Sam's Little Larks

by Sam Van Wetter | 3/3/16 7:15pm

SAM SOON and ASAP SAM are procrastinating in 8 Ball Hall.

SAM SOON: I can’t wait to have time to read.

ASAP SAM: What do you mean?

SOON: Like in my life, when I’m less busy. I wanna read books that I want to.

ASAP: And you can’t right now?

SOON: Are you kidding?


SOON: Sam, really? That is insane. You do realize how totally jam-packed my life is right now, don’t you?

ASAP: I guess I’m having trouble believing it’s too completely jam-packed to read, just for a little while.

SOON: I mean, obviously I have time to read. But it’s all readings, you know, textbooks and case studies and encyclopedia entries —

ASAP: You read the encyclopedia?

SOON: Did I say encyclopedia? I meant Wikipedia. But the point is that other people are telling me what to read. I don’t have choice over the material.

ASAP: And you only have time for readings that your professors assign?

SOON: And sometimes I don’t even have time for those!

ASAP: Seriously? You don’t finish your readings?

SOON: I mean, I try to. Obviously. But you have to be realistic about it. A wise man once told me that if a job seems inordinately difficult, you’re probably doing it wrong.

ASAP: That man must not have ever assembled IKEA furniture.

SOON: Yeah, he was more of a DIY guy.

ASAP: And this somehow gives you permission not to finish you readings?

SOON: I mean, a professor can’t reasonably expect us to finish an entire book between classes. Even two hundred pages is pushing it, probably, unless you’re some sort of speed read fiend. So when you’re given hundreds of pages between several classes, I think it’s pretty safe to assume the assignment is more concerned with triage and summary than the entirety of the content.

ASAP: How do you accomplish that?

SOON: You know. Intro, conclusion, a few chapters that look interesting. And lots of Wikipedia.

ASAP: And this takes up all your time?

SOON: A good bit of it, yeah.

ASAP: So much that you can’t find a spare moment to read something else for fun?

SOON: Hardly ever, yeah. I fantasize about having an evening, just one night in bed when I don’t have to think about schoolwork and doing those graduation forms and that package at Hinman I keep forgetting to pick up. I just want one free Thursday night to curl up and read a book for fun.

ASAP: But we go to BarHop on Thursdays.

SOON: Exactly.

ASAP: Exactly!

SOON: Exactly what?

ASAP: You do have time to read. You just choose not to.

SOON: That’s not true!

ASAP: Sam, you go out, like, four nights a week. That’s four nights you could be doing this reading that you think you want to do.

SOON: But I want to have fun with my friends!

ASAP: And in the future you won’t?

SOON: Probably not. I’m planning on losing a whole lot of friends post-graduation. Or they’ll just be more planned out so all my spare moments can be spent doing what I love. Like reading.

ASAP: And one day in the future you’ll suddenly be granted a whole chunk of spare moments?

SOON: That’s the assumption, yeah.

ASAP: Quite the assumption.

SOON: What’s that supposed to mean?

ASAP: I mean, I’m no scientist but I don’t think you are granted more daily hours upon graduating.

SOON: Of course not, but I won’t be spending time in class or at rehearsals.

ASAP: You’ll have work. Real life work.

SOON: Yeah, and then I’ll leave work at five and do whatever I want.

ASAP: Like read?

SOON: Exactly.

ASAP: I’m skeptical.

SOON: About what?

ASAP: I think hobbies are a habit.

SOON: And?

ASAP: And if you haven’t made the time and brainspace for these things as an undergraduate it won’t be automatic for you to do them in the rest of your life.

SOON: Really?

ASAP: Maybe not entirely but yeah, I think you’re most keenly becoming who you are in these years. You’re figuring out how you do everything. And that’s hard to change.

SOON: Wait, really?

ASAP: What?

SOON: Oh, crap. Really? Oh no. Why didn’t anyone tell me about — how do I —

(He begins to panic.)

ASAP: Whoa whoa whoa, Sam. Don’t freak out about it. I’m just saying that being a student can’t be all that different from living, you know, out there. Going to classes is like having a job. Things are made easier, obviously. We’re fed and housed, obviously, but we still gotta take care of a lot of banality, a lot of day-to-day logistics. I’m just saying, if you’re used to drinking and dancing on a Thursday night it’s unlikely that, a year from now, you’ll be down to get in bed with a book.

SOON: We’ll see.

ASAP: You bet we will.

SOON: I’ll practice over break. I’ll form some habits.

ASAP: Yeah?

SOON: Two weeks, Sam. Two weeks. Spring break. Nothing but my bed and my dog and this stack of books I’ve been meaning to get to.

ASAP: Do you have a job?

SOON: Come on, Mom.

ASAP: Do you?

SOON: No, I’ll be working on that too. Don’t be rude.

ASAP: And friends?

SOON: What about them?

ASAP: You’re gonna go home and just, like, not see your friends?

SOON: I don’t know, Sam. I’ll figure it out. I’m just...(he trails off)

ASAP: Just what?

SOON: It’s — I don’t know. It’s hard, I guess, being here but also wishing things were different. Wishing I had time to read and fulfill myself. Wishing I had a boyfriend. Wishing I exercised more and took better care of myself. As you said, things are pretty easy for us here. We have it all handed to us. And it’s always about now, week nine, when I start thinking about things I could do differently, how I want to change, how I want to get better. So I gotta get intentional. I need to work on it.

ASAP: We still have time.

SOON: Not much, man.

ASAP: Then I guess, yeah. Maybe it never ends. Let’s get to work.