Essay Writing Time

Now, I know this essay is supposed to be about earnest and diligent work, however, let me digress. It’s about essays; if there is one thing in life that I absolutely hate, it’s writing them. They take up vast amounts of time, energy, motivation, and overall ruin my day whenever I have to write one. Keep in mind, I write essays pretty frequently: in AP Euro, I write one almost once a week. Now, while those are no treat, at least they are fact-based and argumentative, that is they do not require much creativity or unique ideas to do well on. Narrative essays, on the other hand, are a whole different story. Oftentimes based on my own life and personal experiences, these essays demand a level creativity and humor not needed for history essays. This was and is a problem for me, as seeking the creativity and motivation to write them is far too much work. This leads to poorly written, flat stories that often land me an unsatisfactory grade. There isn’t much I can do about it though: narrative essays are a part of life in a school that requires students to take English class every year they spend at Kent. This lack of motivation and hatred for writing essays always causes me to put essays off until the very last minute. Honestly (and sadly), I cannot think of a time I started an essay before the night it was due. Of course, pushing off essays until this late leads to less than exceptional work and grades. Nonetheless, I procrastinate anyways, knowing full well that the night before will be full of stress and frustration at my incapability to write a well structured, detailed, interesting essay as my teachers required.

Now sometimes I catch a bit of a break with writing my essays. An example of this would be today, Tuesday, May 5th, 2018, when the head of school, Fr. Schell (“Bless his heart”), declared that instead of having classes today, there would be a Headmaster’s Holiday. This was incredible for me as I have two essays due: a history paper about Mussolini, and of course this wonderful essay, which I am currently pushing myself to write. My history teacher is quite old and doesn't quite know how to use his computer, and only accepts hard copies, no online submission; this leads to him pushing back the paper’s due date to tomorrow. My English teacher on the other hand, is tech-savvy and requires an online submission, meaning that this English essay is still due at 10PM, (or 2200 for those of us using 24 hour time) tonight even with the holiday. This is bad news for me. Although was given the whole day today to write, I spent my time in the sun; relaxing, playing ultimate frisbee, going to crew practice, and otherwise wasting my time knowing full well that I had an essay to write. All this led to me not starting the essay until well into the night (read 8:45PM) with very little time to start and finish. Now you may be wondering, what does Tyler’s great dislike of essays and his poor study habits have to do with learning the importance of being earnest? Well I’ll let you in on a bit of a secret, unlike my history teacher, who expects that papers be written entirely out of class time, my english teacher gave us plenty of class time to write an outline, and otherwise prepare to and write this essay. Instead of taking advantage of this time as many of my fellow classmates did, I instead spent these class periods thinking about how much writing this essay would suck Tuesday night. That’s right, I spent more time procrastinating and worrying about this essay than I probably will writing it. How sad is that?

I first learned about the essay I would have to writing relating to The Importance of Being Earnest; a book, and movie, that I quite enjoyed in contrast to my usual opinion of English books. I went to meet with my teacher during Monday A conference about how to improve my writing and grade in her class ironically, a week and a day before now, the day it is due. The next block, when I have english class, I was given the assignment: to write about a time I learned the importance of being earnest. I had less than positive opinion on the topic, and I had no idea what I would write about. There was an outline due for this essay on Wednesday, two days after it had been assigned. Problem was, I still didn’t have a clue what to write about. This led to me missing class the day it was due. Albeit I did actually sleep through and didn’t intentionally skip, it was still a bit of dishonesty as I did not have any outline to hand in or show had I gone to class. Over the course of the next several class periods, my teacher gave us a great deal of essay writing time. I still had not decided what to write about and instead spent the time doing nothing and hiding my phone (I forgot my computer) whenever my teacher came around so that she would not see that I had written nothing and would pray she would not ask about my essay, which did not exist. So now, over a week after it was assigned to me and with a countless amount of wasted class time, I struggle to write my essay in a race against the clock to finish in time.

Only now, ironically, while struggling to write an essay about being earnest, do I realize the importance of being earnest. Perhaps I should have been more honest with my teacher and gone to her for help on this essay instead of acting as if I had made good progress. And, of course, I now wish I had used my class time to work on my essay and gotten most of it finished without much outside work as most everyone else did. Instead, however, I wasted my time and missed class, so now I face the consequences of having to speed-write an essay in a class which I already have a less than stellar grade in. Now do I truly the value of being earnest and living a sincere life.