Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Procrastinator Wins Again!

I have now officially finished the longest term paper I have ever written. Fifteen pages double spaced on the symbolism of "red" in four novels.

Yes, I have a BA in BS: I can write fifteen pages about one color.

I know I've been assigned eight or ten page papers as an undergrad (I tended to run short of ten as it was a scary two digit number), and I believe I was even assigned a twenty page paper for which I turned in ten pages and still got a B. (New professor that had just transferred from UNLV; he was just impressed that we handed in papers.) But never have I had to write a paper this long. Which is as it should be; I'm in grad school now.

The real measure of the woman though is not how many pages but how many hours. Twenty hours. That is, I had an idea and had annotated the novels when I first read them, from there I started typing those quotes into the word document at 9:00 p.m. Sunday night. I slept for seven hours and then at 5:00 pm Monday I turned the thing in.

I'm still in shock.

As I was typing I was certain I'd fall short on time or length. That I'd skip a conclusion. That I'd be doomed for sure. But twelve hours of butt-time within a twenty hour period seem to have worked just fine.

This is very bad news on the "prepare ahead of time" front. Because the more certain I am in my last minute capabilities the less likely I am to do work ahead of time.

Happy News: Melanie Haney got a very special Good Friday surprise. What a cute photo. Bet she spent more than twenty hours getting that guy ready.

Margosita wrote a nice post yesterday on blogs vs. personal essays. I particularly like the article she quotes that says the writer should start writing about something she hasn't figured out and figure it out through the course of the essay. That's what I think I've started doing with a post last week (it's the beginnings of a personal essay); I'm thinking about it, but I haven't found the the answers I need from it to make a truth just yet.

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