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Apr. 28th, 2001 | 11:57 pm
mood: aggravatedaggravated
music: Bett Midler -- Shiver Me Timbers

Crissy has removed me from her friends list. My feelings are hurt.

And with that out of the way...

I have been obsessively downloading 80s songs for some reason. I think it's because I found (through nisa's livejournal) a site with an 80s music chart and in reading it, I recognized a lot of songs and artists that I actually like very very much (Phil Collins, Journey, etc.) and in my eternal wish for new music on my computer, I have begun to download things. Of course, it also helped that I couldn't find any of the songs that I wanted from 42nd Street.

Two new cast recordings I want: Jane Eyre Toronto Cast and 42nd Street 2001 Broadway Revival Cast. I am still in awe of that show... and it was yesterday that I saw it. Wow. Just wow.

I want to tap dance now.

Oh, and I have been dubbed a Theatre Geek. This makes me proud. Because it is a special thing to be. Really. I promise.

I feel like I am very boring. My writing teacher has shattered my confidence in my writing. She pointed out that she wanted to see my thinking more in my essays and have them be more random... that essays should be as Ozick said a "stroll through a writer's mazy mind." But what if the writer's mind is not mazy? What if the writer is a person who is always logical when writing about intellectual things. My statements are always therefore statements. My thoughts are that way... I don't think on one topic and then think on some other randomly related topic and find very tenuous connections between the two. Apparently, though, I am supposed to be doing this.

My writing teacher is teaching a fish to fly without giving her wings.

But she, of course, thinks she is teaching us to combine writing styles. Which, I suppose she is... but my combination of the two leans more toward the random in that it is not an introduction which lays out the structure of the essay, says what it is going to say, and then reiterates what it says. It starts in one place and ends up in another places, and yes, there is a logical, flow - chart like progression between the starting point and the ending point, but that is how I think. I don't think in circles and I don't think in webs and I don't think in trees. I think linearly, and that is not good enough.

It was a frustrating conference. Because I didn't and still don't (hence the reason I am repeating myself) know how to tell her that she is telling me that she wants to see my thinking but that the way in which I think is wrong. Because if she wants to see my thinking but wants to see it be random, then she is asking me to do something that is impossible.

I am a believer that many things are nurtured, but some things are nature. Whether a person is logical or random is innate. Writing in a random way is not learning a new style of writing. It is not learning a new method of doing something I already know how to do. It is changing my entire way of thinking. It is changing the way I am innately. I CAN NOT DO IT. I suppose that saying I can't won't help me any, but, c'est la guerre.

I am tempted to write my essay the way I always write my essays, make sure the paragraphs fit neatly onto separate pages, keep first and last and take the middle pages and purposely put them out of order. Then, when I get a poor grade say "well I tried to be random. That is what you wanted is it not? Therefore, I deserve and A on this essay." Or else say something to the effect of "well I could put it in the proper order for you and then I'd get my standard B+ because you will not find it random enough. So I figured if I confused the order of my pages, I had a better shot at getting to what you want. But that is sarcastic and mean and rebellious, so I will not do that. I will do my best work. I will get a B+. I will be very angry and send my teacher a hate-letter telling her that she is being ridiculous and stupid by insisting that I do the impossible and that I deserved a better grade and will forever dislike her for doing this to me.

By the way, who ever said that reflection and thinking had to be random? Why is it again that an essay can't reflect and also be logical? I cannot understand this. I absolutely cannot.

I believe I have discovered something about myself in all of this. When given any task, regardless of whether it is random or sequential, I make it sequential. I take a random learning style task and find a way to break it down into its parts for myself and put it back together in a way that makes me then be able to complete the task. I have always been a logical sequential person. I have also, believe it or not, been a person who does not use extra words and infromation just to use it. I value brevity in what I read and what I write. Because the shorter something is, the more likely it is to make me think. And that, I believe is what I do in my writing. I want people to think, not about the idea in an essay, but about the implications of that idea. I don't want people to spend 20 minutes in a writing class discussing what my idea might have been, what I might have been trying to say (as we do so often in my class), but instead discussing the implications of that idea. If I write an essay about something having an "essence" and how to get to that essence, I want people to be thinking about what is the "right" essence of something and how do we know that it is right? The unanswered questions in my essays are implicit. I do not write about them because I want others to think about them.

I think I realized this in the second essay that I wrote and the feedback I got on it. On the second draft, the comments from my teacher and the comments from a peer (or perhaps it was the first draft. Either way.) were nearly identical, and were along the lines of a long list of questions. At first, I thought it was just because they were on particularly the same wavelength, but as I thought about it more, perhaps that is my skill as a writer. I raise questions. I think deeply and I believe that thought shows. But, at the same time, I do not put extraneous thought into my essays because if I did, I would, given my nature, find it necessary to answer any of the questions I brought up in this thought. And if I did that, then my essays would be far too long to be interesting.

It is mathematically impossible for me to get an A in the course, and an A is what I deserve. Therefore I am very spiteful and angry and have reached shutdown mode where it is an exercise in self-discipline to write this last essay at all. I feel myself caving in. I feel myself being hopeless and lost because I know I cannot succeed. I cannot, no matter how hard I try, get an A because the way I think is wrong. Since I gauge a fair amount of my self worth on my thoughts, I am feeling much like a failure as a human being.

And by the way, how can she say my writing is great and still give it a B+? A B+ is not a grade that signifies great work. Not to mention that there are no notes as to how to revise it, how to make it better, how to get an A.

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Comments {4}

(no subject)

from: ex_malkmus251
date: Apr. 30th, 2001 01:58 pm (UTC)
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"And by the way, how can she say my writing is great and still give it a B+? A B+ is not a grade that signifies great work. Not to mention that there are no notes as to how to revise it, how to make it better, how to get an A."

i totally understand how you feel. in one class i have i got an 86 on the first paper, and on the second she said "this one is so much better" and gave me an 88. wtf?!

don't feel so bad. you've talked about your grades before and honestly, you do so much better than the majority of freshmen i know!!! you are a really good student, and a good writer. don't be so hard on yourself!!

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Liz

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from: stellae
date: Apr. 30th, 2001 02:10 pm (UTC)
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Thank you. I try not to worry so much about my grades... but I have this bad habit of being obsessive about it. Ah, the life of a pre-med. (I often think that if I weren't pre-med, I would not care quite so much... but that's okay.)

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(no subject)

from: ex_malkmus251
date: Apr. 30th, 2001 02:39 pm (UTC)
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i think you're doing the premed thing in such an interesting way...with the literature double major too, not just science. i meet so many completely science-type premed people..it would drive me insane to take ALL science, all the time! i think that will give you such a better perspective on things. might make you a little crazy, sure, but still it gives you a good perspective =) i admire that!!

haha, i remember seeing premed people in my physics lab when i went to BU. they were crazy. they would ask the tf's (teaching assistants really) how to do the lab, and they were psycho about always getting a's. it's like caffeine flowed through their veins instead of blood =)

do you have that half tuition honors scholarship? i was just wondering, cause my boyfriend was offered that at nyu and he's thinking about going back there..but he wasn't sure if he'd be able to get it again.

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Liz

Re:

from: stellae
date: Apr. 30th, 2001 02:43 pm (UTC)
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It's not quite half-tuition anymore... it's 11,000 a year (between what comes straight from NYU and what comes from the National Merit people) as an honors scholar, though, which I certainly can't complain about it and is a lot more than any other school offered me. :-)

I have no idea what NYU's policy about still providing scholarships to people who got it but then didn't accept the admission offer. But, should your boyfriend go for it, best of luck to him!

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