Paper Writing

12:59 AM

Oof, the power cord does not go into the audio jack. Also, my pen does not go into my boyfriend's nose when I'm unsuccessfully trying to wake him up. Nor into his ear, either. (My roommate already shoved me for this crime. Whaaat? He needed to read eighteen research papers before 8 AM tomorrow!)

Today I sobbed really hard. Really, really hard. The vehemence of it shocked me. And as I sat there sobbing, I suddenly realized, "OH NO I'M WEARING MAKEUP." I pulled my hands away and jumped in front of the mirror. Perfect half-moons of smeared mascara ringed my lower lid.

"Well," said the boyfriend, "your makeup...looked good...before."

You know, normally I schedule my emotional days so that I can plan not to wear makeup. And sometimes I forget and end up depleting my boyfriend's stash of tissues.

Wait, I'm writing a paper, not philosophizing in my head about the best time to wear makeup or the success rate of waking sleeping college students via mild violence. Right, back to the paper. I procrastinate so badly at the end of the semester that it feels like a success if I spend 80% of the time on Facebook and 40% on the paper. Okay, 10%. I MEAN 20%! I lost basic addition skills my senior year of high school. (Guys, I got on the longest strugglebus ever during consumer math. Consumer math! Why is writing out tax forms for Rapunzel and Flynn Rider so difficult?)

Feels like a success. That's key. Because that fleeting feeling dissipates when you realize that three of the thirteen hours before your paper is due just flew away like the anger management of Facebook commenters. . .and you're still only halfway there. If one-third of the way counts as halfway there. (It's that math thing again.)

I set a timer for an hour and pretended I was sitting in a classroom with a blue book, a time limit, and a professor all keeping my focus zeroed in on the paper I had to scrawl out hey, presto. No Facebook, no roomie chats, no answering texts in that hour. Ready set go.

Discovery 1: You can get five pages written in two hours.

Discovery 2: I write five pages of terrible prose in two hours.

Yes, I reached the appropriate page count. But only because in one paragraph I repeated the same idea three times: Thus we see that Dorian Gray did this, because Dorian Gray did this. And did I mention Dorian Gray did this?

And then the rest of the paragraphs contained such abstract ideas and connections that went way beyond fully-conscious-and-rested Bailey's brain.

Did C. S. Lewis pull all-nighters writing college papers? I hope he wrote bad papers in college -- just because I have this theory that academia encourages bad paper writing, intimidates the style right out of you. I have plenty of research papers written by academics to prove this theory: academia = bad papers. And mine too. Plenty of my own papers to prove it. But if you escape the educational system, you can come out and write classics that other people write bad papers on. That's what I hope Lewis did so that I can hope that's what I'll do.

Oh. It's almost 1 AM. Well, whether Lewis pulled all-nighters or not, I'm certainly not going to sacrifice sleep for better punctuation. Bedtime. It's just a draft, anyway. All's at stake is my pride and entire identity as an academic writer. NBD.

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  1. Speaking of Rapunzel...


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