In the Mouth of an Oven

The Heat is On

The Great Wall of China. Stonehenge. The Taj Mahal. The Pyramids of Giza. The Roman Colosseum. What do they all have in common? Aside from the fact that they are all incredible relics and powerful testaments to man’s ability to shape his surroundings, these impressive structures all share something else: None of them were built in a day.

Of course, nowadays, these structures could be built relatively quickly with the use of heavy equipment, such as excavators, trucks, wheel loaders, and forks, as opposed to simply relying on the efforts of expendable labor, but that wasn’t the point!

Like these phenomenal buildings, my work requires time, effort, and countless hours of editing before it can veritably withstand the arduous tests of time and final judgement. Just imagine if the construction workers for the Great Wall of China were given a deadline of a week to finish their massive project. Having no other option, these unfortunate souls would be forced to scrape together a poor excuse of a fortress, most likely possessing numerous weak points and internal flaws. While the finished project would seem formidable and impregnable on the surface, those with a keener eye for its faults would easily find them.

Similarly, there have been times when I too have been called upon to finish a massive project, such as an essay, within a stifling short window of time. Try as I may to craft ingenious ideas and fully support them, without sufficient time and preparation, I see my work crumbling under scrutiny before my very eyes.

As I look at all of my mistakes marked in burning red, I feel my face turn the same color. “Weak thesis. Poorly supported claims. Unnecessary tangents.”  Unable to read another negative comment, I cast the cruelly marked paper aside. If only I had invested more time and effort in my work! Had I not procrastinated I may have had the sweet taste of success! Oh woe is me!

After several of such agonizing circumstances, I finally learned my lesson and came to my senses. In terms of the heat of impending deadlines, I’d rather take the comfortable warmth of a deadline months away rather than wait until I’m standing at the mouth of an oven. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.


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