Last Friday I handed in another assignment for ESD 200.
As with the first assignment , it involved me printing 2 copies of the assignment and handing it in person. 24 pages of sin, handed in… to the Centre for Sustainable Development no less. I am beginning to doubt the meaning of those words: how can they really claim to be a centre, which implies a place of excellence, on sustainable development if they can’t even be sustainable in the first place?
To be honest though, this is probably my fault. After handing in the last assignment, I thought about what I needed to do to avoid future use of paper in this situation. I came to the conclusion that I needed to “secure permission to to submit assignments by electronic copy only” if I was going to avoid the use of paper, as I am unwilling to be more activist and risk having my assignment not accepted.
So what did I do before this assignment deadline to secure that permission? Nothing. Zero. No efforts what so ever. I didn’t even send an email to ask if I could send it by electronic over, I just rolled over and handed it in printed.
Did I just give up after one weak attempt!? I certainly hope not, but it looks like it. For starters, I didn’t believe that the answer would have changed since the last time, so just an email seemed pretty pointless to me. However, I probably should have repeated the email, to continue the momentum for me making my point and emphasizing that this issue is not going away. But I didn’t.
The real reason – or at least the reason I tell myself – is that I was really ill last week and didn’t have the time (as I was sleeping 12 hours a night) or energy to put in on this. It was just a struggle to get the assignment done in the first place, let alone think about the process to hand it in. I came close to just emailing the assignment as I couldn’t get out of bed, but I managed to bike down to the department to hand it in, spending extra effort to ensure that it would be accepted.
So I gave up on trying to cause change because I didn’t have the time or energy to do so. The lesson for this is this: don’t get tired, don’t lose your energy, don’t get burned out. Change only happens when the people trying to cause it have the time and energy to make it happen. I just didn’t this week.