March 21, 2012


What is laziness?  I guess it depends on the situation.  It depends on the circumstances.  It depends on the place, the people, comparisons…

When I think of laziness, I suppose I think about comparisons.  I compare me to the other person (or people) in question.  Let me give an example or two or a dozen!

How about something inane like washing dishes.  My idea, and how I was my OWN dishes, is to fill the sink with warm/hot water, add dish soap, thoroughly wash all parts of the dish, then rinse in or under hot water.  If the water is hot enough, I will let them air dry, but considering the amount of usable counter space I have in Tainan, it is much better to dry the dishes with a towel and put them away.  Okay, so this is time consuming and monotonous.  I’ve found that if I have the T.V. on or play some music, or have someone helping me, then the amount of time is inconsequential.

To me, laziness would be skipping not just one or two of these steps, but most – or ALL!  As well, I should add, that the skipping of all or most of these steps would be a consistent thing.  That is, everyday.

Laziness could be outlining the pictures rather than colouring them in.

Laziness would be to watch someone exercise, rather than join in.

Laziness would be to ask someone else to change the channel with the remote, even though the remote is beside you.

Laziness is waiting for the teacher to GIVE you the answer, rather than look for it yourself.

Laziness is not doing your homework until 2 minutes before class, even though you’ve had 7 days to complete it.

Laziness, in my view, is more than just physical.  There are other times when our body or choice could be considered laziness.  Take for instance hearing.  How many times have you, whether it be intentional or unintentional, not heard what someone has said or a honking vehicle on the street?  Could this be hearing laziness?  My mother used to say that as kids, we had ‘selective hearing’.  We only heard what we wanted to hear.

How about sight laziness?  How many times have you said, “… it just came out of nowhere…”, or “… it wasn’t there before…” or “… I didn’t see that… ” knowing full well, in your heart of hearts, that there is no way you could have possibly missed it?

Consider speech laziness.  Again, how many times have you said, “… I’m sure I mentioned it…” or “… I’m positive we talked about this…”

Could laziness just be considered a form or ignorance?  As the proverbial statement goes, “… one man’s poison, is another man’s food…”  “One person’s laziness, is another person’s ignorance.”  How we perceive laziness could be relative.  I many consider that one person, upon not hearing what I said, has lazy hearing.  Whereas another person, I would consider ignorance.  One student not doing homework is ignorance toward my request, whereas someone else could be laziness.

I will admit that when I was in school, homework was not my favourite part of my life.  I hated it, just as I’m sure, students hate these days.  Looking back though, I’m kind of thankful that my parents did insist on me doing my homework.  Those followed-through threats of not being able to go out and play until my homework was finished, did come into fruition.  At the time, I despised my parents for doing this, but now, I feel it was worth it.  It gave me the sense of responsibility and of completing tasks.

There are times these days, where I wait until the last minute to accomplish something.  However, I’m an adult now.  I have more things to complete these days, other than homework.  There is the renovations I’m doing on the apartment, laundry, lesson plans, correcting students’ homework, preparing for this year’s Storytelling Competition… just to mention a few things.  Granted, some have deadlines, others can be put off, but, eventually, they do get done.  The only person who suffers, is me, if they don’t get done.

When something as simple as students’ homework not completed, this affects more than just them.  It affects them, the class, the teacher…  I’m not sure how to stress to students what impact their ‘homework laziness’ has on the grand scheme of things.  Perhaps they may not consider my homework important enough.  Perhaps their parents don’t consider it important enough.  Perhaps, I’m putting TOO MUCH importance on homework.

I do have a couple of classes whereupon, I was asked to assign homework each and every class.  However, after almost two years of constantly hounding the children about completing the homework, or having them complete the homework in class, I have since given up.  There is nothing worse, I feel, than a teacher giving up on their students.  I leave the assigning of homework, if any, to the local teacher assisting in the class.  However, as I’m at times unsure of what the homework assignment was, and the fact that most students still refuse to complete it, I don’t take time out of the class to correct the assignments.

I would like to think that most educators take their jobs almost as seriously as I do mine.  Yes, I do try to make educating fun, but I (as do other foreign teachers) have unique circumstances that inhibit our teaching abilities at times.  I live in a country where English is not even an official language.  Sure, the government has instituted that students learn English in school, however, it is not an official language of the country.  Therefore, older generations, parents, and students alike, for the most part, don’t speak English on a regular basis, don’t encourage the younger generations to speak it, and the only times they do, is when they are in school.

Out of a possible 40-50 hours of schooling a week, the only English these students get rack up to about 5 or 6 hours – including after school programs.  It isn’t until many of these students decide later on, for instance, upon application to university, that they do understand the importance of learning English.  Only those that really want to, will continue their language skills and realize the importance of learning a universal language.

So, back to laziness.  Maybe laziness is hereditary.  You learn it from your parents.  If you’re parents don’t care, or aren’t concerned, then you learn this laziness.  It doesn’t matter what the laziness…

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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