Saturday, January 06, 2007

Missing: My Writing Skills

3:15 a.m. / 03:15

In spite of the fact that this is where I do most of my writing now, I often find myself thinking it isn't really my best writing. In almost two years of blogging (well, lets say more than a year of blogging, since I skipped whole months sometimes early on) there is only one post I think I'm at all proud of-- Not A Dancing Queen.

One of my friends who knows I can actually write, or at least that I could at one time, more or less suggested going through some of my old stuff to figure out what I did right then and sort of work from there. I know she knows what she's talking about for a number of reasons, including the fact that
her blog is way better than mine-- so much so in fact, that I almost hate to refer you there because you probably won't come back here again.

Since I'm having some sleep issues tonight (this morning?) I've decided to read some of my college papers that I still have saved here on ye olde computer and find some bits (hopefully) worth sharing.


From a short paper evaluating the efforts of myself and some classmates to do a group presentation in Intro to Public Administration:

I have never looked forward to working on group presentations, and the article presentation for Intro. to Public Administration was no different. The odds seem stacked against myself and the other members of Group 6. How were we going to get our classmates interested in two articles we were not particularly interested in ourselves? It was the kind of assignment that can make a girl wonder if she’ll live to see graduation.

In Group 6, we began by putting off the assignment as long as possible. When it was no longer avoidable, we met up after class one day to divide up the articles into more mentally-bite-sized pieces—one for each group member. At this time, it also started to become evident that our sixth member had decided not to participate at all. The following day, we met up again to plan the format of the presentation.

We began our second meeting with a discussion about how we were all graduating seniors and we were tired of caring. Our group was plagued with deadly Senioritis. Counting the actual assignment as obstacle #1, we had hit obstacle #2. Then there was obstacle #3. We were the last group to present. We had seen where other groups had failed, but we were not finding ways to improve. Obstacle #4 was not knowing exactly what was going on with our sixth group member; he was a wild card. And so we proceeded to stare at each other blankly for a bit.

[skipping several paragraphs]

We failed utterly to implement the mission statement. We also pretty much failed to over come our obstacles. We did give a presentation over articles 45 & 49, but we did not engage the class in much intellectual discussion. I think Group 6’s greatest strength was a healthy base of intelligence. We are smart people. Our greatest weakness was obstacle #2: Senioritis. If we had put more time into the project… if we had had more energy to put into the project… we might have dazzled the class. Then again, those were some really dry articles. Could have, should have, would have… we presented, we lived, we will receive adequate grades. Cue “Pomp & Circumstance”.


This is just a title, but it amuses me because it was sort of bold for me:

An Undergraduate Political Science Major’s Frustrations with an Experienced Researcher

This bit more or less explains what frustrated me:

The information he gives is for the most part extremely detailed; at times perhaps too detailed. Yet, he slacks off when he reaches the important topic of methodology.

[Just in case someone cares, the article I was critiquing is “PAC contributions, Lobbying and Representation” by John R. Wright]


I think I'll leave off here tonight... or this morning... how ever you want to look at it. Either way, I think I'm finally getting sleepy again.


Just finished reading your Not A Dancing Queen, and I think it's a fine post. Can't imagine it's the only one worth being proud of, though. I have to read some more to find out one way or another.

I've had thoughts similar to your first sentence here. Most of my writing now happens as blog posts but I have a hard time comparing against stuff previously written. Two main difference factors: that "Publish" button, so easily clicked, and diverse, voluntary readers.

And see, now you have another reader just like that. Is this cool or what?
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