My students are masters at procrastination. I consider myself a professional procrastinator, but these guys have raised ‘putting off until tomorrow what can be done today’ to an art form! One of their favorite methods for putting off work is what I’ve come to refer to as the “What If” game. It goes something like this . . .
“Randy, did you finish your vocabulary sentences yet?”’
“No, Ms. Meehan. What if the president didn’t want any body guards? Could he do that? Could he go places by himself?”
“I’m sure the president would never consider going around without bodyguards.”
“But what if he did?” my student insisted.
“Nope, he can’t go without bodyguards,” I stated confidently.
“But he’s the president. Can’t he do whatever he wants?”
“Are your sentences done yet? No? Back to work.” I admonished, attempting to get him back on track.
Then, from another corner of the room, Carter asked, “Ms. Meehan?”
“What if you were stung by a hundred bees?”
“It would hurt, but not as much as bringing home a D in math is going to hurt. Now finish that test.”
“But what if the school was filled with bees?”
“You’d still have to take your math test.”
Finally finishing his second sentence, Randy piped up again, “What if dogs could fly, Ms. Meehan?”
Joining in the conversation, Carter inquired, “What if birds could fly?”
“Birds can fly! Now get back to work!”
A few minutes went by before Randy’s ADD kicked in again. “What if a meteor hits the earth?”
“I’d get out of cooking dinner tonight,” I answered drily.
“No, really Ms. Meehan! What would happen?”
Before I could tell him to get back to work yet again, Carter joined in, “What if the ocean was filled with pudding? How long would it take to eat all that?”
“You guys are very creative, now get back to work!”
A few minutes pass. Then, “What if a meteor hits the earth? Really? Would everyone die?”
Sigh. “I’ve got one for you. What if you guys finish all your work before the bell rings?”
“You’d have a heart attack, Ms. Meehan?”
“Yes, I probably would.”
And that is how the “What If” game is played. Every day. Day after day after day after day after day. You’re jealous, aren’t you?
* Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the lazy.