Friday, October 31, 2014

Blind Moment: Over Zealous Essay Writing

I'm not sure if I've ever explained "blind moment" to you. I must have, but just in case I haven't or you forget, this is what it is. I'm sure you can guess, but my friends and I back in high school dubbed my "Jess did a dumb thing because her eyeballs don't work" blind moments. You know, a play on words from "blond moment." The whole "blind moment" hasn't really gone away; particularly because I keep finding myself in sticky situations because my eyeballs don't work.
What did I do this time?
As all of you know, I'm working my way through my master's in social work from the University of Southern California. It's a crazy intense program that sees me sleeping, eating and doing school work. Mr. K has turned into an academic widow. Poor guy. He's been really great; even editing some of the formatting of my papers for me. I'm so grateful and lucky. This past week was super busy with essays, exams, reading and other school work as usual. I had a big midterm paper due for one of my classes that everyone in my program has been worried about. We basically had to write a Psychodynamic assessment of a client. Sounds scary, right? Well, it is...or was because mine is now submitted for grading.
About five days before it was due I began to think that I wouldn't have enough time to dedicate to the paper that would ensure I produced quality work. I emailed the professor and asked for a two day extension. For those of you who use screen readers you will already know that screen readers take twice as long to read things than if you were reading with your eyes and the retention rate is only 30 percent. So, that means things take me longer than other students. She granted me the extension based on this and I worked hard to make sure the paper was good quality and was ready to hand in by the new deadline.
As I mentioned above, Mr. K has been formatting sections of my papers for me. Sometimes weird things happen, like the bold staying on for an entire paragraph instead of for just the heading or the font changing on me. Knowing this he had set up a template for me that I could use. It had the correct font and was already double spaced. It is so nice having a computer genius for a husband. This template is what I wrote my giant midterm paper in, or so I thought.
If you've ever written a  paper, you will know that if you move a document from being single spaced to double spaced the document automatically gets bigger. Remember this point as it's important.
Sunday night I had five pages written which meant that I was half way done because the paper had to be ten pages long. Monday, Tuesday and even into Wednesday I wrote some more and added in my citations which put me on to the tenth page. I was so excited because I had until midnight to hand it in, but I had it all ready by 3; plenty of time to spare. I sent it over to Mr. K for the usual check over and he told me that there were a few problems. My heart sank.
I was tired. I didn't want to think about my client anymore and I certainly did not want to write about the client anymore either. I thought something had happened and the font had been gigantic which meant that I'd have to write some more.
"It's single spaced and the whole thing is centred."
He told me.
Mr. K changed the margins so that the paper was moved back into the proper position and then double spaced it.
My once ten page paper suddenly became twenty.
I had literally written twice as much as I needed to. I could have been finished with it on Sunday and handed it in early, but now here I was with twice as much information...and a professor who was adamant that we should stick to the page limit.
"It's 8 to 10 pages." She had kept saying in class.
I emailed her and asked if she would take it. I wasn't sure how I would cut half of what I had written out. And besides, this never would have happened if I had seen that the document was single spaced and not double as I had thought.
She told me to send it over, but that if I had included irrelevant information that she would deduct marks. I think I should get more marks for my enthusiasm!
Alas, I guess we'll see what happens when she returns my enormous essay in the upcoming weeks.
So there you have it: another blind moment strikes again. :)

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