Last Minute Papers

Topics: Writing, Creative writing, Writers Pages: 3 (1048 words) Published: September 23, 2013
Jim Dangle
Professor Carlton
English 123-125
7 September 2011
Last Minute Papers
2:30 A.M. finds me in front of a glowing computer screen yet again. I’m waiting for inspiration. My friends, kind enough to let me use their Wi-Fi, are asleep in the bed just feet away in the half-darkness, while I sit staring at the screen. Why do I always seem to wait until the last minutes possible. I take another sip of my Cheerwine from a red solo cup. It’s the sweet nectar of the Gods of Last-Minute Paper Writing. No, make that bittersweet nectar, the taste of sugary cherry goodness reminds me, with every sip, that I’ve sentenced myself to another unnecessary all-nighter. I have few ideas and even less time… 

The blinking computer cursor on an otherwise empty screen is the college version of the blank white page of my earlier years, before technology had taken us so far. But for me it is, in many ways, the same old problem. With early drafts of a paper rarely required, I came time and time again to a point where a significant portion of my grade rested on what was essentially a single night’s work. I usually left myself no option but to write in one long session on a computer, there weren’t enough hours remaining to compose a version on paper to be typed up afterward. And time and again, my method, as it was, worked for me. I not only survived but prospered. But I sometimes wondered, and still wonder, that this works, but am I progressing? Has my writing grown? Should it be possible to turn out an “A” paper in a night? What standards are being used to judge these papers? Do my desperate all-night writing sessions somehow, in ways I don’t understand, help me improve? How did I learn to write at a level that has helped me succeed up to this point? 

My early writing education is mostly lost to my conscious memory, but I do think that regular reading, from a young age helped a great deal in my education. I remember a prose piece from sixth-grade “honors”...
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