The Effects of Procrastination
Homework. The word echoed loudly and hauntingly throughout Ardana’s head constantly. Everywhere she turned it seemed like more work would follow her. And even though she felt the pressure of the enormous volume of work, she still procrastinated, and the pile grew steadily larger... and larger... and larger, until...
“Ardana!” snapped an annoyed teacher of hers, a cranky green Kyrii. “When are you going to get working on these assignments? This project is due in a week, and you haven’t even started it yet! If you don’t start work soon, you’ll be swimming in an ocean of overdue homework and projects!”
Oh, I highly doubt that, Ardana thought to herself, neglecting to give a response to her teacher. She gave her a quick glance of non-importance and collected her books into a small pile, excusing herself with the rest of the class as the bell rang.
The rest of the day passed in a blur. Promptly at 3:15, Ardana finally arrived back at her family’s small hut on Mystery Island, and she immediately dropped her school materials into a sloppy pile on the floor. After all, she’d obviously expended so much energy that day that it was only right she’d get some free time to herself to relax. Lazily lumbering into the kitchen, she grabbed a frosty can of Neocola and went to lounge on the couch.
“What to do now?” she sighed, already becoming bored. Unlike some neopets she knew, she wasn’t content to just lie on the couch and philosophize. Ardana was a pet of doing; entertainment was something she constantly demanded. Her eyes lethargically swept the room, searching for anything that could provide her with some much desired fun. At first, she saw nothing, but something on the floor soon caught her eye. A newspaper.
Her owner went to work for the Neopian Employment Agency early in the morning, but she still insisted on bringing the daily copy of the Neopian Times into the living room before she left. A cup of coffee in her right hand, she’d scan through the day’s pages of new headlines, expanding her knowledge of the world’s current events.
Ardana, of course, could never foresee herself doing such an outrageous activity. In fact, she would never even touch a newspaper at all if it weren’t for one thing, the comics. Unlike serious news articles, comics were easy and entertaining to read. Not only that, but they could easy be read in seconds, which fit Ardana’s attention span to a tee. Her paw swiped the section of newspaper off the bottom of the pile, and she slowly flipped through it, looking for amusing comics to read.
"Ha! Ha ha!" she laughed at a comic depicting a Gelert tripping over some bags of neopoints that had been left on the ground. Sadly, it was one of few in the paper that day that she actually enjoyed. No one had ever accused the green Poogle of having a large selection of tastes. Now bored with the comics, she threw the paper back on the floor and searched for something else to occupy her.
Perhaps I should make myself a snack in the kitchen, she thought, taking a sip of her now room temperature cola. Ultimately she decided against it; she really wasn’t that hungry, and getting herself up off the couch would take too much effort. She closed her eyes for a moment, not intending to fall asleep. They shot back open a moment later, though, when she heard a noise.
“What is it?” she asked the empty neohome. The noise had sounded almost identical to that of the waves on the nearby beaches. Typically Ardana didn’t pay much attention to details, so she initially passed it off as being such; however, when the noise repeated itself, she had a sudden realization that she’d never been able to hear the waves from her house before. Frowning and finally picking herself up off her beloved couch, Ardana tip-toed toward the direction of her bedroom.
Peaking inside, Ardana could have sworn she was dreaming. She’d never seen anything like it! The walls of her purple bedroom had disappeared completely, now filled with a black horizon. Waves of - it couldn’t be - paper were now breaking near the doorway where she stood.
Confused, she advanced into the room and was shocked to find her paws were getting wet. Also, the customarily soft carpet of her room had taken on a gritty texture, almost like sand. Suddenly, the waves started getting bigger. Her eyes widened as one particularly large wave loomed in front of her.
A week-old geometry test sprayed off from the wave and slapped her across the face. She reached for a weapon to protect herself against the oncoming tsunami of papers, but she found that her beloved Battledome sword had transformed itself into... a giant pencil? “Aaaargh!” she screamed in disgust, finally realizing that this ocean was full of schoolwork.
In an attempt to escape the storm of homework, she turned back toward the doorway... but it had disappeared. Her mind frantically scurried to think of possible other escape routes. The bedroom's back door would have to do, although she'd have to cross the enormous sea of homework to get to it. A surf board made of erasers appeared on her left side, and she grabbed it quickly, running into the water and starting to paddle.
The water - or paper, rather - was rough, and Ardana had a hard time keeping herself from flipping over. No matter how hard she fought against the waves, they kept pushing her back.
"There's only one way..." came a voice.
"Huh?" responded a confused Ardana.
"There's only one way to conquer the waves," the voice repeated, sounding very much like the Techo Master at the Island Training School. "To find it, you must search inside yourself-"
"What on Neopia does that mean?" she wondered aloud.
"You must search inside yourself to find the correct answers. Then, place them on the papers. Repeat as necessary and hand in to your teacher."
Ardana rolled her eyes. She felt a strong internal force telling her not to do her homework, but at the same time, she knew she had to escape. Reluctantly, she grabbed a pencil floating, much like the way seaweed does, on the surface of the sea, and she began the work. Before she knew it, she was...
...awake. The gigantic sea of homework had vanished, and she was still lying on the couch in the same condition she had been before. Ardana blinked twice, just to make sure that she was really and truly awake, but she didn't move. Strangely, she suddenly felt compelled to do her schoolwork, as if her dream had actually been trying to... tell her something.
"Pfft, how ridiculous!" she scoffed, although she knew the dream was right. She'd never escape the sea of homework without actually doing it. She truthfully intended to get up in a couple minutes to begin, but she fell nearly immediately back asleep.
"Honestly, Mrs. Peliki, that's what happened!" Ardana gave her teacher her best "I'm innocent" facial expression.
“Wait... so you’re telling me that your work isn’t done because you had a dream that your work attacked you, which made you want to work, but you didn’t work because you fell back asleep while not working and dreamt that you were working on not working and you finally ended up working while you didn’t–? Oh, never mind!” She stormed off, confused and frustrated. “Fine, you get a two day extension!”
Who ever said procrastination doesn’t pay?