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April 05, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-04-05

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OPINION

Page 4 Thursday, April 5, 1984 The Michigan Daily

Procrastination:

A part of

college life

By Cheryl Baacke

A cartoon published recently in a
newspaper shows a picture of a woman
lying in bed saying, "Nobody ever
achieved greatness on a Saturday."
She returns to the comfort of her
covers only after she vows that today is
the day she will write the "great
American novel" and sits at her
typewriter, dressed in her bathrobe, for
a total of about fifteen minutes.
THIS COMIC character represents a
prime example of an experience many
people have had and suffer from - the
problem of procrastination. Why do
something on Saturday when you know
there are six other days left in the
week?
Most procrastinators will agree with
her. Who could achieve greatness on
Saturday? The real problem, they
think, is that no one probably ever
wrote a brilliant thesis on a Monday -
and by Friday everyone is too tired to
make any kind of intelligent statement,
so that leaves only four days each week
to get anything done.
That way of thinking is characteristic
of procrastinators, but there really is no
way to tell that type of person from
anyone else (except that they always
look a little harried because they're
always running at least five minutes
behind schedule). In reality the
procrastinator has just as much time as
those people who have the third drafts

of reports and papers done a week
before they're due. Procrastinators,
however,.set their priorities differently.
FOR INSTANCE, look at a typical
procrastinator's day. (Just for
reference, pretend it's Monday - that
leaves the whole week to put off
working).
Gloria's first class begins at 11:00
a.m. She went to bed Sunday at 11:30
p.m. so she could get up early and finish
the rough draft of a paper about Hamlet
that she wanted to show to her
professor at 1:00 p.m. When her clock -
radio clicks on to Diana Ross singing
"Touch Me In the Morning," Gloria
rolls over to listen to "just one more
song."
At 10:39 a.m., Gloria jumps out of bed
and into the shower. She runs down-
stairs, throws her backpack over her
shoulder as she steps into ther shoes,
and grabs an apple and a piece of
cheese as she runs out the door. So
much for the rough draft of her paper,
she thinks. Oh well, it's due tomorrow,
and she has all night to write it.
GLORIA THINKS all day about star-
ting the paper, but there are so many
other important things that have to get
done. On her way past the post office,
she remembers she ran out of stamps
last night when she was sending away
for free brochures on time-
management, so she waits in line for 20
minutes to buy six stamps.
On the way to the library, Gloria runs

last night's pizza, Gloria comes across
moldy cheese and empty containers, so
she decides to defrost and clean the
freezer and refrigerator.
NOW I CAN concentrate, she thinks
as she heads for the library. Putting
her books on the table, Gloria sees
another old friend, and invites him to go
to the lounge for "a quick cup of cof-
fee." They discuss for an hour and a
half how far behind they are in their
classes, finally going back upstairs to
hit the books.
Suddenly Gloria remembers she has
a scholarship application due the next
day that she hasn't even started. She
packs up her books and heads home.
After 45 minutes, Gloria cleans her
room enough to find her typewriter and
completes her application. Then she
makes a pot of coffee and sits down to
begin her paper - at 11:49p.m.
THE NEXT day, Gloria finishes her
paper two minutes before she has to
leave for class. She breathes a sigh of
relief as she realizes that once again,
she at least got the paper done, even if it
wasn't a masterpiece.
Why should I stop procrastinating,
she thinks. Maybe next time I'll even
wait and start my paper the morning
it's due.
Gloria's syndrome is seen by
psychologists as more than just
laziness, but as a way of expressing in-
ternal conflict and protecting self-
esteem. Any procrastinator will point

out that there is a difference between
procrastinating and simply putting
things off. The procrastinator has no
rational reason for wasting time -
there just is never the "perfect time" to
start a paper.
Gloria, like many other
procrastinators, is waiting for an in-
spiration to do her work exactly right.
If she must work too hard, she thinks,
she must be stupid. She expects easy
achievement and stops working when
the first obstacle comes. She is
avoiding a test of true potential'
showing only that she is able to work
under pressure - and consequently, no
one can criticize her true ability. It's
too late to make it brilliant, she thinks,
just get it done.
If she receives a high grade on her
late paper, Gloria can attribute her suce
cess to her last-minute luck, not her
ability. In that way, she protects her-
self from comments from friends such
as "You're so smart, how do you do so
well?" Procrastinating causes her to
do less than her best, keeping her closer
to the level of her peers.
Late papers, missed classes, and in-
completes are all a part of college life,
and they'll never go away as long as
there are procrastinators. And since
it's such a challenge, people will alway4
continue to procrastinate - especially
on Mondays.

Daily Photo by DOUG McMAHON
This University dorm room could be the home of a polished procrastinator.
You won't hear anyone typing a paper in this room unless its's after 11 p.m.

into a friend she hasn't seen for two
months, and goes out to lunch, complete
with dessert. She suddenly remembers
that tomorrow is her roommate's birth-
day, so she goes to the bookstore to find
a gift. Gloria quickly picks out a book
about running for fitness and then

spends the rest of the afternoon
browsing through the newest additions
to the bestseller list.
Gloria comforts herself that she has
at least been thinking about Hamlet's
tragic flaws, and runs home to eat a
quick dinner. While she's looking for

Baacke is a Daily editor.

