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Friday
Sep222006

Rosh Hoshana

And so begins the 10 days of introspection. I haven't had enough of that the last couple of weeks apparently. I need an entire religion's worth of focus on it. And then there is the cleanse and new beginning of Yom Kippur. Will I be ready?

I feel so somber.

It is the mood of Rosh Hoshana, so it is appropriate.

I anticipate the two babies coming up soon. They are coming close... beginning to clump. One is 41 weeks. The other at 39 weeks. Both women are ripely luscious. I took pictures of one of them a couple of days ago here before her massage. They need to be Photoshop-ed (I should learn how to do that) onto a beach or something - they'll be gorgeous then.

I recently spent the early evening/sunset with about 8 families at the beach taking pictures of pregnant women and nurslings. The pictures turned out so, so beautiful. I should share some. I have releases for them all. Maybe I will. They are so inspiring, so amazingly gorgeous and loving. I should get some published. If only I had the energy and wherewithall to do the legwork to get them submitted.

My History of Psychology professor hated my term paper. He gave me 8 points out of 20. It is, by far, the lowest grade I have ever, in at least 4 lifetimes, received on a paper I have written. He said it was great "for an English Lit paper, but not for a Psych paper which should be dry and full of stats and information no one really cares about." My partner said that that would be why I will be the therapist and why he will be the teacher.

Blessedly, one of my blogfriends called the school for me this week to find out what would happen if I dropped or wigged out during the class. She learned that I could possibly re-take a couple three of the classes I got grades lower than a C in and if I got B's or higher repeating, they would replace them even as the lower grades remained on my transcript. The issue is if I get anything less than a C in any class forevermore, I cannot get into any Master's program. It's kind of an issue. 8 out of 20. That's pretty bad. sigh

The good thing is in my commentaries and responses, the class loved my writing and thought I should write articles. Small consolation, eh? Too bad they weren't grading the essay.

I'm feeling perkier writing. I've missed y'all.

Reader Comments (5)

Heh, I've been reading your writing here forever, and this just sounded so familiar I had to comment.

I used to be one of those instructors who was always saying, "This would be a great popular science article, but...I have to give you a D."

Once I started taking the time to explain that scientific writing had its own purpose, logic and elegance, I found I was handing out many fewer poor grades.

Now I preface the first written assignment by bringing in a stack of all of the journals I read in a month, on a cart, because they are far too many for me to carry! Scientific writing isn't meant to have broad appeal - it's structured in a particular way so a specific audience can extract the information they need as fast as possible. To most of my students each semester, this is a new way of looking at things.

It's a shame your instructor hasn't found a way to clearly convey his expectations up front - it's really not fair to expect one's students to learn by trial and error when their errors hurt their grades.

My advice to you: Ask your instructor to recommend from the professional literature a few examples of what he or she considers to be good writing. Then just ape that style and structure, no matter how terse or dry.

Wishing you all the best!

September 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercharlotte mittnacht

And PS: I thought of you, specifically, while recently writing about the artist Nash Hyon. She has a series of encaustic paintings for each element of the periodic table. #84 represents polonium, which was of course one of Marie Curie's discoveries.

The painting looks like splattery drops of blood - the simultaneous evocation of feminine creativity, sacrifice and mortality especially powerful given the circumstances of Curie's life and death.

As you are involved in birth and also a scholar, I thought you'd find the image similarly interesting.

All the best!

September 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercharlotte mittnacht

Maybe he's jealous at your responses. Many professors view part of their job as teaching you how to write like a robot. Which is why I never went past BA in English..I mastered the style, but couldn't handle having to write that way the rest of my life.

Hope you are able to give him the robotic writing you need w/out it taking too high a toll. Try writing it as though you were impersonating him, maybe? That often worked for me.

September 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteremjaybee

The class is over. It was a one month zippity-doo-dah on-line class and the one term paper was my one chance to shine. I failed.

Oh well.

Charlotte. How kind you are to your students!!! Wish that YOU were my teacher!

If I had a template, I could have followed it easily. I am not entirely stupid with following directions, especially when it comes to writing. I promise, the next psych paper I write will look NOTHING like an English Lit paper!
It's just too bad this one mistake was so blasted costly.

September 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

oh man you sure have alot on your plate right now.
I though that there was a push to have technical writing be more readable... I guess not so much so eh.

since previously you have been getting great grades-- I a thinking you need to do something to recover from this

September 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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