So I had this poetry explication that I wrote last week, about which I was a bit concerned. Firstly, because I don’t like poetry too much, and it’s always difficult to write about something you don’t like that much (although at least I understood the poem I was writing about, which was a plus). Secondly, I haven’t written a poetry explication since sophomore year, which was…six years ago. Thirdly, the professor has a reputation for being a tough grader (great teacher though, he’s quickly become my favorite; he’s also the one who goes to Redeemer). Fourthly, because I’m always concerned about papers, especially the first one for a professor I haven’t had before. The fact that he’d had complimentary things to say about the rough draft for a book review I showed him made me a bit more confident, but not much.
Got the paper back today.
A few scattered notes on things that could’ve been more concise or better stated, which he was totally right about…there’s only so much one pair of eyes can see, even through a few drafts. But on the last page: “Jandy, there isn’t much I can suggest to improve this paper. Its reading of the poem is penetrating and convincing, and your prose is supple and fluid, yet precise and pointed. This is outstanding work!”
I tend to think of myself as independent enough not to need validation, but validation really feels good now and again. Especially when certain other classes keep making me doubt whether I’m even where I’m supposed to be. And validation from him, with both the respect I have for him as a teacher and a person, and his reputation as a hard grader? Super-good.