They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Yesterday I crawled into bed at 8:15 pm. When I woke up at 7:45 the world felt fresh, clean, and new – until I realized I have a Rhetorical Theory paper on Ways of Seeing due soon. This paper I would be most unwise to put off, as the book has both stymied and frustrated me beyond words. I can only imagine the vast joy I will experience given the number of hours such a paper will deserve.
Yet although such a paper really does demand many hours of diligent thinking and writing, I know much of the class – perhaps up to 50% – will leave it until the day or night before. Perhaps some of the papers will even start their existence in the few hours before that noon class. What does this say about me? Last time, despite my diligence in writing multiple drafts and careful editing, the professor disliked my work, resulting in a most negative grade (and feeling when I saw that grade). Since then we have turned in another paper, which I practically sweated blood to get right; my knees knock at the thought of her handing it back to us, my damp fingers flipping to the last page, eyes skittering down to the bottom, heart sinking… So how is it that so many people throw something together at the last minute? Do they have no respect for the value of their own work? Is it laziness? Disinclination to suffer longer than they have to? Incapability to actually behave responsibly? What makes a person decide that entertaining oneself over the weekend instead of working is the wise, or if not wise at least the correct, decision? College isn’t about fun. It’s about the fact that we pay almost $40,000 a year to live and learn here, so that wasting that time playing is wasting that money most extravagantly.
Some of this view may come from my recent experiences in my ethics class. I have increasingly realized that regardless of the number of safety nets, rules, regulations, peer-reviews, and codes of ethics surrounding a topic, ultimate responsibility falls on the individual. A person of impeccable character will not need the rules to do the right thing in a difficult situation, while a person of bad personal values is sure to disregard codes of ethics anyway. I’ve just felt that the responsibility for behaving morally, accepting the necessity to live an ethical life, must come down to the individual. Personal responsibility isn’t called personal for nothing.
– KF –