That Damned NEW331 Essay

by MW Cook

You know when you’re working on that essay for the third-year course that’s so heavy you think it’ll crush you? The one that makes you think this was the wrong path for you after all. Maybe school is just a big black hole that’ll suck you in and squish you and never let you out again. It makes you think about the night-job you left for school. Maybe you shouldn’t have left–the pay was good and the people were great, why did you ever leave it anyway? I mean, look at this ridiculously vague topic! Look at the huge wordcount that’s expected! And fifteen independent scholarly sources? No one is even studying what you’re supposed to write about! Not only that, but the professor has this air of impenetrable rigour about him–this is no humanities paper where original ideas and good spelling will get you a half-decent mark. No, no, he wants science from you. What do you know about science?! So as the deadline inches closer without your rough draft growing much larger, the weight of expectation seems to crush you.

But you’re a faithful one, in your own way, aren’t you? You fiddle with it every day, even though it hurts. You’ve got some experience in faith-walking, so you study and write and attend lecture, tearing only a bitof your hair out along the way. You might not get anywhere, but what else are you going to do?

Until you turn the Corner and a bright light appears within your mind. You get it. The rest is cake.

Why didn’t you see it before? Why were you so confused and crushed by something this…understandable? Maybe confusion and crushing lead to understanding. Maybe you were always going to grow this thing eventually–sweat for water, discipline for sunlight. Twenty bucks says that a gentle and calm spirit would have been nice fertilizer, but hey, maybe next time.

And isn’t it funny that nearly every good venture works the same way as that damned NEW331 essay?