Inside the box

The WordPress poll asked, How long does it take you to write a post?

I don’t like to participate in surveys of this kind, but I do like to see the results. And unless I submitted my information, WordPress wouldn’t let me see anyone else’s.

I clicked 2 to 4 hours. So did 200 other bloggers. That puts us at not quite 15%

More than 4 hours, which I thought about clicking, garnered 55 votes, for 4%.

The majority, 455 people, or 33.9%, take 30 minutes to an hour.

Some people average 15 to 30 minutes, some less than 15. I choose to pretend they don’t exist.

It’s taken me nearly 30 minutes to get this far.

In my Saturday morning paralegal classes, I sat beside an organized person. She carried a homemade spreadsheet–the kind that spreads across a 6-foot-wide table–with everything in the syllabus plugged into cells. Readings, lectures, quizzes, tests, labs, reports, papers. Everything. Color-coded. And that wasn’t all. Everything she did was neat and tidy and perfect. Little boxes all over the place.

I carried the looseleaf notebook containing course materials (including a calendar listing all assignments) and a spiral notebook.

I envied that woman. I didn’t want her spreadsheet. I wanted to be a person who made such spreadsheets.

For our first major composition, we wrote a letter to an imaginary client. We discussed three statutes and three cases and explained how each applied, or did not apply, to the charges the client faced. In addition to including other information, we were supposed to be extremely clear, extremely polite, and extremely careful not to make any promises.

When letters were handed in, the instructor asked students to think how much time went into the production of that one four-page letter. Then she announced a break.

I turned to my organized classmate and said, “I wonder–when I calculate the time I spent working on the letter, does that count the time I spent playing solitaire while I was thinking what to say next?”

My classmate’s eyes got big and round, and she shook her head. “I don’t think so.”

Well, I didn’t really think so either.

We’d been warned that flippancy does not play well in a law office. It obviously didn’t pay well in the classroom either.

Sometimes I wish I were better at thinking inside the box.