LTE Draft—smellycat

Don’t be Lazy!

Bonnie Tsui’s article, “You Are Doing Something Important When You Aren’t Doing Anything” explains why it’s okay to be lazy for a month if necessary. I am a student, athlete, and employee who is able to handle the daily tasks that I decided to participate in.

Ms. Tsui states one should read a book, walk in the park, or visit a museum and relax for weeks after a project at work. Tsui has not established how hard her work is but she feels obligated to tell us that we need rest after every obstacle we face. I agree everyone needs a day off once in awhile to enjoy themselves and reconnect but stimulating the brain by maintaining a busy schedule is beneficial for cognitive function according to The University of Texas at Dallas. Additionally, scheduled leisure time, like Tsui recommends, “feels less free-flowing and more forced-which is what robs them of their utility” claims Selin A. Malkoc who conducted a study on free time from Ohio State University. If free time is scheduled, there is a “dampening effect” and makes it feel like work. Instead, spontaneous one-day trips once in awhile would have a more positive effect on the mind.

There is growing evidence that activity and learning does positively affect the brain and memory. In the future, be fortunate with the experiences you have and the chance you get to learn from them. Take a break here and there but then get right back to work and stimulate your brain! We owe it to ourselves to make the most out of our day and fallow time is wasting your time away.

The “creative life” is just a fancy phrase for a lazy existence. So let’s go out, work, and maintain a healthy, but busy, schedule!


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4 Responses to LTE Draft—smellycat

  1. davidbdale says:

    Thanks for inviting me to react to your post, smellycat.

    I’ll start by saying it’s impressive as a draft and makes no major mistakes. It identifies an article and a basic premise, establishes your credentials as a busy person, and makes a counterclaim that you support with evidence of your own.

    Some ways you can improve your next draft include:

    1. You identify yourself as a daughter and a friend in addition to your “employment” roles as student, athlete, and employee. I presume Bonnie Tsui is also a daughter and a friend, perhaps also a mother, a sister, and an aunt. She doesn’t include interpersonal relationships as part of what she needs to take a break from, so when you name these roles, you might be seen to be cheating on Tsui’s premise that it’s official WORK from which we need respite and refreshment. See the difference?

    2. You’re right that Tsui does not clearly establish that she has a particularly grueling schedule of assigned work. It’s a weakness of her letter that she doesn’t convince us she faces the sort of grind that demands occasional recharging. But you phrase your refutation as a rhetorical question—”How hard is her work . . . ?”—instead of clarifying for readers that she has failed to convince us she needs downtime. NEVER substitute a weak question for a bold clear claim.

    3. You may be right, but suggesting that “stimulating the brain by maintaining a busy schedule” is the only way to achieve EVERY sort of mental advantage is surely suspect. A counterexample would be helpful. Your skepticism of idleness is not supported by evidence that activity can be productive. BOTH might be essential, about which the University of Texas says nothing. Neither does the “growing evidence that activity and learning does positively affect the brain and memory.” To refute the value of downtime, you’d need studies that proved it undermined creativity or productivity.

    4. Tsui’s letter advances the notion that we’re all similar in our need for cycles of up- and down-time. Your response makes the same mistake. We don’t all require the same amount of stimulation and gestation, do we? Do we? If we do, and you’re right, then lay down the formula for us better than she does. If you don’t, your response is as weak as her initial premise. And you want yours to be better than hers, which, if I judge your ability correctly, is well within your grasp.

    Challenge yourself, please, smellycat, to bury this wimpy appeal for idleness with logic and evidence.

    Please respond two ways. 1) Drop me a Reply to react to the feedback you’ve received. 2) Revise and update your draft and let me know you have done so. I very quickly learn who’s eager for feedback and to ignore others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. smellycat23 says:

    Feedback Please!


    • davidbdale says:

      You may have feedback, of course, but it won’t be until quite late. I’m off to UPenn to teach my afternoon classes, then PDC Dramatists Center to meet my playwriting group. An ordinary Monday. I’ll check out your draft when I get back.

      Liked by 1 person

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