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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wordfuless Wednesday—Dreams of a Straight-A Student!  

I am participating in Wordful and Wordless Wednesday. Click on the links to join in the fun!


Brooke is my baby sis. She Photoshopped this pic, so that tells you right there how awesome she is! And, irreverent, considering we were at the cemetery. My grandma is busting a gut in heaven as she looks down on this :). Anyway... although Brooke and I are 20 years apart, we are the most alike of any of the rest of our Sisterhood of the Traveling Pant—ies. And just as it so happens, the main thing we have in common is our love of writing. So, when she signed up for a writing class this semester—her first semester as a freshman in college, no less—I agreed wholeheartedly to help her. After all, I worked more than 10 years as a writer or in the writing industry. How hard could editing freshman papers be?

The first paper was pretty cut and dried. Nothing too complicated. A reader-response essay. The next just happened to be on Gladwell's book The Tipping Point, which I loved. When I saw the required reading and accompanying homework, I literally said: "This one is in the bag." I edited the paper four times. Can you tell which one of us really wants to be in school? And then one little letter makes me take a walk down memory lane. She got a C! WHAT? I am a professional writer. I recognize I haven't won any nobel prizes in literature, but still. How could she get a C? I got Cs when I skipped class, not when I turned my homework in. What is wrong with this picture?

This is when I remembered exactly why I hated school. Teachers and their love of marking you down but not giving you any feedback, leaving you to wonder what in the h.e. double toothpicks you did wrong and could improve. Lazy is what that teacher was. A couple of brief comments in the margin to let my baby sister—first-time college student that she is—guess what she means by "unclear." Unclear? Unclear to who, you subjective little don't-know-a-good-paper-when-you-see-one biotch (Yep! I just called her that.) That's for all the teachers that were too lazy to properly edit my papers and for the ones who are attempting to squash baby Spice's educational excitement right out of her.

To Brooke I say one thing and one thing alone: Blog! Blog where you can be you and people write sweet comments. And where if they don't, you can delete them and not get a bad grade.

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52 bits of juicy gossip: to “ Wordfuless Wednesday—Dreams of a Straight-A Student!

  • Mamarazzi
    September 17, 2008 at 1:24 AM  

    great advice for your sister!! BLOG!!

    also i love the pic..HILARIOUS!

  • Good N Crazy
    September 17, 2008 at 1:27 AM  

    Yeah, I agree. Be who you are. Blog. Let's make a button or something?

    Enjoyed the whole twitter thing last night...looking forward to next week's version...

  • KRISHNA
    September 17, 2008 at 1:30 AM  

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • ParentingPink
    September 17, 2008 at 6:35 AM  

    Oh, don't even get me started on the whole professor-marking-down-papers thing! I can't tell you how many brawls I got into with my professors in college over minor details. I think I threatened to pop one of them over the head with his Latin book to get the B+ instead of the B (yes I was a nerd at UVA!). That being said, she'll do much better on her next paper if she just bullies the professor a bit more - it's kinda like a basket ball game & you've gotta "work the refs." LOL. Naturally, I'm just kidding - if she follows any of my advice I guarentee she will get kicked out of school and you will come hunt me down! Have a great day!

  • Live.Love.Eat
    September 17, 2008 at 6:40 AM  

    Too funny of a pic!!! Nice of you to help your sister like that. (Came over from Angie's WW)

  • Tiaras & Tantrums
    September 17, 2008 at 6:56 AM  

    Yes!
    And what type of lie lessons are these so called educators teaching us??? Never get it?

  • georgie
    September 17, 2008 at 7:15 AM  

    I LOVE that pic-man i wish I had photo-shop!

    Great advice for baby spice!

  • Rhonda
    September 17, 2008 at 7:38 AM  

    Oh, that totally sucks!!! Some teachers are only in it for all the time off!!!

  • Mandy
    September 17, 2008 at 8:04 AM  

    Picture is hilarious!

    Poor little sister, how aggravating!!! I've been there and it is so frustrating!

  • Mekhismom
    September 17, 2008 at 8:31 AM  

    That photo is scary! And the subjective nature of English grades in college really annoyed me. My first semester freshman English teacher hated me and it was reflected in the grades on my papers. How do I know? My 2nd semester professor gave me A's. Same writing style, same honors coursework. Yuck!

