So summer vacation has just started, and as a lot of other Hawaii teens, my summer so far has been filled with graduation parties (my school’s juniors and seniors are pretty tight), going to the beach, playing sports, and studying. But today after coming home from work, my dad commented to me, “aren’t you kind of wasting the day?” Usually, as a rather witty person, I would have come up with a counter for my father’s comment, but today I found that I couldn’t. Why? Because looking back on my day, I realized I had not left the house, barely made it to four of the rooms in said house, and the only worldly thing I did was watch a football match that was part of the FIFA World Cup. So why did this seemingly innocent comment make me a little upset when I knew that perhaps I had not done everything I could with my day? Well it didn’t; because it made me MORE than a little upset. But, on the bright side, when I get upset I usually go into my thinking mode, and thus this here blog post is being created.
Why did my father assert to me that I had “wasted the day?” Well I suppose because to him, who had just come home from a day of work, it looked (and he was right of course) that his daughter had done nothing productive with her day. Most people would question at this point why I would be getting more than a little upset at this simple assertion. My dad is technically correct right? Well now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I think he’s wrong. Yes, yes, the description of my day is VERY indicative of a “wasted day”. But within the next few sentences I’m going to try to show you why I think my father’s words could have been chosen with a little more care.
So I think I have established that today was not the most productive say for me, and that is certainly what my father saw. But what my father doesn’t know, or failed to acknowledge for that matter, is what I had been doing for the past 12 days that I have been on summer vacation. Let me see… Over these past 12 days, I have gone to 3 graduation parties, the beach twice, walked my wiener dog over an hour everyday, picked up a tennis racquet on a regular basis, and believe it or not, studied — yes, I am one of those students that rarely goes two days without studying (I actually have a study schedule planned out for myself). So I think I can confidently say that these past 12 days of summer vacation have been filled with productivity.
This got me to thinking about how different people perceive what “being productive” is. Like how do we know someone was “productive” today? Below is the dictionary definition of productive, courtesy of the Google Search engine (seriously just type in “define productive” and it pops up.
The definition I thought was most fitting for this blog is: achieving or producing a significant amount or result.
But I still don’t think this is a satisfactory answer. I mean… what is significant? Well I started to think about it, and I think this very definition of the term “productive” may have been what led me to be rather annoyed at my father. Thinking about my day, maybe my “be lazy and just relax” day was truly productive to me.
Alright. So I can concede that perhaps in the conventional way, my day was no where near productive, but I think in its own special right, my day today may have been the most productive day for me all summer long. All summer, I had not had a chance to really relax and let my mind go from the stress of finals and the rushed feeling that sometimes comes with summer that one must “live it up.”
So really, I don’t think it’s fair to consider a day productive or unproductive if one does not know the facts. I mean, by knowing a few key facts and understanding some different viewpoints, how we perceive the term “productive” can change very quickly. I suppose this can tie in to the class by helping to answer the question, “How do we know what we know?” and perhaps connect with the “sense perception as a way of knowing.”
In conclusion, I suppose me getting a little annoyed by my father’s lack of understanding was due to his lack of knowledge of my current sense. While his senses were telling him that his daughter did absolutely nothing with her day, my senses were telling me that it was this very doing of absolutely nothing was what made my day rather productive. Now, I can say that with this rather unusual productive day behind me, I am all the better for being rested, and can go back to being a more conventional type of productive tomorrow.