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Draft Workshop – A New Approach

April 11, 2008

So we did this thing today called sideshadowing where instead of throwing someone’s draft onto the Elmo, we wrote in the margins of our own drafts–our thoughts, feelings, questions, and explanations about what we’ve been writing over the past two weeks.

First off, just having my paper laid out for me, printed, was so great. My printer’s been b0rked since…last year? So I felt like I was getting trapped by the limitations of the computer screen. I couldn’t see the big picture, and I didn’t even realize for like a week that I had never really put a strong thesis in, because I had been writing in chunks. I was getting completely involved in each chunk, but never feeling like they were tied together.

Today I saw ways to tie things together. Today I saw the bare bones of a paper, not just paragraphs written over agonizing hours. There’s a paper in there and it might even be really good.

Secondly, I got to explain to my professor and myself what I was trying to write, which in turn made things so much more clear. Also, I got to say, “See this draft lacking a completed fifteen pages? It’s because I had this one whole thing, which isn’t here anymore, but I replaced it with this more succinct paragraph here, which does exactly what it was supposed to do but shortened my paper by almost two pages. So I may have thirteen and a half pages, but I have a better paper for it.” That’s a bit of a load off my mind, but that’s just small potatoes compared to feeling like I was having a conversation with myself, answering questions that I wouldn’t have answered otherwise just because of my writing format.

I think I’m going to have to do stuff like this all the time when I write. Of course, I can dream that I’ll never write anything again, but I hear saying that about grad school is enough to make people fall over dead laughing at you.

Still, I’m happy. I’m taking a break tonight from Senior Sem to catch up on readings for two of my other classes, and then tomorrow I’ll make up my Power Point for my presentation on Monday. I’m fairly good with public speaking, so I’m not too worried about it. I’m not crazy with the flourishes and zipping words and happy little pictures like other people are with Power Point, so I dunno how impressive I’ve be, but I’m hoping my words will be interesting enough to get me an A. I’m still smarting over my teaching presentation grade. I think the grade was fair, don’t get me wrong–it’s not that. I just hate getting anything less than an A. 😦

Not that I won’t do a FREAKIN’ JIG if I make it through this semester with some A-minuses. I’ll even accept a B-plus so long as it means I can spend three months with my best friend and my kidlet, reading WHAT I WANT TO READ, actually sleeping in, and maybe catching up on all that Doctor Who. I know David Tennant misses me terribly. I know it. 😀

PS West Quad 104 has been infested with flying ants for like two weeks now. It’s so disgusting.

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