This week in Slate, I make a fairly straightforward argument: Students hate writing papers. I hate grading papers. Let’s stop assigning papers in required courses, and leave the paper-writing to students who actually want to do it. This has quickly turned into the Thesis Hatement of I-Hate-Paper-Grading Essays, and for that I am grateful. And this time around, I’m not scared of anything. After Thesis Hatement, I was afraid I’d never get a job again, doing anything. After this, I might get fired from my job adjuncting…and honestly, I don’t really care. I would rather tell the truth than be “safe” in the spike-covered arms of academia, where I am a barely-recognized non-person anyway.
In no particular order, here are the largest misunderstandings around “The End of the College Essay,” so far:
1. I am anti-student. Nope, I love students. Love them. LOVE THEM. What I hate is coddling students. Making fun of their god-awful writing (THAT I MADE UP, for purposes of HUMOR) that they know full well is god-awful because they know how little time they spent on a paper is a) funny, b) deserved and c) funny. This generation of students is like a bunch of helpless little baby birds it’s so coddled. They could use some tough fucking love.
2. I am “snarky.” No. I am not. I am enraged. I am full of white-hot, burning rage. Snark diminishes me. Snark is not even one smoldering ember. I am a full-blown goddamned inferno.
3. My “tone” isn’t “helping anything.” Fuck you. (How’s that for tone?) This piece was for entertainment and venting purposes only. I don’t want to help anything, other than some over-graded professors blow off steam. I also want to point out that the vast majority of college courses that require papers are wasting everyone’s time. It’s a tough truth. Stare it in the goddamned face.
4. Elite universities still teach writing, and taking away papers in public schools will further stratify the country. You think WRITING CLASS is what makes this distinction, you fucking morons? HOW. THE FUCK. ABOUT. THE FACT. THAT RICH KIDS ARE ALREADY RICH, and that nothing they do or don’t do will change that, and they get everything, and no amount of getting-good-at-writing will help the poor in today’s rigged-ass economy? How. The fuck. About. That?
5. It’s important to know how to write well, because success. I realize that Snooki is the author of many best-selling tomes, but she paid someone to write those for her, just like many people do in college, which was my original fucking point.
That’s just the top five–I’m sure I’ll add to this later. Now I have got to get out of the house, or my husband is going to kill me. “You’re a MESS!” he says. “A MESS!” It’s so true.