Friday, April 6, 2007

Slacker Nation: Part 1; or, The Definition

When I was young, adults made a big deal about slackers. They would conjure up images of a guy with longish hair (only long because he doesn't care about cutting it) with baggy, dirty pants (why wash clothes? They'll just get dirty again) who does every task to the minimum (so he can get back to "slacking"). I was told that becoming this man, this slacker, was the worst possible outcome of my life. I was young and impressionable, so I believed this.

Flash forward to high school. I took mostly honors and AP classes, but many of them were not hard. My honors history class was one of these. The teacher was smart and good, but he believed in homework. I don't, so I didn't do it. I got A's on all the tests, essays, and projects, but zeroes on all the homework, resulting in a B in the class. I tried to do the homework one time. I looked at the front page of the packet. On top was a big map of North and South America. The first question was "Mark on the map the location of the Panama Canal." This was a junior year honors history class. I threw out the packet. Did this behavior make me a slacker? I could've gotten an A easily if I had done the homework. But to me doing this homework was a complete and utter waste of my time. I'd rather read history books (which I did, often). I was troubled by this for a time, but never troubled enough to change my ways.

And now, present day. If you've read some of the past posts here, you'll see that sometimes I'm just unmotivated to do things. However, I'll go to town on certain things, like the cell-phone negotiation and the EBay stuff. Why do I have no problem working on these things, yet getting myself to write the basis for my website is hard as hell? A few years ago, I found an interesting article online called the Slacker Manifesto (pdf). The author brings up a few interesting points, but this is the most important one: slackers work hard only on what interests them (as opposed to Type-A people who can work their ass off on anything). This theory direction contradicts the message sent by my parents when I was young. I can be a slacker and still be a productive member of society. Sweet.

Stand by for Part 2 of this series, yet to be subtitled, where I discuss something else about slackers.
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