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Maximizing your Slump

By Gabe Feldstein
Published: February 2010

There comes a time in every high schooler’s life when he or she realizes, “Hey, these grades no longer count. When this revelation occurs, apathy follows closely behind. The high schooler will completely stop caring about tests, homework, group projects’€you name it’€and instead will take the opportunity to focus on the sweet things in life.

The remaining portion of this article will consist of some of those sweet things in case you do not quite know how to manage your surplus of free time now that Slump has officially arrived.

Personally, one of the most fulfilling things I do with my newfound free time is run small painless errands. I do this mainly for two reasons.

The first reason is that it gives me an excuse to drive around. Driving is naturally a fun activity for a teenager because while driving there is always a chance that you will die in a car accident, and as we all know the activities in which death is a possibility are always more fun than those that are safe.

The second reason I run errands is because they make me feel like a big boy. As hard as it is to believe, we are going to have to take responsibility for ourselves soon. Running small errands is a great way to trick yourself into believing you are almost ready to become responsible.

Another favorite is literally watching a pot boil. As a child, you were always told that “A watched pot never boils. I assure you if you watch a pot on a stove for long enough, it will boil. Watching a pot boil is a great way of showing “the man that he is wrong. Watch a pot boil; do the proverbially impossible. ‘ËœCause hey, you’re in Slump. Be rebellious. Why not?

If running errands and watching a pot boil still don’t quite do it for you, there are still other options. Playing Risk is a great way of wasting extra Slump time. For those of you who have ever played Risk, you know that it is the most long-winded, repetitive board game in existence.

Each game takes an absurd amount of time. Playing too much can legitimately cause a personal existential crisis as you begin to realize that not only have you been doing nothing with your life but playing Risk for the past three hours, but you have failed to even capture Kamchatka.

A plus to Risk, however, is that victory can result in partial, temporary fulfillment of your Freudian desire to conquer the world. If your parents forbid you from playing Risk because they know it will ruin your life, look for Monopoly.

Monopoly is quite simply the best board game there is; there is no board game better than Monopoly.

As we do grow older and more independent, it is important to learn our own limits. If you are bored at home one day, see how long you can hold your breath. Offer yourself an incentive for certain benchmarks. Say to yourself,

“Alright, for every second seconds I hold my breath, I will get myself one cookie. Don’t cheat! Really test yourself. For those of you who attended Oak Hill Middle School, don’t be afraid to “Find Out How Good You Can Be, and learn your limitations.

Another productive use of Slump time is conducting random experiments. Calculate the ratio of red to blue M&M’s, see how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, see how high your cat will jump for a laser pointer, find out how long it takes for your parents to get really aggravated if you speak in only gibberish and yell sporadically throughout the day.

There are all sorts of things to learn and test out. Because even in the midst of Slump, you can still learn. So slump away. This is your time to enjoy the sweeter things in life. Homework? Let it slide. Test? Make it up the next day.

It is time to slump, and hopefully my list of fun activities will grant you some joy and entertainment over the ensuing months. Enjoy, be safe, and as always, don’t forget to bring a towel.

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