College Basic Writing- "The Essay That Never Was"

Topics: Writing, Full-time, Literacy Pages: 10 (4268 words) Published: March 13, 2013
Part 1- The Inspiration
I once wrote a 5 page report in 1 hour and 30 minutes. The report was on the physics of discuss throwing, I was in the 10th grade, and the assignment was worth 20% of our grade. It was to be collected Monday, so our teacher assigned Friday as a free day to work on our paper. When Mr. Z told us to begin working, the sound of shifting papers filled the room. I remember being amazed to realize that more than half the class had detailed outlines and rough drafts already written! Talk about some over achievers. I thought I was doing well to already know the subject of my report. Why would I waste my time drafting a paper that wasn’t even due till after the weekend? My friend, and fellow procrastinator, Evan gave me a puzzled look from across the room to signal that he was just as shocked as me. We both knew that we would enjoy our weekend and worry about the report Sunday. I went through the weekend without a care. Sure enough, when Sunday came around I sat down and knocked that bad boy out in no time at all. Was it going to be up for the Pulitzer Prize? Not a chance, but it was definitely good enough for me to turn in. I was only reassured on my work quality when grades came back and I received a B+. I have never been the kid to study for an exam 2 weeks in advance, or to write an upcoming paper just because I had some free time. I put things off until the last minute, and 9 out of 10 times I find a way to pull something off. Unfortunately, that 1 time out of 10 happened to be when I sat down to write a paper about literacy. A late start only accentuated other problems that I had with the assignment. It did not take long for me to realize that this was not just another cookie cutter paper. This assignment required some depth and meaning, which aren’t always easy to conjure up on the spot. As every hour closer to turn in time came and went, my thoughts became clouded and panicked, the uneasy feeling in my stomach grew, and I started to force more and more into an already cluttered paper. I now know how a criminal who starts out doing petty crimes ends up becoming a murderer. Once you start out doing something bad, it gets easier to keep going. By the time I realized that half of what I was writing was complete trash, I was in too deep to turn around. That’s probably how the murderer felt right before he stabbed somebody in the chest. Now I didn’t stab anybody, but I felt like a criminal turning in this creation. I was not sure if I was more relieved to have something finished, or embarrassed to call it finished. Either way I knew that it was not the last time I would have to deal with this assignment. The weekend served as a buffer between turning the project in and beginning to start the long and strenuous process of revising. I knew that it was only a rough draft, but I really felt remedial as I turned in a lime green poster board, with arrows and chicken scratch surrounding the papers. I kept thinking at least it appears like I have some kind of depth in my project. Little does everyone know that what lies on those glued papers is 9 pages of rambling and confused stories. As the weekend came to an end, I was over worrying about what I turned in, and on to thinking about what I could take from the paper. After all I could not have spent an entire night (and I do mean entire night) of working on this paper without have written anything of value. I was on the verge of scrapping everything when I came to the conference with my teacher. Seeing the lime green abomination unraveled in front of my eyes was torture. The cheap stick glue I used to plaster each sheet onto it had worn off, so the papers laid hanging. The entire board was falling to pieces; almost symbolically telling me it was time to throw it all away. The beginning of the conference was more of me defensively justifying some of the weird quirks my project processed (Random cursing, handwritten comments, the ugly poster). After I shut up...
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