Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Essay of Doom

So...we had to take an essay. An in-class essay (not this week or anything...this was a while ago, but it still gives me nightmares. Kinda.)

Taking an in-class essay is bad enough. The time limit, the clock behind your head so you can't actually see how much time you have left without the extreme effort of craning your neck and trying not to look like you're checking out anyone else in the room because you're actually just looking at the clock, the stress of forgetting until halfway through the essay that you're only allowed to use black ink (panic!), the AP-test-level question, having to analyze a poem you've never seen before in your life...the list goes on. But my class...always takes them when we have a sub. Like, pretty much unfailingly always. I can't even remember taking one in-class essay when the teacher was there. So you can't ask the teacher for help (not that you would anyway, he'd probably take points off or something equally sinister, maybe just point and laugh (joking (kinda))).

So I'm sitting there, trying to analyze a Keats poem. It was pretty. But really, some poems don't need to be analyzed. Some should just be left in their native environments, free to skip about merrily and bring joy or meaning to people's lives. (The ones I would love to just leave alone are mainly the ones that I have to write about. No correlation whatsoever, I'm sure...) This analysis is made somewhat difficult by the fact that, halfway through the essay, there is this snapping noise. A snipping, almost. Sharp, familiar...I realize what it is. The subsitute is clipping his fingernails. A great pastime, I myself have clipped my fingernails many times and always found it enjoyable...but NOT during a timed ESSAY! What the heck? I shake my head, trying to focus. Diction, syntax, literary elements, specific examples, blah blah blah...then another sound comes into play.

The walls at my school vary in material. Some are made out of plaster or whatever most walls are made out of. Those are the ones you can't put posters on or you'll get eaten or given detention or some dire consequence, who knows. Just don't do it. Some are made out of brick and stuff. And some are...metal. Metal's cool. It's sturdy, you can hang magnetic poetry on the walls (I myself have created a fairly-nonsensical-due-to-lack-of-available-words haiku or two in my English room; for a while the magnetic poetry was directly behind my desk), it's...metallic...and easily painted that color of all colors...beige. But most of all? Metal walls are THIN! Sometimes you can hear through them! Normally this is not a problem...but we were completely silent, except for the scribbling of pens and the scratching-out of paragraphs (mostly me)...and we're right next door to the Health room...the teacher of which was giving a very loud lecture on STDs.

This did not go well with the essay. At all.

Most of the room, once they realize what the other room is discussing (we've all had that class--it's pretty hard to forget), bursts into extremely-quiet-and-trying-to-suppress-altogether-because-we're-running-out-of-time giggles, then refocuses on their page. Which gets harder to do, focus I mean, as the lecture continues, ebbing and returning to full volume. Finally (we hope) it stops altogether...until the acting-stuff-out part comes. You can tell it's that portion because the male teacher is (for some, unknown reason) pretending to sob like a girl. Who the heck knows.

I got a 6.5 out of 9 on that essay. Somehow, I feel it might be easier if we just took essays in a locked room...with thick walls...without any teachers nearby. But, then, where's the motivation to take the essay at all? More importantly...does it matter?

But...I digress. Or rather, I never actually started on WFTH to digress from them. My apologies.

Today's WFTH are from the Rather Duh-Inspiring category. My comments are in italics. Enjoy! :D

"So it's a pretty good probability, if you take a black-haired person, that they will have brown hair." If by 'pretty good' you mean 'zero.' I hate to say it, folks...but this was a math teacher.

"No quieting! I mean no talking!" I was! I mean, I wasn't!

Person 1: "My brother cheered for OSU. I had nachos at the game!"
Person 2: "I'm sure those are related."
Person 1: "Well, I'm related to my brother." Um. Wow.

"Songs are in quotation points." And this is an excitement mark! ! ! ! Actually, four of them. At least, that's what I learned in kindergarten. Also, that White-Out was known as 'boo-boo tape.' This appears to be a teacher of similar teaching styles...or something.


Eve S. D'ropper said...

Wow. That's a lot longer than it looked when I was typing it. Sorry everyone! Feel free to skip that part, as usual! :D

Blake said...

I feel your essay pain. I hate those timed essays. The first time I took one, it was before school and there were these two chicks talking loudly in front of me. I don't think they took the hint from the death glares I gave them every twelve seconds.

Anonymous said...

Umm... Wow, Eve... that... that sounds horrific. Did that actually happen?? I hate timed essays. They're just terrible.

Sara ;)

Eve S. D'ropper said...

I'm sorry, Blake. That majorly stinks.
Sara...yep. Pretty soul-scarring. They really are. I think we should make a Ban Timed Essays petition. Anyone? XD

Anonymous said...

I'd sign THAT petition! :D
Sara :)

Eve S. D'ropper said...

Why, thank you! :D

Blake said...

I would also sign that petition.

Eve S. D'ropper said...

I appreciate the support coming in from all sides! :D