched on anyway, and in the back of my mind I knew I would have to take the test regardless.

So I made up my mind and took out my notes. I also had to get everything ready. In order to ensure an optimal studying experience with minimal interruptions, I had to make sure I had something to drink and nosh handy, as well as paper and pens in case I had to write anything. I then adjusted the air conditioner, turned on some soft classical background music, and brought the cordless phone so I wouldn't have to go running for unimportant phone calls. Then I had to replenish my drink and nosh.
Almost ready.

So I finally sat down to study, skimmed a few pages, highlighted some facts to memorize later. The information was swarming before my eyes; I feared I would never understand it all.
Studying is hard work.
I needed a break.
I mean, no one is perfect. If you do nothing but study, your brain will explode. Everyone needs a break to refresh themselves now and then. I'd be right back.

Well, it took a little longer than expected. You know, one thing led to a next... but I'm back, and now it's really time to hit the books.

I breezed through a couple of chapters that I was kind of familiar with, then I came across one real stumper. I read a couple of paragraphs, but it just wasn't working.
Oh well, I guess I'll just skip Unit 4, then.
Come on, they can't really expect you to know the whole entire book, can they?

By about 5AM, I was completely exhausted. I felt like I just couldn't keep my eyes open another second! But, knowing that the final would begin in just a few hours no matter how prepared I would (or wouldn't) be, I pushed ahead and studied for all I was worth.
Don't know why I bothered. At that hour, it was taking three times as long as it should have and there were times when I was sure my eyes were fooling me...
But I just had to do whatever I could.

Because ready or not, it was time for the final.

Might sound like a cute anecdote, typical 10th-grade style. However, I urge you to think of the Final Exam which we will each face after 120 years, iy"H. Each part of this little essay corresponds to a common tactic of the yetser hara (evil inclination) who tries to distract us from our true task. What will we answer when the Examiner asks what we did when we should have been preparing? "I spent my nights blogging... some were very interesting, you know..."


The Dreamer said...

hits you in the gut, that one does.


you really have a way with word, my dear. beautifully written and really true.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Scary stuff written brilliantly.

Anonymous said...

ahhh don't forget the end, and after that comes summer vacation

Lvnsm27 said...

hope you did well on your exam

Scraps said...

Wow...powerful stuff. We have an unfortunate tendency to forget the exam is coming up, we procrastinate on studying...oysh. This is a great reminder to always keep studying for the ultimate Final Exam...

Anonymous said...


David_on_the_Lake said...

This really hit home..Because I'm the patron saint of all procrastinators..

Its sometimes so frustrating..
But in my defence..ahem..I procrastinate even getting to things I truly's not because of a lack of respect for the task at hand..

Bas~Melech said...

Thanks, all. Hey, I didn't realize this was even worth much...

DOT -- I commend your equal-opportunity procrastinating. I am guilty of that myself, but I don't think it's so much procrastination as the fact that I should be doing that which I am putting off, and if I were doing something I enjoy instead then it wouldn't be such a great excuse...