Who am I? I spent part of today revising my New Historical paper. My works cited page is over a page long and I honestly am questioning the identity of who even wrote this paper because it is also 6.5 pages long. But it is all me (except for the appropriately cited sources). I am not usually the person to pump out “long” papers (I am fully aware that 6 pages in not long in the world of English papers but it is long for me). The paper is still a little bit all over the place, but I do believe I have added substantial quotes that helped solidify the ideas and hone in on the focus. At times the paper was labeled as being too general, but I cannot bring myself to change these parts. What one reader may view as too general, I think it needs to be as is more so as an explanation.
Revision in general has been a tricky process, especially to write more than one revision on a paper. I have always been a *brace yourself* one and done writer. I never found it beneficial to revise. As it is said in Les Miserables “Why should I right this wrong when I have come so far and struggled for so long.” Over the course of this semester, I have righted my wrong of not revising papers and as a result I have come so far and struggled for so long (almost 15 weeks to be exact). As stated in previous blogs, I am nowhere near perfect when it comes to my writing, but the hard work and time I have put into these papers and revisions this semester have helped me improve.
As a future teacher, it is important that my students learn perseverance and that they have a growth mindset. Although it is hard to be positive when you are putting in so much time and effort into something that will seemingly never be finished, it is all the more important to stick to it in order to improve.
There is only two weeks left of the semester which means there is only two weeks left to finalize papers and finish organizing this website. I definitely relate to Chandra (pictured left) at this point in time. This is a time of panic and finding time for things that you really do not have time for (which usually means giving up precious sleep time). Oh well. That is the life of a college student.
I need to be efficient in the coming weeks. Most of all I need to be focused on the tasks at hand. I have written my to-do list for the remainder of the semester and quite honestly the majority of the list is taken up by tasks for this class. I do not know how I feel about that. I am putting so much time and effort into this class and it does not even pertain to my major.
Today I turned in a revision for my Psychoanalytic paper and received back comments on my New Historical paper. The assignment has also been handed out today for our final paper, the Reader Response. The goal is to revise my feminist paper one more time for Wednesday, turn in my Reader Response paper on Friday, and revise my New Historical paper for next week Monday. I just have to find the time among last minute meetings and work. My brain is going a thousand miles a minute and I feel like the Beatles “fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering where it will go” which is basically saying that my thoughts are jumbled and sometime soon I need to also untangle those so I can produce the best possible work over the next couple of weeks.
The end of the semester is often overwhelming in any college class, but in this class more than any I feel rushed to finish hundreds of tasks in a short amount of time. This is perhaps the most stressed I have felt about this class. Oh well. Hopefully I can keep my mind from wandering.
I turned in the first draft of my New Historical paper. It went okay. It is not my best work, but that is alright since it is only the first draft. It is quite choppy and I am not sure if my ideas flow together as well as they should. One of my English teachers in high school told me I could be a good writer if I could just organize my thoughts. This is something I still struggle with. I have all these ideas, it is just hard for me to weave them together and puke them out onto the page in a coherent fashion. With the first draft of this paper being turned in, however, I am reminded of how little time is left of the semester. I’m almost there. Almost there. The end is in sight.
Shouldn’t I be relieved that I am almost done with this class and college classes as a whole? I wish I were, but there is just so much to be done yet in the remaining 2.5 weeks. I always knew I would get to this ending point someday, but I never expected it to come so soon. Almost there. Almost there.
For our New Historical papers we were encouraged to go back and use apaper that we have already written and then add to them from a New Historical lense. This being said, I decided to go way back to a paper I wrote my senior year of high school and use it as the jumping off point for this paper. I have changed immensely since my time as a Galloping Ghost and it was rather obvious in revisiting this paper.
My senior year of high school I took a CAPP english class for college credit through UW Oshkosh. We read various novels and similar to this class wrote papers through specific literary lenses. I wrote about Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Edna’s identity. Through various editing mistakes (I repeated the same word twice more than once), choppy sentences, and stand alone quotes, I was able to see how much I have truly grown as a writer during my four years at St. Norbert College. I am quite embarrassed that I got such a good grade on the paper considering it was a class that I was taking for college credit. I even went and messaged my high school teacher and thanked him for all the terrible papers he has had to put up with over the years. His response is something that will stick with me as a future educator. He reminded me that the paper is not as bad as I think it is and that it is an important part of who I am as a writer as it shows my improvement. I am lucky enough to live in an age where I can go back and look at all of my papers from high school and college online in my google drive. I can look back and reflect on how far I have come and that is truly an amazing thing. I know I am not the best writer in the world but I have proof that I am better than I once was. I would hope that I can pass this onto my future students. I want to encourage them to keep their papers year after year, even if they just keep their papers from September and compare them to what they are writing in June. The physical proof that a writer can and will improve is inspiring.
After having this conversation with my former teacher, I went back and read through the paper from April of 2015 and was able to pick out some sentences of genius. While nowhere near perfect, there was something of value in this paper. For that very reason, I am able to take my research from 3.5 years ago and expand upon it. The proposal/outline I wrote for this paper was perhaps the easiest outline I have ever written. It is almost as if I am picking up the paper and revising years later. There is a lot of rearranging that needs to happen and even more topics to be added, but it all seems worth it and I am actually a little bit excited to begin writing this paper.
Post Malone poses the question “You probably think you are better now” and to that I respond with a resounding OF COURSE. We as human beings are always improving, always getting better. Even as a non-english major/minor I have improved immensely in my writing. If I can get better, anyone can.