Oh, Jefferson

4:24 PM

I have been sitting in front of the screen of my parents' Mac for about an hour trying to figure out just how to start my final paper for Early American Literature. Thus far I have managed to check my blog once, my facebook twice, and down half a cup of very strong coffee and two pieces of delicious organic-bread toast.

Research papers are not my forte. I can whip out a "thought" paper or even a prospectus telling precisely what I want to write my research paper on. But, when it comes to that actual paper and sitting down attempting to type out seven to ten glorious pages... it just doesn't happen. I find so many ways to be distracted and so many things to do that don't relate to my paper.

I don't know why other papers come so easily. I suppose I'm more creatively minded than analytically so. Still, I love the history that goes into research papers.

For example, I'm very interested in my paper. It's all about the idea of Thomas Jefferson being a hypocrite because of what he preached and what he did. He talked the talk but didn't walk the walk. He wanted to end slavery, and yet he had slaves and was having an "affair," to put it in light terms, with his household slave, Sally Hemmings. Yes, you have to look at the time and take into consideration just what he was living around, but still. If he was so adamant about ending slavery-- why didn't he at least let his own people go?

I'm interested. I want to read up and understand Jefferson's point of view. The problem? I don't want to do it.

Yes, I am aware that is a contradiction.

I don't want to dedicate my time to this paper when I could be in the kitchen helping my dad cook, or out on a walk with my mom and little sister, or cuddling up and taking a nap with my husband. I don't want to do this paper right now, even if I am interested in the outcome of it. Even if I'm motivated by my topic. I'm not motivated right now.

Do you see what I mean?

My other problem (and then I truly hope to stop whining) is my need to snack. When I'm in crunch-time of midterms, exams, final projects, and final papers I have specific snacks I lean on to keep me focused. 99% of the time that snack is pretzels and peanut butter. It's the most delicious thing in the world and for whatever reason it keeps my focus on what I should be focused on.

However, it is not available to me.

Yes, I could go and get the snacks, but then that would present a problem of being even more distracted by my trip to the store. I could easily see ready-to-bake cookies or something with a recipe I haven't tried or something else to tickle my taste buds... the list of distractions is longer than my list of reasons to focus. Then, I could send Clark to get me snacks, but how would that be fair? He's resting up for our trip home tomorrow, and dinner is now only an hour or so away, so shouldn't I just wait? Yes. yes I should... but still. Somehow I have a feeling the snacks would be a comfort... or I'm just saying that because I need a reason to justify being so low on the concentration totem pole.

You can see how well I am at sticking to my plan of writing four pages before returning home. At the rate I'm going, I'll be lucky to have two.

Suggestions on how to stay focused? Unfortunately I have none... so if you have ANY please send them my way! They are desperately needed and would be greatly appreciated.

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