I want my Intro to Poetry essay back. Like now. Cause, I mean, I gave it to my professor last Wednesday! What on earth was he doing all weekend that he came into class and mumbled something about us getting the papers back next week because he hadn’t even looked at them yet. English professors don’t have lives and children and hobbies and stuff, right?
I am just kidding, of course. My weekend was pretty crazy, and I don’t even have children, just epic poster-making sessions and high school friends I haven’t seen in awhile. I’m sure my professor had tons of things to do besides edit my little five page essay about Thomas Wyatt’s apparent intimacy issues.
I do want my essay back soon though, and hopefully full of margin notes and red pen! No, really, while I want an “A” on the paper ( No, like REALLY.), what I am itching to read is the feedback. Feedback is so very important to developing as a writer and all that jazz, but it also just kind of fun to read. When giving most people your writing, they usually shrug it off, like “Oh, yeah, nice little poem there. Since you brought it up, do you wanna read like 15 that I have written? And tell me how brilliant I am?”
But teachers have to actually read what you have written and tell you constructive things, like that your sentence sounds a little awkward, or if your analysis is slightly lacking. They can suggest ways to go more in depth with your argument, and they find the picky little typos you couldn’t see when you were editing your essay at 2am. And of course they tell you when you are doing things right, which just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. The thing is, most writers can’t evaluate their own work. They either see it as amazing and cannot criticize it (like all the emo kids at my high school), or they are self-flagellating over every misplaced comma and never content with anything they write. Problem is, your writing is never as awesome, nor as awful as you think it is. It usually takes an outsider perspective to help to see this. At least it does for me. I am in the second category most of the time, and I hate most of the things I write until I get a good review. It is nice to get a little validation that I do not colossally suck at writing, and it is even nicer to get an idea of what to improve for next time. So every time I had in an essay, I look forward to getting it back like a kid on Christmas Eve, waiting to get a concrete evaluation of what I put so much time and effort into.