Friday, December 16, 2011

My Teacher Loved It!

As I mentioned in the previous article, I was not initially satisfied with my final English project. However, to make something of the lemon of an essay I had produced, I posted it here and started adding some punctuating illustrations. I am a very visual person ;P While I may make it look effortless, finding pictures to match what you type isn't all that easy; but I keep trying because I do love me some lemonade!

I then emailed my teacher and spilled my guts about what happened. Here is what I told her:

Hi [wonderful and encouraging English teacher],

Hope you're doing well and enjoying everyone's Essay 3.

I had another "interesting" experience with this assignment, but I still feel as though my writing and other student-skills have grown considerably this semester. I more closely met the requirements of this essay compared to Essay 1 and I think I even experienced less stress during the arduous process (that I created) as well.

I'm a procrastinating perfectionist that loves to sequester myself and go into "tortured writer" mode. All of these personality traits align with being a hoarder or having OCD, as I learned during the course of researching and writing this paper. I am more likely closer to the OCD side of the spectrum, as true compulsive hoarders notoriously have very poor insight.

However, being that I'm not a famous, if not quirky, professional writer- indulged by their publishing company- but instead a community college student with deadlines, I am not satisfied with the essay I turned in.

While I took the entire day off from work yesterday and had devoted two nearly entire weekends to writing Essay 3, I did most of the actual writing the last 3 hours before I turned it in at 11:57 pm. Though I borrowed actual books from the actual library and reviewed them, I forgot to include quotes from the print sources in my essay. The last two pages were basically "winged" and filled up with yet unused quotes from my hoard of sources; I think I wrote those in less than an hour. too.

I will be proud to call this class the "Hardest (fill in the letter grade) I Ever Earned" and thank you, once more, for being a great teacher :D


She is great and wrote back this message:

Thank you for your honest, sincere note, Holly. Besides being one of the most intelligent students I have EVER worked with, I think the thing I like most about you is your real honesty. It is as if I know you and we have never met. Like pen-pals in a previous century. :)

While I am not exactly the same way in terms of procrastination, I have suffered horribly because of perfectionism in almost every realm of my life and since I could remember (even as a 1st grader, etc.) At Berkeley, with the increased pressure and competition from other perfectionists, I almost gave myself a heart-attack I think. In fact, one day, I literally keeled over in a lecture hall. I'm not kidding.

My partner who is amazing, intelligent, artistic, and perhaps the best writer and thinker I have ever known suffers from EXACTLY what you are saying. In fact, he and I had a huge talk about it last night because he was penalized from work severely from it. (A writing/researching/teaching task) He is older than both of us and has tried everything.

I'm afraid, my dear, that when you are gifted in the way you obviously are, you are also given an intense hurdle most do not have to deal with. I'm not religious, but what's that quote? "God gives, but God takes" or something like that.

In my opinion, making yourself accountable to someone (like make meetings with an instructor before the paper is due, saying you will take a hard copy draft) and other behavioral techniques may be able to help you. Just, please, don't be too hard on yourself. Promise?

[wonderful and encouraging English teacher]

Yes, I promise and even "pinky swear" it :)

She is so cool! Well, by then I had finished my photo essay and was somewhat pleased with the results. I've taken two classes with my teacher during the past six months and I've also shared with her my blogs; it's like an automatic response to send to her whatever I've typed ;D I love the feedback she gives, too. Anyhow, I answered her message and included a link to the Essay 3 photo version. Here is what I sent:

Hi [wonderful and encouraging English teacher],

Thank you for your wonderful correspondence and scholarly advice :) I will be taking Speech 101 next semester, so I'm sure it will come in handy. And I totally promise not to be so hard on myself!

If you'd like to share my paper with your partner, please feel free! In fact, the link below is a visual representation of my essay :)


She replied with this:

Oh my goodness, Holly! I think what you have here is the future of education, writing, and technology integrated into the classroom. In fact, how would you feel if I set up an assignment using this as an alternative/example in future courses to come? I am blown away and WILL share this with my guy.

[wonderful and encouraging English teacher]

Not to brag [I'm about to totally brag] but this is like the second time she's asked to use my work as an example for future students. Oh and I got A's in both of my classes...again!

~~breathes on fingernails and brushes them on my lapel*~~

*realizes how fortunate I am to have such a compassionate and open-minded instructor


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