the little graduate student: a story with a moral

Once upon a time a little graduate student began a semester with Very Good Intentions.  She bought a planner, and, for each of her Large Writing Assignments, she wrote a due date a week before it was actually due.  In this way, she hoped to have a week to revise each assignment so that each one would be Perfectly and Properly Polished.  The semester began slowly, and the little student felt it was a spacious semester in which all would be completed with plenty of time to spare.  She skipped through it, often stopping to admire the flowers along its edges.  Then she rounded a corner to find that the semester had begun to go Very Fast Indeed.  She had to run to keep up with it, and her shoes began to give her blisters.  She nearly forgot about the flowers, and as for her planner, well, when she remembered to look into it, she remembered that the due dates were a week early.   Thus it happened that the night before a Particularly Large Assignment was due, the little graduate student found herself still finishing the assignment — not revising, mind you, just finishing.  And so, among the other things the little graduate student learned that semester was this: that, though she had Very Good Intentions, she really was very much like nearly all other students: her skills at Procrastinating and Wasting Time were quite as good as, if not better than, her intentions.

P. S. This is the point at which, in a nice fairy tale, the Fairy Godmother would appear and Poof! produce the paper which is due a week from tomorrow, or the Handsome Prince would arrive and sweep the little graduate student away into Happy Ever After so that the final paper would never need to be completed.  However, whereas all the nice fairy tales are based on true wishes, this tale is based on true life.  So the little graduate student must write her paper.  And when it is written, she will realize that she is glad not to have been rescued from writing it — which is part of the reason that true wishes don’t always come true in true life.

P.P.S.  Since there is a “Once upon a time” I owe you a “Happily Ever After,” because stories which break the rules annoy me.  We know there is one, because, even after straining out the last three paragraphs of a lengthy work of literary criticism, the little graduate student still happily turns to write a story.  So there you have it.  And here, in accordance with the rules again, you have

The End.

4 thoughts on “the little graduate student: a story with a moral

  1. LOVE THIS! Stacy, you’re hilarious. And so very wise.;-) Sometimes I feel that way with God too…I’d rather just skip through the “assignment” but in reality, I have to go through all of the steps and write the whole “paper”. LOL. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. John says:

    While the little graduate student toiled under Particularly Large Assignment, far, far away from the Hamlet Home, in a town much larger, toiled her brother under similar burdens and coped with them far less philosophically. Through it all he often thought of how, in an internally short time, the Very Ugly Materials would stop breathing down his neck and he would be joyfully united with his family for the Holiday.
    This True Wish, oh let us hope it is met by True Life.

  3. carroll says:

    i starred in a very similar story this semester, though the planner featured in mine was less idealistic (if equally neglected). perhaps next semester will be the time when Good Intentions translate into a reality of Well-Tended Planners and Finishing Papers Early…

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