Writing a paper, while relaxing to some, can be total chaos to those of us who have not been gifted with the art of words. To me, the words themselves are not as important as the message that is being displayed. To my lit teachers, however, that idea is not reciprocated. My words have been picked apart, sliced and diced, and chopped like a hunk of meat. The worst feeling in the world is looking at the blank slate ahead of you and praying that the perfect words will magically appear on the page. The worst feeling in the world can be described in two words: due date. The day when your paper will be judged like it’s Judgement Day. The stress of putting your thoughts into a paper, and having them judged like a prized pig, can make even the best of us a little franfufzled.
The struggle begins when the teacher announces that the class will have to write a piece for them. I have been peacefully sitting in class when my teacher has handed me my death sentence. My mind begins to race as I try to pinpoint the perfect topic for that prompt. My mind is like a deer in the headlights, caught red-handed with no ideas. I sit and smile and the teacher drones on and on about the requirements, pretending that this is something I won’t have to worry about until later. This is the beginning of the first stage of writing a paper: denial. After the realization that this paper is due sooner than expected is when the next stage comes up behind you and hits you over the head. This is when the anger and frustration sets in and you yell and scream to anyone who will listen about everything wrong with the American education system and how unfair your teacher is and how this assignment is the worst thing that has happened to anyone ever. When even your dog is tired of listening to you whine, you decide to have a talk with the man upstairs(your dad) to find out if he has read the book that your essay is supposed to be about. After you realize that no one has read this book except the people in your class, you turn to those comrades and begin making deals like your life depends on it. Pretty soon you have agreed to give up your first born child in exchange for 4 words from someone's thesis. This is the epitome of the third stage of writing a paper: bargaining. When Chad from Spanish class has failed to come through with that thesis, you turn to a world of depression. You sit, looking at that almost blank screen through your tears because it is three in the morning the day your essay is due and you only have 2/1000 words and it’s your name. Warning: deep depression may cause an excessive stress eating(specifically chocolate). This will continue with no productivity until at around five o’clock, something within you just snaps. The perfect idea descends from the heavens and a light bulb goes off in your head. Your eyes light up like a kid on Christmas morning and you begin to write as fast as possible, trying to shove this idea into eloquent sentences and getting to that 1000 words. When the conclusion has been written and spellcheck been applied, you can finally breathe in the last stage, acceptance.
This acceptance comes with the understanding that even if you get a C on this paper, the fact that you got it done is an accomplishment and for that, you can be proud. You text Chad to let him know that you didn’t need his stupid thesis anyway because yours was better, and you let your family know that you were still alive after being locked in your room for 9 hours. This process may be a deadly cycle, but it’s your ritual and without it, there would be no paper to turn in and for that, you are thankful.