‘The dog ate it.’ Believe me, that’s not an apocryphal excuse for not doing homework. I heard it, more than once, when I was still teaching, along with the slightly less well-known, ‘the budgie ate it’. And then there was the, ‘my dad was laying a new floor and he concreted my book in by mistake.’ I was almost tempted to believe that one.
Of course, there have always been the students who’ve put their trust in the sympathy vote, hoping their sorry tales will earn them a reprieve. A colleague once received a note explaining why their offspring’s homework responsibilities lay unfulfilled: ‘I had to keep him off because he was sick in the head,’ the note, hastily scribbled on the back of a fag packet, read. Perhaps one of the most creative reasons I ever heard, stunning in its simplicity, was the my-mum-locked-the-door-when-she-went-to-work-and-I’d-lost-my-key-so-couldn’t-get-out-of-the-house-to-come-to-school. Who couldn’t fail to be moved by the injustice of illegally imposed house arrest?
It’s not that difficult to come up with excuses, some of which can even take on the proportion of reasons, to at least put off, at worst completely fail to do, the things we ought. But what about the things we want to do?
No one holds a gun to my head to make me want to be a writer. No one threatens me with detention, or worse, should I fail to complete a project. The truth is, like any self-imposed goal or ambition, the impetus, the determination, the sheer graft and commitment to keep on keeping on comes from inside yourself. Creativity feeds on the creator’s own blood, sweat and tears. Maybe that’s why so many of my posts last year were about climbing mountains or running races?
I will never be an athlete, but I am determined to be a writer. To keep on keeping on being a writer. To that end, I am pleased to report that I am still on track to achieve the self-imposed goals I wrote about in my last post. There’s just one piece of inspirational news I’d like to share before I get back to authoring and it’s here. Please follow the link.
Priscilla Sitienei’s desire may be ‘to inspire children’, but she’s also inspired me.