Had someone told me three months ago that I would be writing an 8000-word assignment on Aesthetic Formalism and I would have probably scoffed in your face. To be honest, tell me now and I might still. I’m halfway through my first rough plan for an assignment due in about 40 days and, believe me, it feels like I’m standing at base camp looking up at a summit that seems nearly impossible to climb to.
Here’s the thing, if I write 200 words per day from now until January the assignment will be done. I know this, but every Tuesday I come home and feel like I have to re-think every word I’ve planned so far.
That’s the day I meet with my lecturer and the two others on my course for the seminar that the assignment is related to.
Why do I want to change every single word?
Because every week something will come up that changes the research I’ve done so far. It’s like we gather to play a game of scholar’s Kerplunk. My assignment is one of the marbles and week by week we slide a stick of philosophical theory out from underneath the marble. Each time I think my marble is being held by the theories, someone pulls out the exact theory that sends it spiralling.
But that’s what the sessions are about. I’m not the only one with a marble. Each of us present arguments that flag issues in each other’s assignments, and then the assignments get better for it. If I sat through a lecture thinking that everything was good and my assignment didn’t need any altering, my lecturer wouldn’t be doing her job. It may be the most tedious thing in the world, but re-writing has become my secret weapon in understanding my own knowledge.
That being said, I’m super disorganised and will probably end up leaving the assignment until last minute. What can I say? I’m a chronic procrastinator.