Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Essay

I have been going back to school the last year or so but all of the classes I've taken have been on line. This semester I'm actually sitting in a classroom every Thursday night with a bunch of other much younger students studying American Literature. I have thoroughly loved this class, the stories we've read and trying to get my old brain to work again.

Several weeks ago we had our first essay assignment and had two weeks to get it written. It was the first paper I'd written in over 25 years and the first literary analysis essay in probably 30! The cold sores on my mouth and the sleepless nights attest to the stress I put myself under. I sent my essay to Lonica (our in-house editor and expert writer) and she tried to reassure me that it wasn't really the piece of crap I thought it was.

Well, tonight was my moment of truth - we got our papers back. It was incredible the anxiety I felt as my teacher began to talk about the papers. I was transported back to my school days when you were so nervous about receiving your grade on a test or paper. I was sweating and just wanted to run out of the classroom.

My teacher began by saying there were several papers that were excellent examples of what he wanted and he proceeded to read one of the student's answer to one of the short answer questions we also had to do. As he read the paper, my doubts were confirmed and I just wondered what in the world I was doing thinking I could succeed in this class let alone become an English teacher. He picked up another paper and said it was a great example of what he wanted in the essays, especially the way the quotes and support blended into the writing. He then began to read my essay! I couldn't believe it and hearing it read out loud, it sounded much better than I remembered writing. My self doubt vanished and I thought maybe I can "grow up" and become a real teacher.

We left class with our next essay assignment in hand and when I got home and reread the topics we have to choose from all that anxiety and doubt quickly returned. But hopefully, I can get through this essay without any cold sores!