Yesterday was my first day of getting a uni coursework back date. I admit I wasn’t fussed as I knew that the grade I would get would be the grade I would get. I wasn’t looking to fail, like a lot of people were. People were so nervous, their hands were shaking and they kept feigning a ‘not bothered’ attitude towards the grade they were getting.
“Wheey for getting a fail!”
“It’s only first year. It doesn’t matter at all.”
“If we fail – PUB!”
These are the loud mutterings I heard from across the room, in the long line for the queue.
When I finally received mine I will admit my heart did a nervous tremor, as if gearing up to do a somersault – but then deciding not to. Upon reading my results, I was pleased! I got a 2:1 in a cultural theory module essay and another 2:1 for my creative writing piece – which was the one I was looking most forward to hearing back from.
My face flushed with modest excitement. But what I saw on the comments page made me falter and, yes, get a little bit sad.
That very morning, I had yabbered on to my friend in a shower cubicle at the local swimming pool how I simply loved our Creative Writing lecturer. I yabbered on for some while, eventually telling her how I wished I could wrap him and just cuddle him, cook him eggs or something. He’s like a teddy bear, I told her. She only laughed back at me.
I take it back.
Like Mike, I was desperately unhappy.
Instead of being constructive, how he is supposed to be, he bluntly told me in the first sentence on the page that my work was:
- almost claustrophobic
I peeked across at my friends’ papers, and he was at least a little constructive towards their stories; however he did refer to my friend’s discourse as ‘mopey’. I know this is being what a writer is, and you have to take criticism. This is what people are like towards your work after college and school; there is no cushioning.
I know that. It was just a little disconcerting.
This is what happened in my mind.
But I know I can write better. I wasn’t sure of the story myself. I shaped it into something I didn’t know, and didn’t want. I recognise that myself. But I know lots of good things can come of this incredibly negative, disheartening feedback. After 24 dull hours of contemplating, I have come through with an energetic mind and so many ideas for new stories and projects, I was even buzzing in work, so when it was quiet, I pulled up a few blank receipts and scribbled story ideas on that.
My supervisor asked what I was doing, and I mumbled something unintelligible about story writing, embarrassed.
And so, I rise triumphant, defiantly writing vague ideas for new stories and new beginnings.