Words Count

I turned in my term paper today. I think Lucy’s smile was the only happy face in the class, but I felt relieved to be done. Lucy had assigned us all code numbers to use on our papers instead of names to protect the innocent. As soon as the works were all collected, Lucy handed out directions on reading and reviewing the papers of others in the class. The instructions were straight forward and included how many points to assign each section. This was really going to happen. Lucy gave each of us another person’s paper. As I read the words of another classmate, I tried my best to be objective and fair but it is always easy to point out the negative. On top of that, I wanted to believe that my work was better. As this horrible bias dawned on me, I slowly realized that we could all be graded for the good work we had crafted. I loved that thought and decided to look for the good. After reading further, I got into the theme and enjoyed the writer’s choices in language and content. I might even learn a few tricks if I really pay attention.

In the comments section of the review page, I lavished praise on the high points and used some questions to address possible options for areas of challenge. I was certainly no expert but I had my thoughts. Overall, the paper was a success and met the theme offered. Lucy wanted each of us to make remarks on three papers. As we completed our remarks, we left the papers on the desk at the front of the class and chose another one. The second one I read was different from the first and enjoyable in its own way. I read and even read a couple of passages twice to really understand the writer’s perspective. It looked like everyone in class was making little notes on the pages they were reading. By the end of class, everyone had finished reading three papers and there were stacks of words on the desk.

I wished I could have taken a picture of the papers in case I couldn’t remember it in my own memory.  I finished my first class and and felt a smile cross my face. Lucy must have noticed and started to walk along with me in the hallway. She asked me about what my plans were for next semester. I stopped walking. I had no idea. I really had not thought ahead. To successfully complete one class was one thing; to take another was a whole other conversation with myself.

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