Well then, here’s a problem.
My mentor for this semester set what I thought was a firm limit of 15 pages for each student to submit for our workshop. I sent in 13 or 14, another classmate sent about 12. One person’s work I have not yet opened. But one person sent us a little note with her submission saying basically, “Sorry this is a little bit longer than the limit. Please bear with me.” I appreciated the note and would not mind reading a couple extra pages, but then I opened the file to find it was 28 pages long, nearly twice the limit. I was irritated, to say the least, but since no one else had complained and our teacher hadn’t commented on it, I decided to start reading.
But here’s the thing that really upsets me. This writing? It’s lovely. Beautiful. It flows perfectly. It’s funny without being crass. It’s sincere without being boring or mushy. It’s really pretty much great. In fact, of all the things a student can submit to workshop, I wonder if she missed the point of workshopping because she sent us something that needs very little work whereas I sent the second draft of a very new, very shaky little essay. Who does this person think she is, sending us something lovely and enjoyable and 28 pages long?
And to top it off, she is a 1st-year student. When I was a 1st-year, I struggled pathetically, much like I struggle now but without the indignation and weariness. Her writing betrays no sense of struggle or weariness, and where the indignation does show through, it’s pure hilarity. I’m furious to say this, but I love this goddamned essay/chapter we’ve been sent, and of course, I’m jealous as hell.
This should not be allowed.
(Note: The title is a line from Tori Amos’s song “Girl Disappearing.”)