Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This post is embarrassing, and not in an interesting way.

I have a passion for justice. And it kind of takes my head to crazy places.

So my school has a writing class requirement. And it's good that they do, because not only are strong written communication skills essential in the job market, but too many high school students coming into college are woefully inadequate in this area. My psychology professor literally has spent two 75 minute class periods [two and a half hours, for those keeping score] discussing the deplorable quality of the reaction papers we've had to write for class, and so, I'm feeling a little sensitive to the average writing ability at this institution. I applaud my university for acknowledging the importance of writing skills and requiring that every student receive writing instruction.


I do not want to take a writing class.

As this blog is evidence of, I'm not a writing genius or anything. My writing style annoys even me. [Which really makes it quite difficult to get anything done around here, honestly.] Nevertheless, I feel it is fair of me to say that I am most certainly an adequate writer. My ability has been confirmed by independent measures such as standardized testing and writing contests and Mr. Pudewa's instructional rubric. I can string word together to form [usually] grammatical sentences that [usually] form semi-intelligible paragraphs that [usually] make perfectly literate papers. I've been published. That's more than most students who have completed a college-level writing course can say.

But my school will not even allow me to take a writing proficiency exam.

See, what happened was, my advisor told me that my AP credit would fill the university's writing requirement. And like a naive freshman, I believed him and went on my merry way. Though I had the opportunity to take the proficiency exam in my first semester of college, I passed it up because I thought I didn't need it. Then came second semester, when I switched advisors and found out my AP did not, in fact, cover the writing requirement. And that the proficiency exam is only offered in the fall of one's freshman year.

For two months I patiently but persistently hounded the administrative assistant of the writing department and sent the writing & rhetoric chair several emails. If anyone could give me alternative credit or an extension on the proficiency exam, they could!

I got a response today.

They told me to take a writing class.


I'm considering going to see the writing & rhetoric chair in person to tell her that taking a writing class isn't good enough for me, that it's a waste of my money and that I'm bringing the matter up with the dean. I don't know, am I behaving ridiculously spoiled and entitled? Would taking a writing class really be so bad? When I'm trying to double major and double minor, yes, yes it would be so bad. I literally have every class accounted for until the last semester of my senior year. And normally, I don't put up a stink about anything. I go with the flow. I'm only taking five classes this semester, because I didn't want to put my CVS leader through the hassle of getting me a tuition waiver to take six. Look at me, the picture of accommodation!

This whole situation strikes me as very unjust. But I feel badly, because I'm certain the chair did what she could. I don't think she's holding out on me, I believe her when she says that I really truly have no other options. And I feel like a brat, for whining about my fate instead of accepting it. Mostly, and this is equally unjust of me, I am mad at my advisor, who lead me astray in the first place. If not for him I would have taken the proficiency exam when I could have and I wouldn't be in this mess. Blah blah blah. It's my own fault. Should have done my research. Should have taken the exam just in case. Personal responsibility, Hayley!

At any rate, I need to stop being lame and complaining. [A conclusion I conveniently come to after I've gotten all the complaining out of my system.] It's also some comfort that I am not confined to lower-level writing courses but can instead choose from things like "travel writing", "writing for community service", or "writing culture". [Do they have food writing? No. No, they don't.] I should also probably take scientific & technical writing simply because it's useful. College is supposed to be useful. That's supposedly the point of taking a writing class!

That's my rant. The end.

[I am thankful for every ounce of this luxury.]


Peter said...

Like I told you today, CCRI.

Anonymous said...

i agree with peter talk a summer at ccri, theyre so fun.