Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Big Fat Happy Endcap to Fall Semester

I go to college, which isn't the most encouraging place to be. If you want to be happy, you have to make yourself happy, which I am still grudgingly learning. Mr. Downs isn't there to tease you mercilessly and kick you out of class for talking too much while simultaneously patting you on the head and telling you it's because you're charming along with how brilliant you are. Professors aren't exactly generous with thoughtful comments. In fact, it's the last thing on most of their minds, which makes getting a good one like finding twenty bucks in your coat pocket, or getting a manicure, or finding out a class is canceled and you have an hour of free time.
My British lit professor gave us our last paper back yesterday when I went to take my final. I did not want this paper back. I didn't even want to LOOK at it. He's a pretty fair grader, and I had put this paper off until the last second. The LAST second. Two hours before class. Denny's had of COURSE taken priority the night before, which caused me to sleep in the morning of. It was also one of those really, really obscure assignments--I was fairly sure I had no idea what I was talking about for the entire four pages. I didn't even remember making a comprehensive point throughout the entire thing. What I did remember thinking was that I had filled this paper to overflowing with itchy amounts of adjectives, which this professor passionately preaches against whenever we discuss paper formatting in class. I was already lost, a goner, and I was going to be happy with the 70% I knew I barely deserved: C for Competent.....barely.
I finished my final and strolled up to the front of the classroom. I flipped quickly through the alphabetized stack of papers, trying to get out of there as quickly as possible. I pulled mine out. In blue ballpoint at the top was scribbled


The grade alone was enough to thrill me, because I've never seen this guy give anyone higher than a 94 on any written assignment. I went through each page, insides jumping at notes like "Great examples" and just plain "Great!"s as well as a lot of check marks, each of which meant I made a strong, valid point--and then, I got to the bottom of the paper, where he had written me a short note:

"I'd like to see more cultural work, but I enjoy your wit and your selectivity in surveying the various texts. I get the impression that you had to write this in a hurry, but you (YOU WAS UNDERLINED!!!!) get by on

sheer talent."

WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! *Dances around vigorouslyAlso finals are over. *Shakes fistHow delightful. I hardly know what to do with myself.


lauh-ren said...

hahaha i love when that happens. that's me with art history.

Matthew said...

I feel ya. it's always great getting a rather decent grade when you know really just made up a bunch of total BS. Nice job!

Bark said...

I'm SO happy for you, haha

Emma said...

gosh i want to read your paper. ps i had a similar comment on my canon essay because i got a bit side-tracked and didn't really follow the assignment and just handed him a well-written essay on not the assigned topic. then he told mine was one of the BEST in the class and said he didn't know what to do with the paper. but gave me a 90. ha ha, love him, and love teachers that reward for cheek

Casey T. said...

you and your damn high ACT score

Elder Roxas said...

Wow, I want professors to leave me wonderful notes like that!!!

(...Then again, o to be sixteen again so that Downs can pat me on my head and call me charming and brilliant...)

What was your paper on?