"Do not overthink this". With those words, the class and I were dispatched on our first writing assignment of the semester. Don't overthink it; easy for the professor to say. No one will be grading her work. Besides, who likes writing? No, wait; I do. I love writing. But, this is for academia, the kind of writing that makes one think of stuffy language, stodgy vocabulary, and stiff syntax. Isn't this exactly the sort of thing one is supposed to overthink?
It's not like the assignment snuck up on me. Reading and writing are as common to grad school as polls and pundits are to politics. The past month's volume of reading has topped that of the previous few years, without a single box score or opinion column. Still, as that noted wordsmith Dan Quayle once said - "how terrible to lose one's mind, or not have a mind at all", or words close to that. He took a catch phrase about a mind being a terrible thing to waste and absolutely butchered it. I want to avoid anything similar on this writing assignment.
I have already violated the professor's commandment. Repeatedly. But, it is a thought piece, so what else does one do except think, right? Maybe if there was no grade involved, but I checked. There will be. Seems they don't give trophies to everyone just for being on the team; they actually keep score. Hmmm; the folks in K-12 are not going to like this. They specialize in avoiding any hint at the malicious truth that all students are not created equal, to the point of having multiple valedictorians at some high schools, which totally defies the point of the word 'valedictorian'.
But I digress, which is not a part of the assignment but does provide a break from thinking about it. Now, however, I am thinking about it again - writing and re-writing witty intros, snappy transitions, and a clever ending. If I can only get those components to actually address the topic of the assignment, this will be easy. And, I can stop thinking about it. Until the next assignment.
Totally unrelated note - was anyone else embarrassed that during Saturday's game the athletic department was pushing tickets for the remaining schedule? Really? This schedule has 5 home games that are sure-fire national television attractions and we can't sell out the stadium? Sorry; I don't like it. Tennessee regularly fills up a larger venue with lesser teams; Bama has a waiting list on season tickets; and, even South Carolina has more people wanting in than seats in which to put them. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to act like you are serious. The players and coaches are doing their part. I have season ducats; do you?