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This is What College Does to Me

This is what college does to me...the crying part, not the magically turning into a cute kid part.

Instead of reading my lovely stack TBR stack today, I spent five (though it felt like ten) hours reading Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” for English. I will not be reviewing The Sun Also Rises because it was read for English class, and everyone knows  professors “require” you to read to read stuff because there’s no way you would do it if you had a choice.

Here’s a brief summary: a bunch of writers turn emo after the war and start drinking…a lot. Half of the men in the novel fall for this woman who prefers to jump from one partner to another. Basically all they do is talk about boring stuff and drink. They don’t even need to work. Oh yes, they also go fishing and bull-fight watching in Spain: the highlight of the novel.

I would hurl this book out a window if it wasn't required reading.

I find Hemingway to be one unique writer (despite wanting to hurl the novel out the window): he is verbose…in the most terse way. His sentences are implicit, there’s no fancy flowery language but there’s a lot of boring prose about the most trivial things. He writes like this:

I could not find the bathroom. After a while I found it.

-The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, page 199

I received a B+ on my last English essay (I am used to getting A’s); surprisingly, I was ecstatic. For an essay that I wrote the night before in the midst of a serious fever…not bad, not bad at all. Basically my writing process is goes like this:

  1. Brainstorming: watch cats playing the piano on YouTube until the night before. Tell myself that it’s inspiring and will stimulate brain power. Rationalize that if I procrastinate, I will be older, therefore smarter…which equals better essay!
  2. Desperate mode: Sudden realization that it’s the night before the due date, bang head on desk hoping for something brilliant to say. Not sure if headache is from thinking too much or banging head too hard. Make a lot of tea and coffee…but no energy drinks, I need as many brain cells intact as possible.
  3. Panic mode: Brilliant, enlightenment never comes. It’s okay, you aren’t Buddha. Resort to emergency measures…SparkNotes, Cliff Notes, speed-reading…
  4. Spill out an essay: argue my way out of anything and everything I want to prove. If I am writing about the decline of a moral values, all butterflies, flowers, white doves turn from beautiful things to a symbol of superficial values, therefore the corruption of society. This step is also known as: BS-ing your way out. Add a pile of pretentiously sesquipedalian (definition: characterized by the use of long words) sentences to appear smart. Caution: use dictionary to double check meanings and connotations to avoid the plan backfiring. It is easy to go from intelligent guy with a great vocabulary to stupid guy who wanted to showoff his non-existent great vocabulary.
  5. Proofreading: Useless step. At this point, it’s 4AM and I am in a sleep-deprived delirium that I start thinking four times eight is twenty-eight. Use PaperRater. This is also my most feared step, because I have to read the stupidity I spieled out in desperation. I KNOW I don’t proofread well enough, but I also seem to be blind to all my mistakes (even blatantly obvious ones)

I have a feeling I wouldn’t made a good English tutor. Next up on my required reading list for American Literature: William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying.” Wish me luck!

Lilian

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