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6

- - - - -

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIV-No. 148

420 MaynaMrd St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Nations mired in misery

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T HE SICKENING nature of the
43-month-old war between Iran
and Iraq is becoming more and more
evident. -Details of the conflict provide
a sobering reminder of the gruesome
means exercised by nations at war.
From the start, the Iranian position
has been unconscionable. It ha's been
their intent to continue the war, not
stopping until the Iraqi government is
overthrown - no matter the cost to
either side. This sacrificial intent has
manifested itself in the makeup of the
troops bearing the brunt of the battle.
The Iranian government has been sen-
ding scores of old men and youth in
their early teens to their death in futile
attempts to penetrate the Iraqi defen-
se.
Conciliation has not even been con-
sidered. The 400,000 Iranian and
250,000 Iraqi soldiers are being sent out
on large infantry assaults that have
proven to be extremely desttuctive to
lives and property. The only aim of the
two countries has been to inflict as
much damage as possible on their
enemy.
Because of the particularly ruthless
stance of the Iranian government, U.S.
officials have been sympathetic to the
plight of the Iraqis. Within the last
few weeks, however, officials and
journalists have uncovered evidence of
Iraqi nerve gas use and inhumane
propaganda devices that refutes the
innocence of either nation.
U.S. intelligence officials this. week
reported "incontrovertible" evidence
that Iraq has used nerve and mustard
gas and is mass producing chemical
weapons at a rate that would allow them
to mount a major chemical attack
against Iranian troops within weeks.-
The use of nerve and mustard gas is
strictly forbidden by the Geneva
Protocol of 1925 which was signed by
Iraq in 1931.
The international revulsion against
chemical warfare stems from the fact

that mustard and nerve gas don't just
kill; they kill in a particularly
gruesome manner. Mustard gas is a
blistering agent that damages all
tissue it touches and provides a
relatively slow but painful death. Ner-
ve gas brings on vomiting, diarrhea,
and final paralysis of the respiratory
system. Against large scale infantry
without protective gear, such as the,
Iranian forces, the chemicals are
brutally effective.
The horror of this war, however, ex-
tends far beyond the weapons used. In
a hideous attempt to display a victory,
Iraqi officials left dead soldiers on
display for the benefit of journalists.
Most revolting is the broadcast on
Iraqi television stations of victorious
Iraqis celebrating amid the convulsing
bodies of near-dead Iranian soldiers.
The film is televised across the border
to Iran and shows faces distorted in
agony, dead children, and closeups of
burns and wounds in glorification of an
Iraqi victory. The narrator of the film
cautions Iranian mothers to think
about the fate of their sons, and
brothers to think about the fate of their
brothers.
It is difficult to gauge the effect that
this broadcast must have on Iraqi
viewers. Though the Iranians are por-
trayed as the defeated, neither nation
has a monopoly on agony. Considering
the weapons being used, there will be
no winners in this war. The true
message of the film is that where there
is war, there is pain. It is a rather sim-
ple sentiment and yet it is driven home
in a particularly powerful manner by
this film.
The world is glimpsing disturbing
images from this conflict between Iran
and Iraq. They should serve to remind
that war is never "clean,'' nor com-
pletely isolated. The Iranian mother
who cries for her son is matched by a
mother in Iraq , and by all those before
her unfortunate enough to have tasted
war. For them, pain is the reality.

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6

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Say no to conduct code at hearing

To the Daily:
The University Council and its
chairman, Communications
Prof. William Colburn, have
played an important role in the
code's initial formulation and
subsequent revision. The Coun-
cil, at least according to the
present wording of Regents'
Bylaw 7.02, will also play an im-
portant role in its approval: the
majority of the nine Council
members must first approve a
version of the code before it is
formally issued to the regents,
MSA, and the Senate Assembly was
for rejection, approval, or
renegotiation.
At 7 p.m. this evening in the
Rackham Lecture Hall, the
University Council is sponsoring
a "public" hearing on the code.
The Council has invited 500 "ran-
Correction
The Rackham Student Gover-
nment executive council misin-

domly" selected students to come
and offer their views. This
method of selection was probably
used to bypass vocal student op-
postion to the code. With the in-
vitation the University included a
copy of the March 5 version of the
code and a copy of the Univer-
sity's justification of the code. I
was selected as a panel member at
the hearing but not allowed ac-
cess to the names of the invited
students. A reply to the Univer-
sity's justification could not be
sent before the hearing: The
Council is obviously betting that
few students will actually come
and that those who do come will
recommend minor changes.
I ask that students without in-
vitations invite themselves to this
forum and demand to be heard.
They should request that the
Council not issue the proposed
code at all or only after major
revision. In addition to making
specific objections to the code,
BLOOM COUNTY

students should raise broader
issues of principle such as .the
equal treatment of all members
of the University community and
the fairness of punishing a
student in both a civil or criminal
court and the proposed Univer-
sity judicial system.
In conclusion, I want to concur
with Professor Colburn's remark
that "The Michigan Daily has
provided no positive information
on the code" (Daily, March 30).

The Daily, for example, printed
about half of the Jan. 23 ver-
sion of the code on Feb. 10
and had directly or indirectly
quoted Professor Colburn in at
least six articles this year. The
code is its own worst enemy.
University spokespersons are
their own gravediggers.
-Eric Schnaufer
April 3
Sc/hnaufer is vice president of
"No Code",.

Letters and columns represent the opinions of
the individual author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the attitudes of the Daily. Unsigned
editorials appearing on the left side of this page
represent a majority opinion of the Daily's
Editorial Board.

by Berke Breathed

_-

I

1 -1

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