Sooo it is finals week for me, as well as most university students in the United States. While this is a delightful time for most adults, involving frolicking in virgin snowfall and rushing about in scarves and knit caps, carrying armfuls of packages wrapped in brown paper, for me it mostly involves rushing from one group study meeting to another, and dozing off over study guides.
However, there is one glitch to this idyllic vision of the devoted college student: I’m a geek. Sometimes, being a geek interferes with my real life. For instance, this afternoon I was happily typing away at a bullet-point riddled evaluation of Walzer’s application of just war theory to modern obliteration bombing, when suddenly without my consent, my mouse directed my browser to open a new tab to find out when the new season of Sherlock would air in the US. (It is January 19th on PBS, if anyone is interested.) Twenty minutes later, I realized that not only was my study guide not finished, but I was late to a group study meeting. ARGH!!
Then there was the moment while I, engrossed in determining whether climate change or nuclear weapons in terrorist hands were the greater threat to international security, was interrupted by a message from one of my friends who wished to debate the merits of Fox Mulder as an FBI agent. I have some very strong opinions on this subject, so of course, there was another hour down the drain.
In order to combat the tendency to lose time in this way, I recently decided to create an incentive system for focusing on schoolwork. I spent an hour writing outlines, and then decided to reward myself with an episode of Supernatural. Four episodes later, I suddenly realized it was two o’clock in the morning and that I was going to be exhausted in class.
My evening hours seem especially prone to such distractions. I’ve lost countless hours to A Song of Ice and Fire, or Atomic Robo. About the only thing that doesn’t waste much of my time is video games—mostly because my lack of coordination causes me to get frustrated and give up long before time becomes an issue.
Geek life spills over into my real life in other ways, too, and it doesn’t translate well either. My meme references seem to always elicit strange, uncomprehending looks from those around me. (Currently my favorite is Doge—because the final “wow” always, always makes me laugh out loud.) Random references to my father, Mr. Maximoff, go unnoticed. It is a sad, hard life.
Still, I manage to find a balance between surviving in the real world and enjoying my own geekiness. First of all, I find other geeks who are available to hang out IRL. Andrew, who writes most of this blog, is always down for a cup of coffee and a trip to one of the local comic book shops. I have other geeky friends on campus who share my love of crime dramas, comic books, and fantasy. Some even understand my meme references!! At the same time, I’ve learned exactly how far I can push the procrastination button. Sure I can binge on Grimm, X-Files, or Dr. Who sometimes, but if there is a fifteen page paper due in two days, or it’s 3:00 a.m. and I have class in three hours, I have learned to put my entertainment aside and make sure I take care of my real life responsibilities.
Does your geek life ever spill over into your real life? How does it happen for you?