Confessions of a Collegiate Ringer

We interrupt this NaNoWriMo update to bring you an update of another sort. I should be writing and chipping away at the 50,000 word goal NaNoWriMo has set for us taking part. Instead, I’m writing a term paper. No, not my term paper; my wife’s term paper.

Backstory: my wife enrolled in a post-graduate online degree program from DePaul University. She had been keen on going back to school, and when the opportunity finally arose, she pounced on it. I think she’d been taken aback, though, by the difficulty of some of the papers she had to write for her courses. So, naturally, she called in for some help, namely me. Since I have a gift for wordsmithery (but not real words), I helped out my wife on writing her papers, despite my unfamiliarity with the subject matter. And that’s never been a problem for me; I work in the kind of discipline that allows me to interpret business requirements for a business’ technology infrastructure, and translate them into written technical documents, and 9 times out of 10, I haven’t a single clue what that infrastructure does. So, yeah, give me just a snapshot of the subject – in her cases, Ethics in Business (HAH!) or Workplace Law (double HAH!).

The only bitch for me was to compile these papers in either an MLA or APA format. I hadn’t written a term paper since I graduated college 18 years ago, so my formatting skills were a bit lacking. Still, despite the formatting rules for either MLA or APA, writing papers and having to cite your sources in either format’s a gigantic pain in the ass.

After a particularly grueling semester, in which she busted her ass to pass her courses with flying colors, but the degree of difficult exhibited throughout the courses took a lot out of her, I suggested she focus on a lighter course load the following semester. She had a few electives she could choose from, but she wasn’t sure what to pick. She opted for a Digital Photography course to fulfill one of her elective choices.

“There’s another elective course that’s right up your alley,” she said.

“What is it?

“It’s called ‘The Beatles and the Creative Process.‘”

“Sign up for it,” I replied, “and I’ll take the course for you.”

“What do you mean ‘I’ll take the course for you?'”

“Exactly that. Sign up, get enrolled, give me the syllabus, and I’ll complete the course for you.”

Hence me being the ringer. The Beatles are a near and dear subject to me, one of the many passions I have. Saying I love the Beatles is like saying Charles Bukowski loved his booze; it’s a considerable understatement, at least it is in my house. A few months in, and I’m averaging a 97 in between the class discussions – online, of course – and the midweek papers due and the pop quizzes that have been part of the syllabus of the course.

This is obviously NOT me writing a term paper at this moment. But that typewriter was an awesome typewriter…

Right now, I’m writing a thesis on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and what I will argue is the negative impact the album has had throughout the years on the implications for rock music itself. In other words, Sgt. Pepper’s as a concept album begat a slew of concept albums, some good, mostly bad, and that trend has never ended. 7 pages, 1600 words, and a boatload of citations, all due this Tuesday morning.

1600 words? Hmm…any way I can add these totals to my NaNoWriMo word count?



8 thoughts on “Confessions of a Collegiate Ringer

  1. You are so going to hell for such academic debauchery. Good news though… I’ve already earned the position of bus driver on the great hell bound descent, so you will be in good company.

  2. Thank God she’s not studying to be a doctor! Gus, I enjoy your posts even more with every visit. Loved the first draft of your NaNo effort…even told people on my blog to come check you out.

    This reminds me of a college stunt a girlfriend and I pulled in real life. She was having trouble with College Algebra. Seeing as though I was an engineering student and had taken “all the maths,” I started taking all her tests for her, signing my name S. Dalton. Everything was fine and dandy and I was earning her an A…until the final exam. All the students of his classes were taking it at the same time. When it came time to turn it in, I was to put it in either the MWF pile or the TTh pile, whichever class I was in. I didn’t know which day she had class! The confusion must have shown on my face, because the professor said, “Who are you?…” and stood up. The bell rang, I turned in the paper, knocked over the pile, and got lost in the crowd. Man, that was close!!

    NaNo’s coming along for me…I think I’ve got to write 10000000 words today to catch up.

  3. Pingback: Should a Debut Novel “Play it Safe?” | Out Where the Buses Don't Run

  4. Pingback: I Hate Myself For Reading This, Or: The Worst Novel I’ve Ever Read | Out Where the Buses Don't Run

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