Today my English teacher offered more sage advice. “When answering essay questions on the exam, you must remember not to answer them as essay questions.” Good idea. Aside from the fact that I have a mere 40 minutes to write this response, I must include specific components such as a thesis, topic sentences, and concrete examples, and the raters grade these as essay questions. What would he have me do? Perhaps draw an entertaining comic strip? Write my response in code? In blood? Possibly backwards? Sorry, no. I must answer the prompt not as an essay question, but it must contain all the components required for an essay question response. Ah, I see now. I must include a paradox. No? Then how about a themed song? A poem? A wall chart describing the effect of fluorine on the teeth of babies? No again? What? What's That? You want me to write an essay? Well now, why didn't you say so in the first place? Alright, here we go. In Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring, the author- What? I can't begin an essay that way? Very well. Let's try this one. A wise man once said, “stars are big.” He was in fact- Wrong again? You must be joking. Too broad? A vague statement? Fine! Here I go. When in the course of human events, it- oops. Out of time.