By Benjamin Snider-McGrath
It’s a busy time of year for students. Essays turn into midterms which turn into more essays followed by final exams.
“It’s non-stop,” said Vince Lacroix, a fourth-year English student at Ryerson. “You think to yourself, ‘Get through this week and you’ll be OK,’ but then the next week is just as bad, if not worse.”
Lacroix, who recently got a Netflix account, is finding it difficult to make time for both work and play.
“When I get home after class I obviously need a break,” he said. “I’ve been watching The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and House of Cards, pretty much all at once. They’re all so good. Anyway, I’ll sit down with the plan to watch one episode and then get to studying.”
Five episodes later, Lacroix’s Netflix pauses and asks him if he’s still watching.
“I never meant for it to get to that point,” Lacroix said. “It’s just too easy to let Netflix load the next episode before I can turn it off. Thank goodness for that ‘Are you still watching?’ feature, or else I’d never get any work done.”
The thing is, Lacroix really doesn’t get much work done. He lives with his mother, Theresa Duffy, who rarely sees her son working.
“He’ll come home after class, usually around 2 p.m.,” said Duffy. “Then he watches hours of Netflix until it shuts itself off. Then he gets ready to work, but at that point it’s time for supper. We’re usually done supper at 7 p.m., and then he goes back to the couch.”
“I can’t work on a full stomach,” Lacroix said. “I haven’t been able to ever since I was nine or 10. I sat down to do some homework one night after dinner and I puked everywhere. All over my pencil case and worksheets. It was traumatic, really. Ever since that, it makes me queasy.”
Duffy admits that she isn’t the best at encouraging her son to work after supper.
“I work all day and then I come home and work even more,” Duffy said. “After supper, all I want to do is relax. But the thing is, I don’t know how to work Netflix. I have to get Vince to turn The Office on for me, and then we just sit and watch until 10 p.m.”
Every night after he and his mother indulge in their binge of The Office, Lacroix says he will wake up early the next morning to do some work.
“Empty promises,” Lacroix said. “I know that, when the time comes and my alarm is ringing at six in the morning, I’ll probably just hit snooze and roll over. But at least my heart’s in the right place.”
Unfortunately for Lacroix, good intentions do not earn good grades. He’s currently on academic probation, failing each of his four classes.
“It’s just so hard,” Lacroix said. “Do I focus on those three essays and that mid-term I need to study for, or do I find out if Walter White keeps cooking meth in Breaking Bad? Like I said, it’s never-ending, the work just keeps on piling up. It’s easier to just ignore it and catch up on my shows.”
Ignoring it certainly won’t fix Lacroix’s bad grades, but that doesn’t seem to bother him.
“Bad grades are temporary,” he said. “But TV? TV is forever.”