Succeeding and Struggling

My life is in a state of turmoil between my two courses for now. So far, I have a perfect score in my Technical Writing course and have not received a single bit of feedback for my Modern Novel course. I’m holding on to the hope that my prof will give us something back tonight about last week’s paper, because I have to turn in 2 papers tonight and 2 more next week.

Tech Writing is going as smoothly as one can imagine. After getting some sense from the others after week 2 that they would rather participate in the discussion on the work than hear what I have to say about it (well, they were being too quiet and saying dumb things), I decided that I would be quiet this week.

That plan lasted all of about 5 minutes before the instructor began calling on me to get my “expert working student” opinion on some things he was going over for life-application stuff involving the techniques learned in tech writing. “Great, so much for that plan.”

After doing an in-class exercise to optimize two paragraphs that were poorly constructed in 1/8 of the required time and surfing the Internet for 40 minutes, I discovered that my product was still 22 words longer than the next longest revision. I decided to keep my trap shut since I didn’t think it was up to snuff, but he called on me anyway. I declared it to be the longest revision in the class and read it. He paused, asked me to read it again, paused, called it “excellent” and declared me the winner for keeping the flavor, tone, and fully precise meaning of the original, but still decreasing it by over 150 words. Man… what an evening.

The rest of class, we went over people’s cover letters from the assignment. Every time I was quiet for a while, he’d ask me what I was thinking because I was being quiet. To top things off, he saved my cover letter for last. After reading it and declaring it good, someone took objection to my first sentence:

“I would like to thank you for the opportunity to present my work experience and skills for your recent opening for Lead Designer.”

After attempting to change it around for 10 minutes, they gave up. Then for the next sentence; same problem. I eventually offered a slightly better rendition of the first sentence, but I don’t like it as much, despite the overusage of the word “for” in the original. The instuctor then made matters worse for me by saying, “The problem we are having here is that Jesse is so good at what he does, it seems wrong to change his work just for the sake of changing it, because it can’t really be improved upon.” — Where is the nearest rock to hide under? I’ll be the first to admit that I like to get praise like that — look what I’m doing now by posting this story for all to see — but I don’t like to get it when others are there to look at me and see my reaction to such praise. I’m getting bashful just typing that last sentence. Go figure.

On to my lit class. The text is garbage. Week 2’s assignment was to do a Reader Response critique to two terrible works. This is the highlight of my scathing comments, that thankfully did contain some actual insight in the end:

“At this point, my first thought was that this story is total garbage with no redeeming value. I was confused why I must be subjected to this abhorrent material just in order to get a piece of paper to present to my employer to claim that I am now educated. If this is what being educated is all about, I want nothing to do with it.”

It is fair to note, that I did remove that block already, but it sure would feel good to turn that in.

  • http://www.babydish.blogspot.com Charis

    So you are THAT guy in class 🙂 Sounds like you’ve got the A all wrapped up in Technical Writing! Way to go. I must say that you are an excellent writer and I enjoy reading your material.

  • http://www.babydish.blogspot.com Charis

    So you are THAT guy in class 🙂 Sounds like you’ve got the A all wrapped up in Technical Writing! Way to go. I must say that you are an excellent writer and I enjoy reading your material.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Yes I am… though inadvertantly. I can’t stand the overtly “look at me, prof” students myself.

    Thanks, Charis. I’ll be posting about my feedback on my first Lit paper today. Be on the lookout for the new header and unveiling of the new P-squared logo this weekend. It’s HAWT!

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Yes I am… though inadvertantly. I can’t stand the overtly “look at me, prof” students myself.

    Thanks, Charis. I’ll be posting about my feedback on my first Lit paper today. Be on the lookout for the new header and unveiling of the new P-squared logo this weekend. It’s HAWT!