Monday, May 9, 2011

Chafe - Starting a Paper (featuring baby chafes)

With every study day comes two distinct grinds: the grind itself and the “grind before the grind”, if you will. I just walked through four middle-campus buildings and came up empty-handed in all of them, opening classrooms to friends and foes alike, tearing down every sign posted on doors that read “in use”, and losing hope. The “grind before the grind” was so intense today that when I finally found a spot in building five that no one will ever be able to find, I thought I had won the battle. How naïve. I immediately sat and packed a victory gumper (‘tis the season), but then it hit me: I hadn’t even begun the real grind of the day yet. I realized that I came to this place to start writing a paper, and damn I forgot just how painful that is.

I don’t think I’ve outlined a paper since the days of the five-paragraph essay in middle-school. I usually prefer my own method, which entails sitting in front of my computer the day before the bitch is due, opening up Word, minimizing Word to check any and all social media sites, and waiting for a good topic sentence to come to me. This method makes it take a while to get into the rhythm of a paper. Sometimes the topic is just way over my head, sometimes it’s way too boring, and sometimes the whiteness of Document 3 just gets the best of me for a while. I usually end up changing my first sentence four or five times before I feel somewhat comfortable moving on. If anyone ever asks you for an example of a “grind", tell them that it’s writing the first paragraph of a paper with an obscure topic. If that task were a comedian, it’d be this guy. Twenty minutes later, I'm about seven or eight sentences in. twenty minutes after that, I'm usually done with the paper. Once I conquer the first paragraph or two, I’m usually alright, and I just spell-check my way to victory. And when spell-check fails, that’s a chafe in its lonesome, one for a different post entirely (spell-check: where were you on that one dipshit? (1:30)). It's just the start of the paper that really grinds my gears.

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