  • Susan
    September 17, 2008 at 8:42 AM  

    Ugh! I hated that in college. The sad thing about it all is that usually the professors who do that are the very ones that wanted to be professional writers or scientists or whatever and couldn't cut it, so they opted for "teaching." Their self esteem is boosted by taking things out on their eager and creative students. It is really a shame that colleges and universities are willing to employ such people. I was a real teacher and true teachers want to see their students learn and succeed. It doesn't sound like that is what her professor was trying to accomplish.
    I know step down from my soapbox!

  • angie
    September 17, 2008 at 8:58 AM  

    Oh how I love those toothy smiles.

    Definitely blog. Blog, blog, blog.

    And the professor? Probably just loves to qualify low grades with "unclear" for kicks. I remember my last year of college I finally had 2 professors who actually really read my papers and gave me feedback. It was so nice.....but it took until my last year of college in upper division classes to get a professor like that. Crazy.

  • Cant Hardly Wait
    September 17, 2008 at 9:00 AM  

    At first, without thinking of photoshop, I thought to myself this: What is wrong with them? Why are their eyes so big? Are they sick? They look like the Who's in Whoville. She doesn't look like that in her default picture.

    I'm glad to know that you're not a who.

    I love your advice. Before I made the bone headed decision of joining the Army, I was going to go to college and take Communications with a concentration of Technical Writing. Since I blew that idea out of my butt, I turned to blogging. It's almost the same, only I am allowed to swear and be a jerk. Fun times all the same!

  • hippos toes
    September 17, 2008 at 11:11 AM  

    That pic is hilarious. I did a double take on that one!! Great advice to your baby sis! :)

  • Pennies In My Pocket
    September 17, 2008 at 1:10 PM  

    OK, first, CLEAN UP on isle 'family room' because I peed my pants laughing so hard at that photo...Well, not really, but it was a close call!

    I am so with ya on the grading. I went to a private college for a little while and took a very hard honors English class. I received a 98% on a paper and was so proud, I nearly framed it. This prof never gave that high of a grade out. Well, I ended up coming back home and attended a community college. I had the same topic on an assignment as I did with the 98% paper so I turned it in again...yeah he gave me a D! I NEVER had received a D in my life! Oh and he BARELY spoke English, too. Go figure THAT! Arrrggghhh I'm still bitter and that was 14 years ago.

    Oh and I have something for ya...come on over. :)

    ~melody~

  • Laurel C.
    September 17, 2008 at 1:17 PM  

    I will bet you my Shipley Style Guide that Brooke's "teacher" ain't one at all. Freshman English? Ya, that is a teaching assistant. A snot-nosed, barely-not-a-teenager brat giddy with the power of the red pen. That ain't no professor. And I'll further bet you that you, Jyl, have 100x more experience in writing that that punk TA. The TA couldn't edit Brooke's paper because SHE DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO! She/He prolly only has three years of college experience under his/her belt and didn't know how to "clear up" the "unclear." That is a pet peeve of mine too. Tell Brooke to not be intimidated. She should visit that "teacher" during office hours and demand a walk-through of the paper and why it deserved a "C."

    PS. That is truly the most horrific picture I have ever seen.

  • Your Pal Pinki
    September 17, 2008 at 1:48 PM  

    I hate nothing more than no feed back. Tear it up and tell me you hate it and why, give me praise and tell me why you love it, I don't care, just don't give me a "good job" or "C+" and let it go at that. Grades don't mean crap to me. Your sis's photoshopped pic is hilarious. I have seen people that really look like that, LOL. : )

  • brookie cookie
    September 17, 2008 at 1:48 PM  

    hahaha. Oh my.

    This pic freaks me out!

    Aren't we just the cutest things anyone has ever seen?

    I mean a c? COME ON. I am in English 1010 at a COMMUNITY COLLEGE--i'm pretty much in 13th grade.

    Whatevs.


    ;)

    Thanks for helping me out lodi--b.t.dub.


    Love you!

    -Brooke

  • Stephanie
    September 17, 2008 at 1:59 PM  

    My, what BIG eyes you have!!! Great picture :) I also loved your sister post - special times!

