Class pressure

By Rick Lowe | 2/19/14 8:58pm

There are some people out there who may not be familiar with the term “zerg rush.” A quick explanation of this term is as follows: an early-in-the-game, unexpected and rapid attack with as many weak pawns as possible in order to harass or distract your opponent. It gives the rusher time to bring out the more dangerous pieces while their opponent is dealing with the small fry. This is why pawns go first in chess. Sometimes, a really good zerg rush can win the game for the rusher before their enemy even has a chance to attack. For more information, I recommend Googling those two words.

Lately I’ve been getting zerg rushed by my teachers. Large projects that will require significant amounts of time, research, effort and coffee are looming on my horizon. Would I like to get them done and over with? You betcha. Unfortunately this is nigh-impossible, as I am beset with many, many minor instances of homework that are filling up my to-do lists. Every week I get things done and with the advent of each Monday, my list fills right back up. Meanwhile, those large projects inch closer by the day.

So what to do? I’m barely keeping up here. To reuse a metaphor I presented to my internship coordinator: “I’m feeling like I’m in a rickety old boat, trying to plug up holes and bail water out as it seeps in. I’m not saying I’m swamped, but I’m definitely in danger of it.”

Clearly a new strategy is in order. Often when I’m playing a game where the opponent is rushing me, I hunker down and defend myself until there’s a lull in the action, during which I put all my resources into regrouping and rebuilding my own forces in preparation for another attack. Once I’ve driven back that next attack, I’ve usually got a good idea of how the opponent’s going to attack again. Regroup, rebuild, defense becomes a little easier this time. When the third attack comes around, I’ve got their number, I smash their army into pieces against my defenses and then turn the tables on them, hitting them with everything I’ve got in order to cripple them and allow me to defeat them at my leisure.

This seems to me like a good tactic to employ here—I’m currently in one of those “lulls in action.” I have a few more pawns to fend off, some small things to write here and there. Since the main resource of life is “Time,” I’m going to have to devote efforts to freeing up as much of it as possible. Unfortunately, if the pawns of minor writing assignments break me down, there’ll be no chance of me recovering in time to face the larger assignments down the line.

That in mind, I can prioritize the pawns—because if I leave them to whittle my defenses down, I have to face both them and the oncoming juggernauts of final projects. Smack the pawns away now, and I can focus my efforts on those last projects. It all seems so simple, right? If it were really that simple, I’d have it all done already. Life’s more complicated than “gather resources, build defenses, defend your base, gather more resources… build an attack force…” But I think I can manage. Pawns are numerous, but easy to kill.

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