The Challenging Challenges of English Homework

A humorous piece that I think a lot of people can relate to because, come on, we've all been in that situation, numerous times, where you have a piece of work to do and your brain just won't co-operate with you and instead gets distracted by the tiniest little things...


1. The Challenging Challenges of English Homework

My mind was blank. The page that lay before me was blank. Intimidatingly blank. I wrote the date at the top of the page in the hope that the presence of those three words – well, no, actually one word, two, three, four, five numbers – would make the page less blank, therefore less intimidating and therefore perhaps making it easier to coax some words out of my brain that were actually relevant to the task.

I stared optimistically at the date in the top left-hand corner of the page, currently the only place on the whole piece of paper that had neatly-formed trails of ink marking it, as if it held some sort of magical power and, somehow the key to the stubborn locked door in my brain, behind which were all the thoughts, ideas and words I needed.

I stared. I blinked. Once, twice, thrice. The page remained blank.  So did my brain. I was beginning to worry now. I glanced at the clock. Nine minutes had passed. One-fifth of my time. Twenty Percent!

I needed a new tactic. I needed to start writing. I calm down and think! I took a breath, slow and deep. I closed my eyes, blocking out distraction, and thought.

I willed ideas to come to me. One idea, just one idea! At this point, I was so desperate that if I had caught a fleeting glimpse of even the most pathetic of ideas flying through my brain, I would have pounced on it and clung to it possessively with all my mental strength, so direly in need of an idea was I.

Yet, as it was, not a single idea came to me. Not a single relevant thought. Oh why, oh why was it that my brain abandoned me in my greatest times of need? Just when I needed it to work some of its neuron-connecting, light bulb-lighting magic, it disappointed me.

Whereas, in lesson times, however, it always seemed to be brimming with scintillating and witty thoughts that were just begging to be shared with my friends, resulting in us being reprimanded for talking, and the friend (or friends) in question glaring at me for getting them into trouble...or maybe for disrupting their engrossed concentration in the highly fascinating lesson...although somehow I doubt that.

Tick-tock. The clock's incessant ticking punctured my haze of distracted thoughts all of a sudden, as if reminding me that I was still running a race which I was about to lose by a humiliatingly large margin. Although I wasn't quite sure if I was still running. Or if I ever had been running for that matter. Crawling was probably more like it.

Oh no! I had allowed myself to be distracted again! Why was it such a challenge to reign my brain in? Why did it seem so challenging for my brain to come up with a few sensible – forget sensible, I'd be quite happy with just 'relevant' at this stage, to be frank – ideas? I mean, what could possibly be so challenging about thinking up and writing about a challenging experience? ...

And that's when, four minutes before the allotted time I had to complete my English homework ran out, finally, my brain deigned to cooperate with me.

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