  • Kathryn
    September 17, 2008 at 2:30 PM  

    I'm sorry. I could barely concentrate on your post because that picture scares the BEJEEZIS out of me! Ah!!!!

  • Lindsay
    September 17, 2008 at 2:48 PM  

    Ha! that's hilarious! I really hated "Discourse" classes too - isn't it all an opinion once you get past the grammar and proper sentence structure??

    Oh, i noticed one comment was deleted - yikes! Was it the professor?? :-)

  • Kaye Butler
    September 17, 2008 at 3:23 PM  

    Hey! Love the blog and I agree...we blog to be ourselves!!!

    I have a sister that is 25 years younger than me!

    Love the Twitter GNO. Good to meet ya!

  • JenniBeanV
    September 17, 2008 at 3:37 PM  

    Oh, I don't like that teacher! Booooo! Hisss!

    You are so nice to be helping her! And I am SURE that paper would have gotten an A from a better teacher.

  • Tena
    September 17, 2008 at 3:41 PM  

    I love that picture, it's classic!

    That is great advice!

  • TheCynicalOptimist
    September 17, 2008 at 3:46 PM  

    Oh man! That happened to me once when I helped my nephew with his HIGH SCHOOL paper. I got a 4.0 in my MBA program for gosh sakes- I mean- it was a paper for a JUNIOR in high school... Phhhtttt... teachers...

  • mommaof4wife2r
    September 17, 2008 at 4:25 PM  

    ok. i love your sis...jsut because she has a sense of humor! you go girl!

  • Elaine A.
    September 17, 2008 at 5:37 PM  

    I had to do a double take with that picture! HA!

    Obviously she's got skillz!

    Sorry about that paper. Hope that teacher gets better. But yes, tell here we all say she should blog! : )

  • sho
    September 17, 2008 at 6:44 PM  

    oh that picture is scary.

  • Jen
    September 17, 2008 at 6:56 PM  

    I am outraged with you but I am also laughing my ass off.

  • Kellan
    September 17, 2008 at 7:24 PM  

    That pictures is hysterical!

    Take care - Kellan

  • Alvis
    September 17, 2008 at 7:34 PM  

    This made me LOL the moment I saw it.

    Good one!

  • Rach (Mommy Learns to Blog)
    September 17, 2008 at 8:19 PM  

    Great post! That picture made me bust out laughing - I kept thinking my eyes were playing tricks on me! I am just like you - not a professional writer (just play one on tv!), but I love to edit (mis-used apostrophes give me hives!), and DH spent the last six years going to school nights to become an accountant (he got his MBA and graduated with a 4.0 GPA this past MAY - woo hoo!) and I edited every last assignment he wrote. I am a communicator with excellent writing skills, he is definitely the math-magician in the family. At one point he was so overloaded that I offered to do an assignment for him because i knew it would take me half an hour and he'd spend that time alone just being scared to read the case study. I was all excited to receive my first college grade in 11 years, and to my dismay, only got a half-assed check mark! Sometimes I wonder if those teachers would notice if you wrote a nasty little line about them smack dab in the middle of the paper!

    You are a great sister!

  • MomMega
    September 17, 2008 at 8:52 PM  

    Cute picture! And yes, best advice! Just Blog!

  • Mrs. S
    September 17, 2008 at 9:06 PM  

    thanks for stopping by my blog; I appreciate the comment.

    I really love writing and I love writing classes (maybe why I graduated with an English degree). Some teachers give you a C to push you harder on the next one. I had one teacher always gave me a C so I'd revise. boo!

  • avtcoach
    September 17, 2008 at 9:24 PM  

    Thanks for visiting my place. I am wondering if your freshman sister has a graduate student for her freshman comp class. I had them and just because you make it into graduate school does not mean you can teach or edit!
    Love you blog site and your writing!

  • Laura
    September 17, 2008 at 10:17 PM  

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love your about me section.. very cute!!

    We moved from Japan (I was born and raised there, but my hubby is from S. Florida) to Idaho in Feb of 2006, and then we moved from Idaho to Florida in April of 2007. And there is talk about us moving again next year to New Mexico! I am hoping that is false because I love it here in Fl. But, yes, we can move stateside and overseas.

