In Which the Week Hunted, Stalked, and Eventually Ate Me

Exciting news: another generation has been added to the family. My cousin had her baby on Thursday, and we all breath a sigh of relief that all is as it should be. I can’t wait to go see her this weekend!

That, unfortunately, is about the only thing I have to look forward to this week. I had a presentation today (it went alarmingly well), I have to collect data for an hour tomorrrow, do a take-home midterm between Thursday and Tuesday, do a language and gender project over the weekend, come up with a topic for a bilingualism term paper, flesh out what I’m doing for a final project in language and gender, find relevant sources for said project, act as a subject for a phonology project for an hour on Monday, AND keep up my workout schedule of an hour a day, four days a week. Is that the world’s smallest violin I hear playing a dirge for me? Yay!

But the thing I’m least looking forward to is rewriting an essay for a class. Now, this essay was due a month ago. I wrote my little heart out for it. Granted, it was during midterms week, so I only wrote my heart out for two days, but still, I was happy at my creatively arranged verbal diarrhea. Basically I tested a concept for organizing language against real data. Now, we had spent an entire lecture on this concept, and the professor mentioned that the manuscript that it was based on had not yet been published, but that she knew the author and was familiar enough with it to lecture on it. So I wrote my essay using the terminology and conceptual organization she had laid out. But today I got my essay back and halfway down the second page, she wrote “I’m stopping here. You need to have read the article because you’re misusing technical terms….” Shit.

So I go up to her after class and ask when she would like to see me, and we made a date. She went on to ask if I understood the problem, which I said I sort of did. She said that I had to read the original article. I said I can’t read it cause it’s not published. She said, well, you still need to read it. I replied, “I CAN’T READ SOMETHING THAT ISN’T IN PRINT; MY MIDDLE NAME IS NOT GOD.” Or words to that effect. She says “well, I have the manuscript.” Well, that’s good to know. It would have been even better to know a month ago when I was writing the essay, or perhaps a month and a half ago when she lectured on the topic. Or maybe even in the intervening month that she’s had my essay and knew I would have to rework it. Brilliant. I love public universitites. And this is after my presentation went so smashingly well in the same class. When something like that happens you really have to sit back and think. What went wrong here? Probably I should have asked her for more info if I was to be writing a paper. I’ll agree to split the difference of blame. I should have asked; she shouldn’t have witheld vital info. But one incident in which I won’t split the blame is high school calculus. I came dangerously close to failing calculus in high school. For no good reason. I tutored half the class, but somehow the tests made me fall on my face. I asked for help, didn’t get any. Begged for help, didn’t get any. Had to explain to Georgetown why I did so bad in calculus and why they shouldn’t de-admit me (I politely told them to fuck off). When I aced calc I, calc II and multivariable calculus AT GEORGETOWN, I wanted to run back to my high school and wave my report card in his and the entire department’s face. That and leave a steaming pile of shit on his desk. Let this be a lesson to you laddies. Never give an Irishman a reason to hold a grudge.

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