October 30th, 2003

Due South

(no subject)

I am being a horrible student and blowing off much necessary research time to finish up my Hallowe'en Challenge. Unfortunately, it's not going as smoothly as I'd hoped. Mostly because I, once again, underestimated how long it would be. I thought I could finish it up in another 1000 words. Having written most of that this morning, I realize I'm going to need a lot more. Mostly because I haven't even started the Slytherin/Gryffindor fight. I guess I could always cheat. Make the fight too confusing to follow? Yep, that's what I'll probably do.

*sigh* One of these days I'm going to have to learn how to write action.

But in other news, I just found out my classical myth quiz is postponed a week. Yay! That's one less thing I have to worry about this weekend.

After all my whining, I reviewed 24 stories/chapters yesterday. Mostly by going through the Lily/James section and then choosing any story under 5000 words. I didn't have the time or inclination to get into an epic last night. Continuing this morning, I now only have 6 reviews left to do this month.

But my God! Now I know why people complain about the crappy fic on ff.n. I seem to have a filter, skimming over summaries for something that looks like the author has an inkling of how to put a story together. That, and I jump from one author's fav story list to another, searching for decent stuff to read. I'd forgotten just how bad so much of it was. And it's really, really bad.

But I reviewed anyway. Maybe it was a copout. It's so much easier to point out what's wrong then try to come up with something meaningful for a well-written fic. And it would be cheating just to say "I like it" to every fic I read last night.

I suppose I can just hope that at least one of the authors takes my advice. You never know. One of my most memorable pieces of feedback came from my first story posted. Almost six years ago now. Whoever it was said I needed a lot of work. The part he focussed in on was my stilted and unnatural dialogue. I think I was a bit on an anomoly because I was grateful, even back then, that someone took the time to try to help me improve. Still am, now more than ever.
Due South

To TAs

To TAs

If you want Times New Roman 12pt font, please specify Times New Roman 12pt font. If you do not specify Times New Roman, then be prepared to read Arial and/or Courier. Both fonts are acceptable to this university.

If you have not specified Times New Roman, please learn to recognize what size 12pt font is in Arial and Courier. Students do not appreciate being told to use 12pt font next time when, in fact, they did this time. For that matter, please learn to recognize the size of 12pt font Times New Roman.

If you are going to lecture us on how to properly cite work, than you damned well better have the decency to to know answers to basic questions about proper work cited pages. I learned a) which city to use (if multiple listed) and b) which date to use (if more than one) back when I was nine. I will not hold it against you if you do not. I will hold it against you if you lecture me about my inability to list the right date/place and then can't tell me what the right date/place to list is.

If you want me to use the MLA style guide, please do not wait until I get my paper back to tell me this. Every other prof/TA I have had at university tells me that they do not care which one I use, so long as I am consistent about it.

If you want a "bold, radical" thesis, please do not wait to tell me this until after I get my paper back. I hate bold, radical theses and will not write one unless specifically advised to.

If the prof has told me one, specific thing that she wants in the essay (eg, a quotation in every paragraph), please do not tell me afterwards that sometimes it is better to paraphrase. When you look startled when the prof corrects you, I am not instilled with confidence for your ability as a marker.

If the prof wants everything in present tense, please do not look startled when she reminds us of this once we get our essays back. Again, this does not instill confidence in your abilities as markers.

If you are going to change my grammar, spelling or word choice, please correct it. It is not "a marriage to a prince who she loves" it is "a marriage to a prince whom she loves" so do not cross off the "m" please. "...Beauty being good and self-sacrificing and ultimately links to her reward" does not make sense, so it's a good thing I actually wrote "...Beauty being good and self-sacrificing ultimately links to her reward" - although I will admit it would be better if the sentence were not so awkward. "Nominal" and "deeper" are not synonyms, so please do not tell me I mean "deeper" when I write "nominal".

Finally, please do not mark in increments of five. I understand that perhaps this means my paper is actually a 68 instead of a 70, but at least then I would be confident in my mark instead of wondering if I have been cheated out of a 72.