Essay submission time. Brings it all back.

Brings it all back? You mean, my breakfast? Not quite.

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Essay writing. For the MA. First paper due in today, taking us hard-working students neatly right over Christmas and the New Year. Please don’t laugh.

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books”

That’s from Longfellow, and no he didn’t appear in my essay. Freud and D.H. Lawrence did. Modesty forbids me from revealing the title. Suffice to say…no, that’s all I’m going to say. Except, it was about horses. Loosely.

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I DID actually thoroughly enjoy both the research and the writing of it, although, at times I thought my head might explode. Voltaire wasn’t in my essay either – but he might have been: “The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”

However, one of the questions  we were required to address in our essay-writing endeavours was this: “Have I succeeded in having a good time (or can I fool the reader into thinking I have)?” What a brilliant, absolutely BRILLIANT way to think about academic writing! I did have a good time, but whether or not that’s evident in the essay remains to be seen.

I finished before the deadline, which was good, but then I found myself having all sorts of irrational panic attacks, as if, in the grand scheme of things, it mattered one jot. Nothing seemed to help…

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Silly concerns:

Is it the right font and is the font the right size?

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That should do, right?

Do I have to number the pages and should my name be on it? Is the paper I used too thin? Have I printed off all the pages? How many copies do I need? Have I remembered to put the essay in my bag now I’m heading towards the university? Was the deadline REALLY 4 p.m.? Was the deadline really TODAY, in fact?

Low down on my list of worries this morning: Is it any good?

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That’s what I’m worrying about now.

Yes, brings it all back. I was exactly the same when I did my first degree at the University of Liverpool. I’ve only had, let me see, (maths never was my strong point) – thirty-nine years to develop a better attitude.

Essay DOES mean ‘attempt or effort’ as well as ‘a short piece of writing on a particular subject.’

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