Monday, January 21, 2013

When Words - And Lots of Them - Fail.

 Literally. And miserably...

From the March, 1996 History 3383 blue book exam of an, uh...unnamed student at the University of Oklahoma, found while sifting through the dusty, long-forgotten artifacts of a closet.

"My goodness, but you have a great deal of fine rhetoric here! But it has no chronological framework, it is short on data, and it seems to ignore organization altogether. Beyond that, I find no evidence of reading. Now, it is true that you reference to a great many things herein. You mention them in passing, so to speak. Thus, I'm sure you know something, but just how much do you know? I can't tell from your essay, because you don't go into detail on, well, anything. That leaves me up a tree, because I can't give you a grade based on what I think you know: I must be guided by what's in the examination booklet. Which isn't much. D minus."

Hmmm, a great deal of fine rhetoric that, taken as a whole, adds to up to not a helluva lot. Yep, pretty much sums up the freelance writing life.

That unnamed student, by the way, did manage to recover from that stinging - and wholly deserved - rebuke, and made damn sure he was sort of prepared for the next test. Or so I'm told.  


  1. Hmm yes things aren't that much better over here, Another 'nameless' student was rebuked 'His attitude to practical work is nothing short of dangerous'. Hooke's law of recoil action; I still remember the experiment to this day. If only the ex-cop science teacher hadn't been such a dick I would probably have remembered at least one more of his classes

  2. I, I mean he, did pass the class eventually...