Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall term

Fall term is out to get me. I can't even make this up. I'm pretty comfortable with my place at school. I'm an English major, and although that leaves a lot of room for creativity, I also find solace in things that will not change. Take for example, MLA format. The head of the English department is one of my professors this term, and wisely said "if there is anything you learn in college, let it be how to correctly format a paper. No one will hire you if you can't do a simple bibliography that follows a formula." So I did that. For his paper, I did an MLA heading on my paper and got a good grade (hopefully that wasn't the only reason why. I'd like to think I'm ok at writing, too.)

Then I get a curveball from this Buddhism class. The final essay was 3-5 pages. She wants it in MLA format with a cover page (note: MLA uses a heading on the first page, not a cover page). So I did the essay and came to class today to turn it in. Upon picking up my paper, the professor looked at it like my paper had red eyes and bloody teeth. The conversation:

Professor: What's this?
Me: It's my paper.
P: I know that. But what's this in the corner?
M: A paper clip.
P: Yes. I can see that it's a paper clip. I wanted a staple.
M: Oh. I thought you said that we were supposed to have a cover page so that you didn't have to look at our name on the first page. So I figured you would want it paper clipped so you could detach our names from the paper.
P: No. No one else used a paper clip. Go run and find a stapler after class and then turn in your paper.

WHAT THE HECK?!? On what planet is this ok? I completed everything in accordance to MLA excepting the fact that she did not want our names on the corner of the paper.

1. how do you get to be a professor at a private college without being able to grade a paper without a bias?
2. how does a school get away with not having a standard writing style for papers?
3. Why am I so upset about this?

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