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    CoraOrmseth

    Posts : 39
    Join date : 2009-09-01

    For CE: Timed Writing

    Post  CoraOrmseth on Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:56 am

    Timed Writing by Nuria Mathog

    The game works like clockwork—but then again, perhaps that was the intent all along. The plastic timer twists to the forty-minute mark; expectant grins quickly twist into grimaces of horror. Thirty prompts lie neatly stacked on the front table; thirty hands dig mechanically into backpacks for lined paper and ballpoint pens. It’s a curious game, the timed writing—a device designed to test not only our ability to write under pressure, but our capacity to come up with insightful responses to to the dullest topics imaginable. Small wonder it’s a universally dreaded assignment.
    As much as I gripe about it, though, deadline writing is a necessary evil. Sans a clear due date, I tend to find myself staring at a blank Word document, typing in a few words, deleting them, typing in a few more words, deleting them too, then scowling as the animated paperclip pops up and sneers “Do you want help with that?” But with a looming deadline, my fingers fly over the keyboard, racing to upload files before the turnitin.com window slams shut forever. Time limits may take me squirm, but they’re critical in shaping distracted thoughts into something workable. And until the buzzer goes off, I am totally focused—able, for once, to avoid deviating into bored margin drawings.
    I’m no stranger to apathy; in fact, we’ve been friends for as long as I can remember. I find all sorts of creative ways to waste time, each one crazier than the last, and when I realize that I’m accomplishing nothing, I waste even more time so I don’t have to think about it. Sometimes I spend long hours plucking notes on the guitar, learning songs that I never quite finish, telling myself that someday, honestly, I’ll have the whole thing down by heart. I don’t mean to sink into indifference, but it’s a frighteningly easy process. There are always more days for learning, more days for practicing and getting better, too many to count and yet far too few for comfort.
    So as I brace myself for yet another timed writing, I wonder: if I died tomorrow—if I knew, with the precision of a stopwatch, that my life would draw to a close at exactly four in the morning, for instance, would it be enough to break the spell? It’s a scary thing to imagine: a lifetime’s repine condensed into twenty-four hours. A buzzer’s quiet beep and a heart silenced forever. Pencils down, essays stapled and turned in. What would there be time for? A few touch-ups, a couple of hasty corrections and a rushed conclusion, a hurried finale to what should have been a much happier story.
    Now, add an extension. A week’s advance notice, a month’s, a year’s. More time to flesh out meaning, to pick out dreams and pursue them vigorously, to distinguish the crucial difference between living and simply being alive. Maybe that would convince me to focus. Just maybe, if I knew my days were numbered, I wouldn’t treat them like an endless commodity; I’d find value in every moment until the clock struck that final second.
    If I had all the time in the world, I’m sure I’d get nothing done. A hundred years from now, I’d still be stuck on the opening riff of “Free Bird,” confident that someday, maybe, I might actually progress to the solo. A thousand years after that, I might consider tackling all the work I’ve left unfinished (but probably not). A million years later....who knows? It’s too far ahead. Much too far to think about.
    So I’ll start up my stopwatch and learn to live in the present. And I only intend to answer a single prompt: cease worrying about tomorrow, stop grieving over yesterday, and start concentrating on today.
    I couldn’t tell you what Shakespeare intended to say in the given passage, though if you give me a minute or two to Google it, I might have a more definite answer. Sorry for the weak response. I just can’t see myself searching for someone else’s purpose when I’m still trying to figure out my own.

    oisheeshemontee

    Posts : 145
    Join date : 2009-09-01
    Age : 22

    Copyedit #1

    Post  oisheeshemontee on Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:53 am

    The game works like clockwork—but then again, perhaps that was the intent all along. The plastic timer twists to the forty-minute mark; expectant grins quickly twist into grimaces of horror. Thirty prompts lie neatly stacked on the front table; thirty hands dig mechanically into backpacks for lined paper and ballpoint pens. It’s a curious game, the [delete "the"] timed writing—a device designed to test not only our ability to write under pressure, but our capacity to come up with insightful responses to to the dullest topics imaginable. Small wonder it’s a universally dreaded assignment.
    As much as I gripe about it, though, deadline writing is a necessary evil. Sans a clear due date, I tend to find myself staring at a blank Word document, typing in a few words, deleting them, typing in a few more words, deleting them too, then scowling as the animated paperclip pops up and sneers “Do you want help with that?” But with a looming deadline, my fingers fly over the keyboard, racing to upload files before the turnitin.com window slams shut forever. Time limits may take me squirm, but they’re critical in shaping distracted thoughts into something workable. And until the buzzer goes off, I am totally focused—able [delete "-able", just leave it at focused], for once, [insert "able"] to avoid deviating into bored margin drawings.
    I’m no stranger to apathy; in fact, we’ve been friends for as long as I can remember. I find all sorts of creative ways to waste time, each one crazier than the last, and when I realize that I’m accomplishing nothing, I waste even more time so I don’t have to think about it. Sometimes I spend long hours plucking notes on the guitar, learning songs that I never quite finish, telling myself that someday, honestly, I’ll have the whole thing down by heart. I don’t mean to sink into indifference, but it’s a frighteningly easy process. There are always more days for learning, more days for practicing and getting better, too many to count and yet far too few for comfort.
    So as I brace myself for yet another timed writing, I wonder: if I died tomorrow—if I knew, with the precision of a stopwatch, that my life would draw to a close at exactly four in the morning, for instance, would it be enough to break the spell? It’s a scary thing to imagine: a lifetime’s repine condensed into twenty-four hours. A buzzer’s quiet beep and a heart silenced forever. Pencils down, essays stapled and turned in. What would there be time for? A few touch-ups, a couple of hasty corrections and a rushed conclusion, a hurried finale to what should have been a much happier story.
    Now, add an extension. A week’s advance notice, a month’s, a year’s. More time to flesh out meaning, to pick out dreams and pursue them vigorously, to distinguish the crucial difference between living and simply being alive. Maybe that would convince me to focus. Just maybe, if I knew my days were numbered, I wouldn’t treat them like an endless commodity; I’d find value in every moment until the clock struck that final second.
    If I had all the time in the world, I’m sure I’d get nothing done. A hundred years from now, I’d still be stuck on the opening riff of “Free Bird,” confident that someday, maybe, I might actually progress to the solo. A thousand years after that, I might consider tackling all the work I’ve left unfinished (but probably not). A million years later....who knows? It’s too far ahead. Much too far to think about.
    So I’ll start up my stopwatch and learn to live in the present. And I only intend to answer a single prompt: cease worrying about tomorrow, stop grieving over yesterday, and start concentrating on today.
    I couldn’t tell you what Shakespeare intended to say in the given passage, though if you give me a minute or two to Google it, I might have a more definite answer. Sorry for the weak response. I just can’t see myself searching for someone else’s purpose when I’m still trying to figure out my own.

      Current date/time is Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:41 pm