Wednesday, February 7, 2007

You Can't Make This (Bishop) Up

This special “Pre-Reading Week” edition of YCMTSU will come in two posts and is dedicated to all of my friends in school. Do you ever feel like what you’re writing is meaningless dribble? Does it seem like your essays or assignments can’t get any worse? Are you convinced that you’re the most awful student in the history of academia? Well, my dear friends, I’m here to tell you not to worry. Although you might feel frustrated and disillusioned at times, you are far from the pits. In fact, I happen to have in my possession the official Worst Essay of All Time. I like to call it: The Bishop Essay.

Before I include it for your reading pleasure (in tomorrow’s post, btw), I’d like to provide some contextual information about it. I wrote it back in Grade 7 for a Religious Studies assignment (perhaps this brings back fond memories, Dustin?). The assignment was to write a 2-page essay about bishops, and most of the students in my class promptly called up their local diocese and set an appointment to speak with a pastor about all things bishop-related. These students put a ton of work into their essays, and they included detailed analyses of the symbolism of bishops’ regalia, ceremonial duties, and so forth. Me, I asked my Baba what our bishop’s name was, and I tried (rather halfheartedly, I might add) to fudge the rest (double-spaced, and in 18-pt font).

Well, the best stories are those that have a bit of a twist to them. In this case, my Grade 7 teacher wasn’t stupid. She knew that in the scope of life, a mark on a tiny Grade 7 Religion project—low or high—wouldn’t matter so much. She also knew, though, that the scars from pre-teen humiliation can last for a lifetime. So… she announced to the class that only one paper had been given a perfect score. Only one. The catch: the person with the perfect score would have to read their paper out loud to the rest of the class.

No big deal, right? Except that the perfectly scored paper was mine—my crappy 10-minute paper in 18-point font—and I had to read it to all of the people who had put hours of blood, sweat, and tears into theirs.

My teacher wasn’t stupid, indeed. I’m sure she sat back with a gleeful smile on her face and watched me shrink in front of my peers, reading out my horrendously vague yet overdramatic Bishop Essay. I’m lucky I survived the bike racks after school that day…

To this day, whenever I feel like things in school can’t get any lower, I ask myself: “Is this worse than the Bishop Essay experience?” and the answer is always ‘no’. In turn, dear readers, if you ever feel like you’re signing your name to the worst piece of writing ever, I invite you to compare it to the Bishop Essay. You might be surprised...

In tomorrow’s post: The Bishop Essay!

PeaPod update:
I guess when my sister’s water broke, I expected PeaPod to come whooshing out like a white water rafter or something. Obviously, I don’t have much experience in the birthing room! PeaPod is still in utero, and if s/he can hang in there for another week or so (which apparently is possible. And safe! Who knew?), there is the distinct possibility that my sister can be flown back to Calgary and be induced back home! Going back to Calgary is what my sister wants more than anything right now (healthy baby prayers aside), so please keep your fingers, toes, eyes, etc. crossed for that outcome. Thanks!

The Pod herself, circa 1988


Suzen said...

hey dana!

i gathered a few small donations from the acad fibre girls (the few i could find around today) who wanted to contribute to peapod's support. let me know how i can get the money to you. :)

Dana said...

Aw, that's so sweet! Can you e-mail me so we can set something up to get the $$? Otherwise, I'll try getting a hold of you through m1 (I couldn't find a contact link on your blog). Thanks for everything!