spectating participant

April 20, 2006

on mastering essay discourse

Filed under: school, life — suzanne henderson @ 3:47 pm

I had a midterm paper that was turned in late — I’m sure I mentioned it. I agonized over this paper trying to get the mental ball rolling and get in the game of getting it finished. I turned in a good paper even though I thought that I could have certainly done more and taken all the ideas another step further to really dig into the subject matter.

In class, we were going over our midterms — a continuation from Tuesday’s discussion that I missed thanks to the broken down car. She asked me to read an “exemplary ” answer that I’d written to the class. This ‘answer’ was a 5 page essay and I really hate reading aloud. Then, within the first couple paragraphs, she interrupts to expand on the very discourse of essay writing, the fact that a paper is a discourse and a form of communication and speaking. She goes on to say that I’ve clearly mastered the art of essay writing discourse in how I’ve pulled together my thoughts and brought in outside dialogue and evidence to support my position. Then, I was allowed to go back to reading…

Now, I struggled with this paper. I agonized over this paper. I had a hard time getting this paper into words and paragraphs. So, I must say that I was absolutely ecstatic, in the most understated way since people were clearly watching me, about this very high form of praise. To be commended on mastering discourse in a class that is ALL about discourse really felt great. Plus, it meant that this paper was as good as I wanted it to be.

I’m so excited that I’ll ignore Rob’s comment that mastering “essay discourse” is really just mastering “bs” since that is all writing essays is really about. Man — I applied a lot of theoretical concepts to make my point and filled the paper with very little ‘bs’. Also, I got a good ego boost in hearing that one of my in-class essay answers was read aloud on Tuesday and my peers thought I did a great job there too.

I really need this kind of encouragement to help prop up the weight school has been pressing down on me.