Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Experience: the most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn ~ C. S. Lewis

I am attempting to write a speech for my graduation in May. Well, it's really a trial speech to see if the powers that be like my style and what I have to say. Before everyone gets excited, this quote is all I have so far. My rough draft? Due tomorrow. "But," you say, eyes going wild, "Laura, you don't write rough drafts." I know. "You spend weeks planning and thinking and mulling thoughts over and regurgitate a perfect piece into a Word.doc the night before." I know, I know! The thing about rough drafts is that people usually want to see 80-90% of the actual completed piece in whatever "draft" you give them. The changes to be made are THEIR suggestions, not your own tweaks to perfect things. This idea of a rough draft has me scared. Frightened. Terrified. I feel like I'm under this huge pressure to summarize my "education and experience" at Alvernia in a page, to condense my 4 very long years of undergrad into 4 paragraphs of a quippy intelligent commentary on higher education. Without being cheesy or lame.
But more than the fear of being cheesy and lame, I'm scared about what that might mean about the past 4 years. Can I really sum up all those experiences? Can I sum up my job at the library that spans 2 solid years and a smattering of summers and breaks? Can I sum up my job at the learning center and all the crazy, I mean, interesting people I've met there? Can I sum up my semester abroad in such a short space? The classes, the professors? It's not the capstone of my education (that honor is reserved for my ginormous thesis due at end of term and yes, I've changed topics. Again.), but I feel it must somehow represent EVERYTHING. That fact that I might be able to do this scares me and makes me feel like the months, weeks, days and hours that made up my undergrad can be grouped and packaged together in the box labeled "Experience" that sits on the shelf next to the box labeled "Memories."

On a less depressing note, I figured that dividing my thesis into three parts (three different books that I'm going to look at) means 3, 7 page papers in the course of the semester. Now that is do-able.

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