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How Not To Write A College Paper

 

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT:

OBJECTIVE: 1500 words comparing Merle Hodge's Crick Crack, Monkey and Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions

DUE: Friday, October 5th at 1600 hours

GOOD LUCK

SHAYNA'S MISSION LOG

Thursday, October 4th

3:45 PM - Depart from last scheduled class

3:45-5:00 - Do random things that amount to nothing of significance, attempting to banish the imminent paper from my mind

5:00 - Exactly 23 hours before the due date, I begin to consider possible topics

5:30 - Haven't come up with a workable topic yet, but it's time for dinner: maybe a full stomach will fuel my creativity

6:00 - Reluctantly return to work

6:15 - Ben stops by window to talk, a welcome interruption

6:45 - Resume work

7:00 - Recover my train of thought

7:05 - Get ready for intramural soccer game

7:30 - Arrive at soccer field with a grand total of two teammates

7:40-8:10 - Run around Kirkland/North attempting to recruit people to play, unsuccessfully

8:30 - Return to paper

8:45 - Panic because I hate comparison/contrast papers, I didn't take detailed notes on Nervous Conditions, my paper is not coming together cohesively, and I dont have an actual thesis yet

9:00 - Mom and Dad call. Spend 45 minutes ranting and raving about chemistry lab and about this paper, probably giving the impression that I'm going to switch my major to English and then flunk out

9:45 - Panic because it's 9:45, and cut the conversation abruptly short because of the sudden urgency of the paper

9:50 - Go to the library: maybe a change of environment will provide inspiration

10:15 - Seriously consider throwing the unforgivably loud members of a nearby discussion group out the window

10:15-11:15 - Get quality work done, create outlines. Sense of panic subsides as a possible theme for the paper emerges

11:30 - Celebrate triumph of outline creation by taking a break

11:50 - Sit at desk and minimize Microsoft Works: I hate staring at a blank computer screen; it means I haven't written anything yet

Midnight - Become inspired and take a break to write this

12:10 AM - Watch hypnotizing Pipes screen saver on computer

12:15 - Guiltily resume work

12:40 - Finish detailed outline; begin writing first draft, excited at how it's coming together

2:00 - Finish first draft, discouraged by how rambling and illogical it turned out. Let the editing begin!

2:01 AM - Decide to go to bed; editing will have to wait until tomorrow

 

Friday, October 5th

12:50 PM - Depart from last scheduled class

1:00-3:55 - Hardcore, ultrafocused, racing-the-clock work: every muscle tensed, mind working a mile a minute. Major frustration because I can't find the words to express my points effectively. Realize there is no way I'm getting this essay in on time.

4:00 - Listen to the fateful tolling of the chapel bell as I am only halfway between my second and third drafts

4:58 - Finish 3rd and final draft, still disastrously incoherent. Professor Gane's office is empty, dark, and locked; I leave the paper in her box with a note of apology.

5:02 - Haunted by memories of Mr. Bair deducting a full letter grade for lateness, I sink into depression because of the horribleness of the essay and the D that is sure to come

Bedtime - Banish the whole mess from my mind

 

Thursday, October 11th

2:25 PM - Dread going to English class

3:45 - Stomach does a macaco flip as she hands back the graded essays

3:46 - Heavenly sigh of relief as I learn I pulled off a B+!!!

4:00 PM - Regret procrastinating so much; vow to start the next paper earlier

 

MISSION SUCCESSFUL J

satan_is_a_penguin@hotmail.com