Skip to content

A short critical dissertation on the prevalence of happy fairy candy

This week is the last of my OH MY GOD weeks, wherein I run around freaking out and slightly urpy from a stress tummy. I have now completed all twenty thousand pages of science fiction and literary theory and my eyeballs, they threaten to disintegrate and fall out of my head. I didn’t need my reading glasses for work before, but I sure as hell need them now. Thank you, literature credit requirement! Now, I have only to write a paper to be presented on Wednesday and then handed in sometime after that.

Which would be great, except this twenty page paper? Yeah, I’ve never written a twenty page paper. I’ve written some papers, some very interesting papers, but no PhD level conferencey type papers. In fact, with those papers, there’s the sneaking suspicion that maybe the professor was just trying to be nice.

Every writer feels like they are just two steps away from being found out as the talentless hacks they feel themselves to be. And perhaps related to that, I have always felt a bit like I was a poser in graduate school, as though I only got through via some very impressive lighting effects and smoke machines, and it’s times like this that those feelings well up and threaten to consume my brain. I mean, creative writing programs are easy. You just write pretty words. They don’t even have to make sense. But this? Creating arguments and dissertations and turning the literary world on its ear?

Look, a shiny rock. Pretty.

The past weekend, I spent logging into and out of electronic databases, compiling research, fretting over my paper proposal with the margins in which my professor could barely contain his disdain. I have no arguments. I keep wanting to turn everything into a gender issue, even when really, it isn’t. I don’t know science fiction. I have no opinions about genre theory. I just want to cite a bunch of beautifully written work, compile a really impressive Works Cited page and then lean back in my chair and put my hands behind my head and sigh after a job well done.

I shouldn’t be freaking out about this so much. I try to remind myself of that, but at the same time, the voice in my head, the little Type A personality voice that strives for perfection and feeds my inner control freak, that voice pulls up my very beautiful GPA and reminds me that one false step, even a freaking A minus, is going to drag that bastard down into the mud. Giving myself permission to fail, to learn by stumbling around, it is very difficult. Even writing about it, I am so frozen that I just revert to robot-speak when talking about it. Hard. Head hurt. Ow. So the next few days will be spent throwing myself upon the spear of this gigantically huge paper, and then presenting it in class whereby hopefully they do smell weakness and descend upon me like rabid dogs. And then? Then it will be time to relax. And take a breath. And spend several weeks waiting for the graded shoe to drop. At least I no longer have to powergorge on a bunch of science fiction any more and can read something fruity.

I predict a trip to the newsstand to buy every tabloid available. I really wonder what Bat Boy is up to these days.