Day 11: Big ol’ slice of humble pie

Journalism class took me for quite a spin today. In what I can only describe as a very humbling experience, I realized I have to get those writing juices flowing again because my first assignment was a disaster. Not only did I make horrible mistakes, which stood out like a sore thumb to me now that I reread it (why is hindsight always 20/20?), but our teacher was going through what worked and didn’t work for the assignment, I had the un-honour of modelling the what not to do’s.

I suppose it could have been much worse. Our teacher removed the names from the clips he pulled to highlight disaster after disaster, I still knew it was mine and let me tell you, it is not a nice feeling. On the opposite end of the feel-good continuum was Kitty, whose assignment was also displayed for all to see as the model of one of the best ones in the class. That’s always nice to hear, and I really was happy for her because I remember her worrying about not making the word count. At the same time though, it’s hard to celebrate when you’re being kicked in the stomach again and again (which is what it feels like when the whole class, including the teacher, bans together to tear your assignment apart).

Having recovered from the initial horror of seeing my own poorly-chosen words up on the screen for all to see, I decided to grit my teeth, swallow that criticism and actually learn something. In a way, it was kind of a good way to learn. I basically had direct feedback on my work, not only from the teacher but from the class. Some of the mistakes I made, by the way, were ones echoed by some other students too, but it appears I seem to have provided the best example of being utterly wrong in every choice I made.

In every instance, I wholeheartedly agreed with the criticism, and I probably would have given myself a lower mark than I got (which, thankfully was not the lowest in the class as I had expected after that delightful verbal beating). It’s one thing to write an assignment with the sole interest of trying to get it done and over with, and an entirely other thing to see your words thrown right back in your face. It was definitely a good wakeup call. I need to get my game together. It’s also a good reminder that all glory belongs to God, which I tend to forget when I’m getting good marks and drinking in all the credit.

About an hour after I emerged from that journalism class, with my pride effectively put in its place, I got an email from the Charlatan. My editor really liked the profile I wrote and even said it was good enough to be a sample of what other writers should be aiming for when crafting a profile. Way to come through for me, God.

I now have only one thing standing between me and home: my media law class tomorrow morning. Toronto, here I come!

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