Wednesday, October 15, 2003

"Writer's Block"

I'm not the type that complains about writer's block. Because as much as I want to be inspired to write whenever I have to write something, that's not always the case. There's deadlines to meet and manuscripts needed to be written. Whatever my mental condition is, I have to write. Because that's what a "writer" does.

Besides, a person that's inspired can often churn out something good. It's harder to come out worth reading consistently and without "divine" intervention.

Not that I don't capitalize whenever I do get inspiration... (which is why having pen and paper nearby is always handy)

Good Writing and Bad Writing

While inspiration is totally out of my hands, I do know how to get myself into the mood of writing. One is reading good works, and the other is reading bad ones.

The first one might be obvious. You can only get better by reading the best.

As for the second one, perhaps it's the competitive spirit in me. When I read horrible work, I realize I can do better. Significantly better. It makes me want to rewrite (or edit) the entire thing. Or write something loosely connected. (The cogs have started to turn.)

Of course between the two, I'd rather read the good ones rather than the bad ones. The former shows me how I can improve. The latter only an ego boost.


Mediocre work, on the other hand, is perhaps is my bane. At one point, I'm not particularly impressed with the writer enough to start churning out work myself. On the other hand, I find it, errr, mediocre that I don't have too much to complain.

I'm a person that's usually in the extremes and mediocre work just leaves me in a void.

Grading Standards

I usually make it a point to identify the grading system a teacher or a person has. I'm not so interested to the breakdown of judging something (i.e. 25% appearance, 25% eloquence, 50% content) as much as I am of what the other person's standards are since it gives me an insight into his/her personality. Here are the standards of some people I've known for the past few years...

"I Judge by Error" - This teacher usually at the start gives you the full grade (an A). You're just penalized for each mistake you make (i.e. no mistake = A).

"High Standards" - If you answer the question correctly, you get a D. You have to be beyond (probably something I've never taught) what's asked in order to get a high grade.

"Higher Standards" - Much like the previous one, except acquiring an A, while not impossible, requires extra effort (i.e. an extra term paper in addition to taking the finals).

"Unreachable Standards" - This is usually their motto. "There's no such thing as a perfect grade."

"Hard to Flunk, Equally Difficult to Get an A" - Teachers like this usually have a wide tolerance for what's erroneous, thus giving grades of C's and D's. However, they really have high standards for what qualifies as an A (i.e. next to impossible, but there's still a small chance to actually obtain it).

"Effort Goes A Long Way" - As long as you attend class and show that you're exerting effort, no matter how incompetent you are or even if your output is crap, you'll pass.

"The Cuteness Test" - Depending on the teacher's sexual orientation, it'll go something like this: "Hmmm, she's cute. She'll get a high grade."

"The Merciful" - If you throw back everything I told you, that's a C. Anything less is probably a D. An F is if you totally don't know the subject matter.

"The Dartboard Test" - The teacher usually decides your grade arbritrarily, engaging in activities like throwing darts or flinging chalk to determine a student's grade.

"The Benevolent One" - As long as you don't drop out of class, everyone gets an A.

"The Atoning One" - "I've been hard on you during the entire semester, so I'll make the finals ridiculously easy, so that students will have an opportunity to boost their grade."

So which one are you?


Post a Comment

<< Home