Editorial – Focus

One of my favorite albums when I was a kid was Harry Nilsson’s The Point. It’s a tale of a child who lives in a land where everybody has a point growing on the top of their head, except him. In the end, it’s a story about diversity, tolerance, friendship, and finding self-confidence in being an individual.

But that’s not what I liked about it.

For me, the high point of The Point was the pointless man. Or rather, the pointed man. Unlike the regular inhabitants of the Land of Point, the pointed man didn’t have a single point on the top of his head, rather many points all in different directions. He was living in the “pointless forest” because, as he says, “A point in every direction is the same as no point at all.”

Procrastination is a little bit like having a point in every direction. Your mind keeps finding other things to occupy itself with aside from the one thing you know you should be doing. It’s a common affliction, I think, especially for many students at AU, where the lack of deadlines and structure make it easy to procrastinate on far too much for far too long. I struggle with procrastination myself, and it doesn’t help that I’m a Canadian political news junkie, so these past few weeks have presented countless opportunities to find other things to occupy my time.

With that in mind, I’m quite happy to be bringing you an article about the art of procrastination from a new writer, Barbara Lehtiniemi. We also have, in this issue, Hazel Anaka giving us first-hand impressions of New York City and how expectations never quite match the real thing, then Christina M. Frey explains in The Writer’s Toolbox how a style guide is more than a hoop to jump through for your essays, and S.D. Livingston’s Primal Numbers asks questions about those who ask questions about our science. This issue also sees the completion of In Conversation’s interview with Manteca’s Matt Zimbel, and our continuing feature about Tunisia from Wanda Waterman. This week, her Maghreb’s Voices explores home health remedies a little further, and looks at how healing comes from the community.

One other thing that you will find somewhere in this issue is the link to our Voice Reader’s Survey. Despite what I said about procrastination above, sometimes things get done anyway. This survey is just for you who already read the Voice. It asks mostly about what we have, not what we should have. Those questions I’m saving for the large survey?the one that I hope will also draw more AU students in to reading The Voice.

This means it’s quite short, but the prize for both surveys is the same. Each will award one Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (8″ version) to one lucky respondent. This small tablet is somewhere between a smart-phone and a full size tablet. Good for on-the-go, and more importantly, fully compatible with the new system for e-texts that AU will soon be rolling out. So find the link, do the survey, and hopefully you can win the tablet.