Crunch Time

June is crunch time for a lot of people, especially students and teachers.  Crunch time usually means stress time, but our friend Jackie finds that crunch time can mean fun time, depending on how you look at it.  Like life!  Here's what Jackie has to say on the topic:

Crunch management: It’s a complex topic. “Crunch” is a textured word, very unlike smooth, unfettered words like “glide” or “sail.” It comes with a whole host of implications. It can make one feel tight, squished, a little stressed. Its sound is gritty, even unwelcoming. Most of the time, the object being crunched does not come out on top. That’s why for most people, “crunch management” usually looks something like this:

Crunch management

Def (1): the strategic planning of one’s overburdened schedule, so as to mostly complete some if not all tasks before their deadlines, which are inconveniently approaching much, much too soon.

Sophie sits at the kitchen table, her nose buried in a book: Introduction to Psychology.

“Wanna hang out later, Soph?” I ask.

“Crunch time, Jackie. I’ll see ya in a week.”

Ah, yes, crunch time! Finals week—hell week. I had almost forgotten.

The management of crunch, for most people, means the management of stress. But what about crunch’s better attributes? Crunch, for instance, can be the sound of new-fallen snow under one’s feet, or the munching of popcorn during a good movie, or the crunch of gravel under your mountain bike tires on some grand adventure. And know what else is cool about crunch? It is a verb and a sound, all wrapped into one word! If you really wanted, crunch management could mean something totally different for you. See below for just one of many additional definitions of “crunch”:

Crunch management

Def (2): the purposeful eating of one’s cereal so as to finish said cereal before it transforms into a soggy bowl of mush.

Example:

“Sarah!” Mom calls from downstairs. “Sarah, hunny, can you help me get these clothes from the dryer?”

“Eating my cereal! I’ll help you in a minute!” Sarah shouts back.

“But it will only take a minute!” Mom replies exasperated, coming up a few stairs to look at her eldest daughter.

“Mom,” Sarah begins patiently, munching down another spoonful of Honey Bunches of Oats. “It’s all about crunch management.”

Mom rolls her eyes. “Crunch management?”

“Yes mom, crunch management. It’s a very important part, you see, to one’s overall breakfast experience.” She looks at me; we smile. High fives! I totally get it.

So you see, crunch management can be fun. And even if your crunch isn’t fun—like Sophie’s finals or some huge project due at work in a few days—you can manage that crunch by looking at it a different way, or relieving it with a crossword puzzle, a run, or simply a sense of humor. Either way, the crunch must be managed… the “how” is up to you.

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