Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Getting the grade

A few weeks ago I went through the two-page history reaction papers that I wrote in college to see if I could post any of them verbatim as lazy blog entries. It seemed like a good enough idea... I can be a really good writer if I put enough effort into it, and I know I put a lot of effort into the essays I wrote in Ateneo.

In the end, however, I ended up finding none of them really suitable to post as blog entries-- not because they weren't written well enough, but because a lot of the stuff I put into them doesn't actually reflect what I believe. They were assembled by my brain with the goal of getting a good grade, not truly poured from the heart as a reflection of what I actually felt. Whatever topic I was writing about at the time became the most important issue in the world, and I'd compromise my opinion in favor of constructing the essay that I thought the teacher wanted to read.

For the final paper in my first year English class, for instance, we were made to make a paper to debate one side of an argument. The first few topic proposals I submitted were rejected, so I ended up arguing for something I didn't really care about: Teaching the vernacular as a subject in provincial Philippine schools. This topic was proposed almost out of exasperation. Heck, looking back on it now, the position I argued for isn't even the position I agree with.

I fulfilled that teacher's requirements and put together a well-referenced and meticulously written paper. In the end it did turn out to be pretty good, and it did earn me the grade. Sure it would be ideal (idealistic?) to be able to look back at what I wrote years later and see my mind accurately reflected, but I got the job done, and I can't say I feel much regret.


  1. great blog..I came here from wikipedia..even i blog about nothing in particular..:-)


  2. actually, i keep all my papers from highschool to college to trace how age and maturity changed the way I think. Some ideas that I had then seem to be far from what I believe in now.

  3. I still get a good chuckle from my Rubik's cube paper. That was a ridiculous and yet somehow good paper. Hehe.