A Life of Order/ A Life of Chaos
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A Life of Order:
By Brendan W. Clark
Name, teacher, class, and date. This is the same way that all of my essays begin—no matter what the class. On the contrary, every handwritten page has my name, date, class, and teacher written across the top of the page. Every page is numbered and recorded in a table of contents in the front of each binder. I simply cannot comprehend a life of papers stuffed in a backpack, clothes left strewn across the floor, or a desk that is even remotely cluttered.
I prefer to do everything in an orderly and precise manner. When assigned, my homework goes straight into my executive portfolio, a fulvous, leather-bound binder. The assignment is then promptly recorded on my evening agenda , listed by order of importance. When a due date is noted, I do not scribble it down on a scrap of paper and hope to find it later; instead, I pull out my calendar (which I carry everywhere) and write it down in full. I cannot stand to have anything out of place—and for good reason: organization always helps to make my daily interactions with others so much easier and much more pleasant.
When a teacher asks me to refer to an assignment, a test, or a quiz, I do not have to shuffle through a pile of papers stuffed carelessly into a satchel. I simply reference the assignment entry in my briefcase and locate it. When I am choosing what to wear in the morning, I do not have to search through a pile of garments in dig of an article of clothing that “looks” clean. I simply look through my color-coordinated closet and decide on my outfit for the day.
Being organized truly makes me more efficient and more ready to face the challenges of the day. I can get ready faster, do my homework quicker, and make my appointments on time thanks to the efficiency of being organized. When I know exactly where something is and have an agenda which reminds me of precisely what needs to be done, I find that I can not possibly forget anything that I have to do.
I am proud to say that in all my years of schooling, I have never missed a homework assignment because I could not locate it. When a teacher states that I have, it is often due to the fact that they lost it amidst their own cluttered stack.
I find that if I take the extra five minutes to organize my papers and belongings, the day goes by without a hitch. Organization makes me less liable to make a mistake, saves time, and most importantly, helps keep my day free from unnecessary incidents which can just be distracting from the entertaining things in life–Brooks Brothers suits, Dickens, and Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider.
A Life of Chaos:
By Maggie McNulty
Name, teacher, class, and date. This is the same way that all of my essays begin–no matter what the class. However, my essays might be drenched in bitter coffee and fighting for life at the bottom of my infamously disorganized schoolbag (I feel I need to clarify that this is a bag; my lifestyle is too glamorous and too groovy for any backpack to handle). I am the “Nutty Professor” to Brendan’s “Professor.” While the interior of my bag may resemble a dumpster outside of an office supply store, I do take pride in the work I complete and I rarely ever lose papers. I have found that organization drains the spontaneity and fun from my life and causes me undue anxiety.
I prefer everything to be right in front of me. All of my papers are stored in one menacing folder so I know exactly where everything is. Last year the technology department head took a picture of my folder to use in a presentation encouraging the school to shift to using more technology instead of paper. My papers may not be distinguished between class or assignment, but I always know exactly where they are, exactly when I need them.
As I am now a junior, I have experimented with numerous organizational methods and I have since learned that organization is not one of my strengths. Just as I know I will not likely stop being 5’3 and become a supermodel, I know I will not likely stop being disorganized and become an accountant (I don’t know, that sounds like an organized job).
There seems to be a stigma that disorganized people are careless and almost lazy when it comes to schoolwork. Just because my paper emerged from the abyss I call a bag doesn’t mean the quality is in the least bit compromised. I spend more time perfecting my work and ensuring that what I am about to turn in is up to my standards and completed with thought and effort than I do worrying about organization.
My room is actually neat (though it is consumed by books and papers), but my clothes are not. This is just another situation where organization would drain the fun from my life. Instead of searching through a neatly organized closet, I fling clothing from a bin and model in a private fashion show reminiscent of a deleted scene from Clueless. Worrying about wrinkles or placing my clothing back in its “correct” location would certainly disrupt my “creative process” (okay I know that description is a little extreme, I’m talking about clothing here and I’m clearly not Coco Chanel) and I wouldn’t feel as free and relaxed as I do currently.
I’m not saying organization is boring and disorganization is the best way to live life; what I’m saying is that there is more than one way to attain success and to be happy with both yourself and your work. Find a method that works best for you, whether it be wheeling around a filing cabinet or shoving all your papers into an overworked bag. I like to be surrounded by a thin layer of chaos wherever I go. This makes my life feel more exciting and more extemporaneous, feelings that are almost indispensable in a school that can sometimes feel monotonous and perfunctory.