Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ah, back to the good old stuff

Community college is funny. The teaching style is very nostalgic. Very very nostalgic. It's like being put back in 8th grade English. We have to write papers that are college length, but on one of the 4 topics she gives us, with a structure matching her rubric, with a clearly identifiable thesis and all but labeled evidence. MLA format is about a tenth of the grade, and god help you if you use passive voice. Past the papers, she teaches us like we just left elementary school and have never seen the written language.

Maybe a short anecdote will emphasize my point, as I learned today in class. She's really big on peer review. You know, 3 classmates help you edit your paper so it doesn't suck as much. But she has a rubric for peer review. Beside the point, sorry. We had one of these peer review days, and by the end of it, I felt much more confident about my own paper, mostly by reading three others, but also by the comments left on my own paper:

I've put this on my facebook and everything; I just can't get enough of it. It just epitomizes community college to the fullest. More accurately the typical community college student. Firstly, let's analyze the physical aspects of this masterpiece of a comment. Firstly and most noticeable is the wrong use of 'to', in place of 'too'. As it is written, it appears to be either a direction, or a delivery to Mr. Long. If it is indeed a direction, they failed to tell me where exactly 'long' is, so that I can take my sentence there to get it fixed. Perhaps Long Island, as there are a few publishing companies there that can surely help me. Next, we see the handwriting itself. I can't rag on this too much, as mine is perfectly bad as well. It would seem they haven't taken the time to draw a straight line on their arrow, and in a fourth of an inch have managed to make it wave. Kudos to them, though, as they have spelled "sentence" correctly, as my dad pointed out earlier today. I suppose I wouldn't be surprised at this point for a 'sentense' or 'sintense'. Maybe even 'sin tense'. Maybe that's a stretch. Maybe not. After seeing the misspelling and bad handwriting, we must next delve deeper into the actual content of this peer's note. The sentence in question here was as such:

Knowing his audience, and the accepted mindset, he knew that for them to take him seriously, he would have to present his argument with a logical cool-headed view, and use metaphors to effectively communicate to the average American.
 Now, I will admit, I use commas in excess. This does not make them unnecessary though. Each qualifying phrase stuck between commas has its purpose and is much needed to complete the thought I was getting across. When this individual claimed my sentence was "to long," I will assume he is referring to the length of my sentence, as I don't know a Mr. Long. Yes, it is perhaps a lengthy, 38 word sentence. However, my friendly classmate, the underlying message within the sentence is easy enough to understand - to be taken seriously he needed logic and simple metaphors. But if I say just that, would not the tone of the sentence be lost? Would the true meaning of the statement remain? Could I continue the essay with my audience only knowing half of the story? No, friend, each of these 38 words serves a purpose, and I will write how I damn well please. I only need a C to transfer the credit to Baylor.

(I will take a moment to be bitter. Let me make this sentence 'to long', just for you, student without a high school degree. Knowing his audience of average American people, mainly males, and the accepted mindset of the time period that was pro-America and the American government, with little margin for Anarchy, Henry David Thoreau, who changed his name from David Henry Thoreau, knew that for those American people to take him seriously, he would have to present his argument against the government, and in fact the very opposite of most average Americans' basic values, with a logically planned and cool-headed view, all the while using easy to understand, simple metaphors that most Americans could grasp easily to effectively communicate to those people. There, just for you, a 100 word sentence. I typed this into word and it told me my sentence was long and I should consider revising it. No, it didn't tell me that with my original. I checked. Go fuck yourself.)

Now, referring to the title of this post, you may assume I was referencing the nostalgia of middle school English classes. I was not. It was in fact a reference to using Blogger as a means of procrastination, as I should be working on that damn outline for the second essay right now. It's due in about 14 hours, but I have to sleep and go to class between now and then, at very least, and I am wide awake right now due to excessive amounts of Dr Pepper and Pibb. The Pibb is a sad excuse for Dr Pepper and is a Coca Cola product, which is sadly all the movie theatre serves. I went to Whataburger with a friend after work and conveniently refilled my cup with proper fluids.

Okay, that back there was kinda a lie. I'm not wide awake. I'm balls tired, but there's no way I'll be going to sleep in the next hour.. and given that it's 2:16 currently, I should probably either work on the paper or do my best to sleep, then wake up and keep going before class.

This class is at noon. I was late yesterday because I slept until 11:59. No joke. Work and fun has fucked up my sleeping schedule to the point where I find it hard to fall asleep if it's not in the 3 o'clock hour or later, and then I sleep until 6:30, let my puppy out because he's whiny and needy and has a full bladder and wants breakfast. Silly dog, what do you expect? Food? Psh. Then I go back to sleep for another 5 hours. Eight interrupted hours of sleep isn't quite the same as eight hours of sleep. In any case, I need to go and stop talking about sleeping and get to it.

This post is over a 1000 words, Professor. Do I get an A?

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