The English language has gone through centuries of development, from Shakespearian sonnets to Jeffersonian eloquence, to become one of the most gorgeous languages today. But despite its beauty, there is one word in the English language I absolutely, positively, cannot stand. The word – the “F-word,” to be specific – is the most vulgar, ugly, worst word out there.


The word that my parents ground into me through the years still annoys me. “Put away the Legos, and focus on your homework.” But seriously, how could I possibly turn away from all the amusement Legos have to offer to work on meaningless integrals? Am I ever going to have to use integrals? Ever?

Being the responsible college student I am, I decided I would forgo bringing a television to college. I did not want to be tempted by the evils of the “magic box.” I did not want any reason to be lazy – this year, I would focus. Now, deprived of “Lost,” “Simpsons” reruns and worse than those combined, “The Daily Show,” the drive to focus would surely emerge from some hidden depths within my mind.

There’s an old philosophy that whenever a certain evil perishes, a greater and more terrible evil will take its place. With “my precious” gone, this theory became a law Whenever I tried to sit down and work on my CAS essay, I suddenly found myself doodling all over my notes.

While trying to decide how in approximately 1,200 words to describe Hitler’s ascension following the Weimar Republic’s failure, I instead found my mind focusing on the quiet background music. I repeatedly zoned out to the majesty that is Tenacious D’s “Wonderboy.” Just try to focus when all you can think about is shooting a yak, from 200 yards away – with mind bullets!

It’s difficult, I assure you.

It seemed like the world was against me, but soon I realized that not being able to study is not a hindrance – it’s actually good. Playing with Legos wasn’t a waste of time, but what I like to call an “architectural exploration” of an “ontologically feasible reality.” Listening to Tenacious D was not being lazy, but rather “experimenting with harmonic structure to find a delicate and pulsating beat.” While my parents would beam with pride at my manipulation of the English language – it really is gorgeous – as my father would say, “Yeah, right son. Get back to work.”

But surely, some day, if I’m on “Jeopardy!” or somehow become a talent scout, these skills would most definitely be useful. Everything I did while not doing what I was supposed to be focusing on became practical after all. Procrastination is just focusing on developing talents that will come in handy down the road.

For all you “time-wasters” out there, fret not about focusing – you can’t rush genius.

Brenneman can be reached at

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