Day 118

Several people have mentioned the sad nature of these blog posts so far. For those who I made sad, I apologize, that was not my intent.

Truth be told, the end of an era is sort of sad in nature, so it was just bound to happen.

But today I thought I would give you, and me really, a break from talking about the sad things and give you something funny. Or I at least hope you will think is as funny as I do.

Below is something I wrote this week for a class assignment. We where charged with writing about our writing ability, or lack there of. We needed to highlight the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First we made a list. You know the two-sided pro/con list you learned in second grade, with one side labeled positive and the other side negative.

My professor instructed us to be as detailed as possible about what we are good at and what we aren’t. While working on the negative side of the list one of the things I wrote down was about my inability to write when I know this particular professor is going to be reading my work.

This aspect of my writing ability sparked an idea.

When the professor said we could be creative with making a writing sample based on this list I took that as my cue to let my idea out.

I wrote a letter, a letter to my professor. This was an opportunity, the only one I may ever get, to tell my teacher how hard it is to write when I know his critical eye will be on it.

Whether you know the professor or not, I am going to leave his name out for safeties sake, my own safety that is, I hope you enjoy it.

I also feel that I should remind you all that my tone is highly sarcastic and, as this particular professor pointed out, defiant. Just know what you are about to read is in jest – mostly.

Dear Professor,
A note on my writing ability, thanks to you.

I feel the need to inform you that my difficulties in writing are largely due to you. When I know there is something that must be written, I am speaking in terms of assignments written for your classes, I stare at the blank word document for hours, literally hours. I have no problem sitting down for an afternoon in the quiet library or the coziness of my own room and before I know it three hours have gone by and my paper consists of name, date, “Professor Name” in the professor slot designated by MLA format, and a completely bogus title which is likely to be intensely cliché. Repeat process for approximately six days before out comes something that I realized could have been possible six days prior had my mind not been so tied in knots.

The thing is, when I stare at that blank page all I see is the four to five or eight to ten pages that should be there, and I panic. Moreover, what I envision is the graded versions with red pen marks in the margins saying things like “that is a bit of a stretch.” “How does that make sense?” And my favorite the dauntingly singular “?”. Images of corrections, who’s nature inevitably lead me to question my thought process to begin with, forbid me the ability to write anything, much less something that will have a decreased amount of corrections or question marks in the margins.

Writers block or white Word document syndrome, as I like to call it, is just the worst of my deficiencies in writing. I also am a horrid speller and I loathe grammar. If it weren’t for spell check and my friend Tirzah I would probably spell “the” incorrectly and my where/were usage would be wrong every time. In fact, my spelling is so bad I have already spelled three words wrong in this paragraph alone and I have yet to edit this but there is no doubt that there will be ample usage of the dreaded red pen. Oh, I almost forgot. I really really like commas. I’d say, in almost every sentence I write, there is at least one comma, but most of the time there is more then one, with the relevance or necessity of those commas still to be determined. I was once told in a grammar class that if you pause you put a comma and that may be the only grammar rule I ever remembered.

However, there are a few things about my writing I am pretty proud of, though I’m not sure you, being my professor, have seen all of them yet. I mentioned my love of commas as a negative. But to me, sometimes anyway, it is a positive. I love my choppy voice and adding in seemingly random phrases into my writing. I pause a lot in my head when I’m writing something and I like it that way.
Also, especially in essays, I feel my strength lies in the thought process. In tying it all together and making the content thick enough or meaty enough while still following a logical progression supported by reasoning. This however is the thing that scares me most when I know you will be reading it, hence the above-mentioned white Word document syndrome.

Your Still Learning Students,

Rachel

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About Rachel Ross

I am a college student facing the last semester of college before I am thrust, unwillingly and fairly unprepared, into the real world. View all posts by Rachel Ross

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