    Sorry for such a long comment!!!

  • jubilee
    September 17, 2008 at 10:35 PM  

    I once told my History of Theatre teacher: "I am a senior English major! I don't get Ds!"

    He was no writer, but he WAS in the process of earning his PHD and thought everyone should write as he was required to. The freshmen in my class loved that about him!

    I seriously did a double take and cringed when I saw that pic. Love it!

  • Hannah Noel
    September 17, 2008 at 10:39 PM  

    omg that pic freaked me out when I scrolled back up to look at it (it didn't load before I read your blog!! ugh!!)


    Tell your lil' sis that I feel her pain!!

    I texted Rachel, she said if you would do a guest post and email it to me that she would really appreciate it!! I'll post it as soon as I can!

    hannah_noel_h@hotmail.com is my email

  • Cindi @ Mama Mentor
    September 17, 2008 at 10:45 PM  

    Enjoyed your post ~ makes me wish I had at least one sister. I also agree with you re instructors who never would leave clear comments on papers I worked so hard on ~ very frustrating. Thanks for stopping by my WW.

  • Mama's Losin' It
    September 17, 2008 at 10:45 PM  

    Oh NO SHE DI'INT!!!!

    You are TOTALLY bringing me back to my college days of writing papers for smug professers. They would find ANY reason to mark you down.

    Thanks for scaring me from EVER wanting to go back!!

    I promise to never grade your papers in such a manner.

    Now excuse me while I go curl into a ball and force myself to forget once again how harsh our old professers were!!

  • Mikki
    September 17, 2008 at 11:30 PM  

    you tell her! dumb teacher anyway.... I love the picture. too funny.

  • Peggy
    September 18, 2008 at 12:43 AM  

    Maybe the teacher was jealous!
    Blog, sister, blog!

    Thanks for stopping by! Happy late WW

  • Crazymamaof6
    September 18, 2008 at 1:08 AM  

    i hate grades on writing. it's so personal. creative writing is just that, creative. what happened to creative license?
    i love blogging. and seriously who cares what others think. it's all about you on the blog. love that freedom. love the comments back.

    thanks for stopping by!

  • aclaypot4him
    September 18, 2008 at 1:44 AM  

    Gosh, my daughter is a teacher in NC...writhing...hope she's not the "biotch" spoken of in your blog. :O} Of course not...she recognizes talent. Telling your sister to blog is the best solution! The photo...looks like she doesn't take life real serious. She's got a good sense of humor.
    FYI the photo in my masthead, I took in Yellowstone Park. The potter Carl Sheehan gave me permisson to photograph as he worked at his potter's wheel. I have refered to myself over the past 30+ years as a "claypot" in the making. So, the photo is not of me...but speaks of me. Thanks for your comments.
    The weather has been so fabulous here...it's hiking weather for sure...made me read back to an archived blogging http://aclaypot4him.blogspot.com/2007/10/in-every-walk-with-nature-one-receives.html
    If you feel like seeing a bit of KY...check it out.

  • Amanda @ notsoextraordinary
    September 18, 2008 at 9:00 AM  

    i so remember those days... i HATE when you don't get feedback! and i'm totally one of those who would bug the crap out the the prof until he WOULD give me feedback... but it usually proved to still be unsatisfactory.

  • Melanie
    September 18, 2008 at 9:49 AM  

    That picture is hilarious..LOL..Ya know families want us to be happy, because it makes heaven so much better for them!

  • Amy Amy Bo Bamey
    September 18, 2008 at 11:06 AM  

    Such Beautiful Eyes and Straight Teeth you have :)


    Thanks for playing Pay It Forward. I will be drawing names tonight to see who gets chosen.

    I have now added you to my google reader :)

  • Honey Mommy
    September 18, 2008 at 4:18 PM  

    Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties... haha!

    What a funny photo.

  • Kimberly/Mom in the City
    September 18, 2008 at 6:34 PM  

    Oh my goodness...it took me a couple of seconds to adjust my eyes/realize that picture was doctored!

  • Becky
    September 20, 2008 at 10:32 PM  

    You two are a lot alike. And way to let that teacher have it...I remember having felt that way about a teacher or 2. Poor Brooke!!