I know what your asking yourself, FabNerds: “Did Jessica update a blank post at 11:59 PM so when she eventually finished writing it at 1:42 AM, it would still look like she updated on Friday like she is supposed to?”
No. You are imaging that.
Okay, you’re not. But I have a good reason for being so late (this time): I was writing a research paper. It wasn’t a particularly bad research paper – if we are judging the “badness” of a paper based on how boring the topic is – I was defending Orson Welles’ influence as a theatrical visionary based on his 1936 production of “Voodoo” Macbeth for the FTP’s Negro Theatre Project…
Well, I thought it was an alright topic and that’s what matters. Still, if you’re anything like me (and if you read this blog, I assume you are) seeing the words “research” and “paper” on a syllabus make your heart race and your vision blur and your body freeze with PURE FEAR.
It’s not that I can’t write a good paper – MLA format was ingrained into the very fiber of my being when I was still wearing braces (and I started wearing braces really early). When I was in tenth grade, my English teacher basically gave me an A+ for the year because I wrote ONE really good paper.* I can write a paper, no problem.
But somewhere between high school and college, research became the scariest thing ever. Like, for serious. It takes for ever and there’s never enough of it or it’s not detailed enough, so when you put it all together your thesis and it’s supporting points look like CatDog.
BUT TODAY. I learned something. Yes, even with my three years of college and amateur blog, I too can still learn things. This morning, I was working on this paper (that was, of course, due at midnight) and searching online for all of this information – I had nothing. Then it hit me. I wonder if the library has any books on Orson Welles?
It was like divine intervention, FabNerds. Divine. A message from God. I did a quick search on the library website (I wasn’t gonna leave my room for nothing) and found what Everything a Girl Writing a Paper at the Last Minute could ask for. I jogged over the the library (not really) and in fifteen minutes I walked out with a wealth of information.
Suddenly, I was filled with biographical information, and criticisms, and reviews, and – best of all – a copy of the actual PLAYSCRIPT TO WELLES MACBETH!**
I read and marked everything useful in each book quickly and after a short break to go to a photo-shoot for a play I’m in, I started writing my paper. I was done in two hours. Sent it in with fifteen minutes to spare. I don’t know about you, but I call that a victory.
And here’s the lesson in this: I know the internet is a magically wonderfully place. Obviously, I am a fan. However, sometimes it pays off to kick it old school. Go find a book. Visit a library. A least, when you need to. Taking the time to use these antiquated methods of research can sometimes save you a lot of trouble and stress. And that is worth way more than anything.
*He also was one of those “cool teachers” who planned whole lessons around episodes of Flight of the Conchords, but he let me write my own college recommendation, so I have no qualms with this.
**For those who aren’t theatrically inclined, a playscript is the script for a specific production of a play. It not only includes any cuts to the text that were made, but all the cues (lighting, sound, set, dance) that occur in the show. It’s like reading a play-by-play of a, well, play. Incredibly helpful when your are writing about something you haven’t seen.