Alex Jackman: Week 3

The third column was in a little late, but at least he’s got a good excuse…This week a chaotic ALEX JACKMAN talks about disorganisation.

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Oh dear, it’s my turn again. This week I’m going to fob all (3 of) you off with stuff about how disorganised I am. Sorry. Why? Because I have been too disorganised to sit down and write a coherent article ahead of time. My diary is a mess! I don’t know where I was, or am now supposed to be! Words even my disorganised are thoughts and!

I find it easy, and almost beguiling, to enter a procrastination-disorganisation dream state where I completely fail to process obvious things. These things include deadlines.

My best/worst deadline-related anecdote is the one where I spent 5 days reading for an essay. This is in itself amusing, but not the punch line. I had not expected time to progress so continuously, and I was now facing an all-nighter. Instead of coming to terms with the rather straightforward situation, I wasted a few hours telling the Overheard In Cambridge group on Facebook about what music I was listening to, because writing things on the internet for attention is nicer than doing work.

After finally finishing the essay at 6.30am, I realised I had to go rowing. I ate some Frosties, and was handed a “refreshing beverage” by Pseudonymous Kenny, who maintains that drinking a shot of vodka per 400 words is a creative and totally reasonable response to the stress of a late-night essay.

By the way, I typed “drunk rowing” into YouTube to try and find a suitable illustration, and found this:

I don’t know who it is, but there we go.

But such terrible procrastination never befell me ever again, and I had no warped sense of pride that I had managed to be so utterly student-esque. In fact, I have spent the whole day today reading avidly and have never been more organised. Shout out to my supervisor, who tells me that he reads this column.

As an aside, I use the word “read” here in a purely mechanical sense: he is a Cambridge academic with three degrees. I see my column not as an appetizer for a feast of nobler writings; rather, it is a bit of limp own-brand tortilla chip from under the couch. Wow. Bathos and a laboured metaphor.

200g, 1000 calories, packed with crunch – hope you enjoyed this visual aid

Anyway, he mentioned this whilst helping to reorganise my courses. For two weeks I have been mistakenly attending the wrong lectures. Why? I don’t know. Apparently the department thought I was trying to bypass their quotas. Actually, I was just being an idiot.

He also let me know that the room in the Geography Department where I chill at lunchtime with my sandwiches is in fact a staff common room. Apparently, everyone just thought it would be awkward to mention it, or assumed that the brazenness of the undergrad with the chicken baguette meant that he must be allowed in. I like to play such confidence tricks accidentally – if I don’t know, how can they?

This week 2 of madness culminated last night, when I somehow forgot that when on a pub crawl, it is a good idea to carry ID, and bring a coat. It’s a long walk back to Fitz, especially when you’re in just a t-shirt, cradling a kebab for solace. Although at least this time, Gardies was open. Finding it closed last week was a strange experience.

Pictured: A strange experience

In summary, because I know you just skipped to the comments, I can be quite disorganised sometimes. You’re not the only one. I hope that makes you feel better.

Next week, I will be writing about how I learnt to finish articles effectively, because so far, it’s been a shambles.