Boy, I sure love the weekend, don’t you?

Well, perhaps you don’t love these weekends at the end of the term when you spend your precious few moments of free time tweeting about how your classes/teachers/final projects/tests/etc are ruining your life and/or killing you. Just to keep things in perspective, consider the following (from Hyperbole and a Half):

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0:  Hi.  I am not experiencing any pain at all.  I don’t know why I’m even here.

1:  I am completely unsure whether I am experiencing pain or itching or maybe I just have a bad taste in my mouth.

2:  I probably just need a Band Aid.

3:  This is distressing.  I don’t want this to be happening to me at all.

4:  My pain is not f***ing around.

5:  Why is this happening to me??

6:  Ow.  Okay, my pain is super legit now.

7:  I see Jesus coming for me and I’m scared.   

8:  I am experiencing a disturbing amount of pain.  I might actually be dying.  Please help.

9:  I am almost definitely dying.

10:  I am actively being mauled by a bear.

11: Blood is going to explode out of my face at any moment.

Too Serious For Numbers:  You probably have ebola.  It appears that you may also be suffering from Stigmata and/or pinkeye.

In other words, quit overreacting.

Your essay should show me that you have been paying attention to all of the things we have been studying and discussing about successful, effective writing. It should demonstrate your very best writing. There’s no getting around that. I know I’m not supposed to say things like that because it “causes undue stress” or something, but we all know that writing does that anyway. By now you know what I’m looking for in quality writing and you know what I will and will not tolerate. (Will: mild cussing and appropriate snark. Not: anything trite, cliche, empty, boring, or ignorant. Note: this does not mean that your essay should necessarily contain naughty words and sass, I’m simply pointing out that those things are not forbidden while crappy writing is.) See previous post(s) and actually go read those documents I provided as resources. If you do not, or if you read them and choose not to heed their advice, I will know. Your writing will tell me; it always does.

Do you know what I want from you? Do you? Think about that for a while. What, do you suppose, is my ultimate goal here? What are my motives? If torture” wormed its way into your response, you’re only partially right. Ha. Just kidding… I’m being 100% serious though, please consider what my goals are for you and for your writing. Your weekend blog post assignment is to write a mission statement for your essay. What is your purpose? What is the point? What are you trying to accomplish with this piece? This is the so what question. If I finish your essay and I look up all quizzically asking so what? you did not achieve your goal. So what if you had this amazing experience this one time. So what if this place/person/activity is super special to you. SO WHAT. As a writer, you have to extend and communicate your experience to your audience so that they give a hoot. So that they see an application of this experience/message/story/argument/proposal/idea/whatever to their own existence. Remember the so what. 

My previous post outlines some other things and reminders. Like that event at the Loft Literary Center. Which you should attend. The night before our final. It will probably be a better use of your time than freaking out about something that an hour or two of studying won’t fix anyway.

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