Saturday, December 17, 2011

The perils of multitasking

Yes, I know that it has been a few days since my last post, but you have to understand....I have to grade papers, teach classes, edit a huge project for a publisher that is officially three days late (and I am only half done), Christmas shop, work, and pick up the big kid at college. Yes, that's right, he's home and already made an impact on the family room rug....more about that later....

It has been pretty hectic, so I am caffeinated earlier than usual and have been shopping online. I like the sites with free shipping and no tax. However, once I find something, it is generally too expensive or out of stock. So, my next maneuver is to stand in line at the mall before I go to graduation this afternoon. First, I have to finish a project that I started and (oh, by the way, mail a few cards before it is too late). Yesterday I read an article about multitasking. According to this article: "Switching from task to task quickly does not work. In fact, changing tasks more than 10 times in a day makes you dumber than being stoned. When you’re stoned, your IQ drops by five points. When you multitask, it drops by an average of 10 points, 15 for men, five for women" (Pozen, 2011). Yes, ladies and gentleman....I am dumber than being stoned and my already low IQ has dropped precipitously as I switch daily gears.

AS a person who has never been stoned (yes, you can believe it), I am now confident that the feeling is not one of peacefulness, but one of desperation to complete the next project. Therefore, why try something that can hurt the body such as drugs, when all you need to do is multitask to feel stoned? As far as my IQ dropping...this phenomenon happened long ago when I had children. Sure, they are sweet and cuddly at first, but as they age, they tell you in no uncertain terms how stupid you are...with the rolled eyes, shrugged shoulders, and incensed looks on their faces when you tell them that the ice cream that they want to put in their lunch kit will melt before noon. I have experienced it a number of times and did not realize that it was related to my IQ dropping as I would shop, cook, clean, work on dioramas, and figure out second grade math (it's harder than you think).

And so, now that I realize that I am dumber than being stoned, I will work diligently to keep multitasking from exploding during this holiday season. Honestly, since the IQ is now so low, I am not sure how to do this. For example, yesterday, I took a trip to pick up the big kid. It took the entire day. I left at 9 am and stopped at the bank and pharmacy, grabbed a Starbucks tall coffee and hit the turnpike. Once I got there, we loaded the car, grabbed lunch, went to the store to pick up ice cream for Christmas dinner, and stopped for a few items as gifts. As we left campus, my IQ continued to drop. We drove home and as Buddy proceeded to drink an entire half gallon of chocolate milk, he wanted to go over potential walk-out songs for the impending season. Honestly, I only knew three of the hundreds of songs that he played for me. I think that he narrowed it down as I said: "I like that one..." I saw on his face a look that said the songs that I liked were now crossed off his list forever. I assume, even with my lowered level of cognition, that he would eliminate the songs based on my preference. He cannot possibly be cool and pumped up if he walks out to a song that his mother major league dude can do something like just is not done.

I get it...even with my IQ bordering in the gutter....

Now that the kids are both home, the fights and negotiation for the car begins. Last night at 1 am, I awoke to the blaring sound of televisions. As I pulled myself out of bed, TV number one in my office was on with no one watching it. Television number two was set on MTV and a very big kid was asleep watching it with all of the lights on....I turned the television off and encouraged the sleeping bear to head to bed rather than sleep on the sofa. When I rolled out of bed this morning, I saw that he took my advice and relocated to his room. Sitting down on the sofa to drink my coffee, I noted a big chocolate stain on the carpet which can only be made from melted ice cream. Not seeing any dirty chocolate bowl in the sink, I realized that he must have taken the entire carton, sat on the sofa, turned on MTV, and fell asleep leaving quite a chocolatey mess. In my dumber than usual state, I was not upset, 'cause I know that he can take care of the stain with big deal. I am just happy to have them both home....

Have a great day!

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