One week till freedom, less than seven days to skiing, the excitement builds deep and oozes out slowly. 150 hours lie between me and a week solid of shredding. It should be easy right? I mean Aron Raslton survived nearly that long with his arm stuck under a rock. Did Aron Ralston have to deal with midterms, group projects, e-homeworks and pop quizzes though? I guess hypothermia, flash floods and dehydration are pretty intense obstacles too but for a skier entering this home stretch before the brief respite that is Spring Break, the scholastic mountains can seem insurmountable.
Sitting, textbook open, notebook ready, pens neatly arranged with the latest ski magazine spread over the text. Eating cup-noodles because this is what skiing tastes like. Jukebox Hero playing in the background because that's what skiing sounds like. This test is worth 45% of the class grade but I think my boots could use a heat mold. Macroeconomics will always be there, this magazine might not be though. Stealing glances at my skis as they recline in all their glory against the wall. The test will be easy compared to the trials that come with studying for it.
Hours later, the textbook is still open but I have moved on. My laptop glows and hums. An empty document fills half the screen, cursor blinking slowly, a painful symbol of seconds slipping away. I'll just check newschoolers and then write this paper. Any new edits? Maybe something is happening in site discussion. Back to Facebook, nothing has changed. Sucked into an endless cycle of distractions, constantly refreshing, searching for anything other than the paper waiting to be written. Sipping a PBR because that's what skiing tastes like, Odesza is study music right?
"Discuss the modes of representation present in documentary" the prompt reads. Is Valhalla a documentary? Maybe I should watch it again, for "scholastic reasons." Maybe not, the teacher might not find another ski related paper amusing. My semester of "research" on Like a Lion may have left her a little jaded. Papers can wait, I'll give my words to NS, somebody is wrong in NSG and I must correct them. Maybe I need to wax my skis again, I leave in less than a week, seems like I should start packing for break.
Procrastination brings with it pseudo-metaphysical meanderings. What is the real value of a grade? Will I ever use anything from this class ever again? Is book learning more important than experiences? There is nothing like an imminent test to bring out the wilderness philosopher in us all. Deep sayings roll off the tongue easily when there is an analytical paper to be written. "The mountains are my school, and my teachers are the trees." "I have learned more from a deep mountain lake then I ever will from a textbook." Fluffy meaningless jingles take new meaning when your only goal is avoiding school.
In this moment the struggle is real, this obstacle is too imminent, too aggressive. The textbook will never be read, the paper will sit unwritten, that cursor will blink on to eternity. It's more feasible to ski Everest than to complete this assignment. I'd rather wrangle a crew of irate, hungover, non-english speaking jibbers through an unfamiliar town than finish this group project. Don't give in to your weaker self. Set those distractions aside. This week will melt away faster than any new snow in the Northwest and soon you'll be skiing again. All the obstacles that seem so grim now will just be moguls in the rearview mirror once you arc that first juicy turn of Spring Break.