Risky Research

I was going through some old essays and papers that I wrote throughout high school and college, and stumbled across another gem of writing. During my senior year of high school, my mostly intolerable ACCP English teacher asked us to come to class one morning with a thesis for a research paper written on a notecard. I always hated writing theses first, because you are never sure what conclusions you are going to draw after the research is conducted and the paper written. Needless to say, I found myself in the school library five minutes before class, trying to come up with something tangible.

I closed my eyes, grabbed the first book out of my bag, and flipped to a page, pointing at the first sentence I found. The book was Albert Camus’ The Stranger. The sentence was about the sun causing bullets of sweat on Meursault’s face as he contemplated killing someone.

Where is this going, you may ask? The moral of the story is that I came up with a thesis out of almost nowhere (“The intensity of the sun performs as an illumination to a mild case of schizophrenia that causes Meursault to murder the Arabian man.”), from a book I never cared to actually read, last minute for a class. I ended up doing exceedingly well on the paper, with all types of scientific evidence supporting the effects that weather and heat have on a person and their actions. I procrastinated. I pulled it out of my ass. I did well.

I think some of the best things people do in life and their biggest accomplishments are based in adventures. Closing your eyes and pointing could lead you down a very significant path in life. It could get you that great grade you need to top off your GPA. It could allow you to move to another city on a whim. It could be the next Great American Novel, the amazing bake shop down the street… the contest entry that gets you to win a day with your favorite celebrity.

Dive in. And, while you’re at it, enjoy the weather cooling off. I know people miss summer, but consider how cranky too much time in the sun can make you. At least you’re a little less likely to have heat-induced schizophrenia. Or murder someone.

Trust me, I’ve got the research to prove it.

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