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Teeth pulling, head banging, and deadlines


Writing a scholarly (there’s that word again) research paper can be likened to pulling one’s own perfectly good teeth and/or banging one’s own perfectly good head against a perfectly good wall.  It is self-mutilation in honor of academia, if you will.  It hurts.  Like the dickens. And it’ll cost a pretty penny to fix the hole in that wall.

I must enjoy pain.  But that’s another post for another time.

I have a deadline for this paper.  I hate deadlines.  I hate being told what to do.  I’m a bit of a loner and take pride in marching to my own little drummer.  My little drummer takes her own sweet time when marching, and I seriously have no control over that.  I have one speed:  Not fast.  Deadlines are never welcomed, not always met and frequently fretted over and the cause of many a nervous breakdown.  I wouldn’t have first-hand knowledge of that last symptom, however.

  At least not yet.

The research study paper begins, of course, with a Title Page.  This is a complete waste of paper, the killing of a tree, like saluting the environment with a big ‘Fuck You’.    It’s just wrong.  The Title Page consists of a title, a date and the author’s name, all centrally positioned on a big white boring page.    However, I am all about pleasing Professor so I comply.

There go the nation’s forests.  Don’t blame me.  I have a ‘thing’ for getting A’s.  I must get an A in this writing project.  I simply must.  So kill a tree?  Absolutely.   Miss the deadline?  Usually not an option.  Bang my head and pull my teeth?  I’m into pain, remember?

After the Title Page is the first page, which begins with something called an Abstract.   The abstract is not to be confused with the Introduction, which must also be included, but comes right after the abstract.  Here’s where I take issue, people.  In said abstract, I must summarize my overall intentions for the research paper in the first place.  So, I ask you, what’s that leave for the Introduction?

“Hello, my name is Theresa and I am writing this research paper to provide proof of my innocence. I have the right to remain silent….”   Oh wait, I fell asleep there for a sec.  That doesn’t quite fit, does it?  So what does fit?  I never did like introductions anyway.  Maybe I’ll just throw that section out. Maybe Professor won’t notice if I bribe him with a virtual apple or better yet, a virtual BJ or something.  I’m willing to try anything.  Although I’m really out of BJ practice, quite honestly.    And then there’s the whole gag reflex thing.  Ugh.  Serious lesbian nightmare material.

But I digress.

And the plot thickens.

Next you have to provide something called a Literature Review.  Believe me when I tell you that this section is not nearly as romantic as it sounds.  We writers think of ‘literature’ as something readable and get our warm-fuzzies on just thinking about it.  This is not that kind of literature, people.   The literature review is comprised of brief but thorough explanations for each and every piece of research information covered for your research project.    It’s a bitch is what it is.

Right about now, you’re either sipping your wine and wondering what the hell I’m babbling on and on about.

OR you’ve fallen asleep and your wine is now warm.  Make sure to wipe that drooly stuff off your face. Not attractive.

OR you’re thinking a literature review sounds a lot like a Bibliography.  You would be right on all counts:  the babbling, drooling and the bibliography.  So go ahead and get a refill on that wine.   I’ll join you.

So what I’ve figured out so far is that research study reports are so freaking large because you have to formulate your research info into several different sections, thus saying virtually the same damned thing over and over again, only mixing the words around for a more scholarly effect.

Kinda shines the old term, “educated idiot”  in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

And?  By the time I’m finished with this program and obtain that coveted Masters Degree, I will owe a whole bunch of money.   Again, ‘educated idiot’ anyone?   I can see how that might be perceived.

So, boys and girls, what have we learned today?  We learned some new words, or at least some new definitions for old words, right?   Let’s define some terms now, shall we?

  1. Deadlines.   Make you do things.  Bad things.  Because you gotta get an A.

  2. Head-banging and Teeth-pulling.   Normal daily workout for Grad students.

  3. Wine induced coma.  A beautiful dream of school break and happier times.  All you need is enough wine to get you there.

  4. Educated idiot.    Yours truly.  And getting more so with each passing second.

  5. Masturbation…..err, I mean Masters Degree.  There’s no time for the former.  Sadly.

  6. Virtual bribery.  Apple, BJ, sexting, cash, jewelry, first born. (See number 1)



Turns out, there’s a whole lot more to this freaking fancy paper than the sections I have described above, too numerous and too boring to mention.  I’ve been plugging away all day on this mutha-effing report, and now I’m enjoying blogging, reading some blogs and drinking some wine.  I’ll finish the thing tomorrow.  Deadline?  Oh, that was yesterday.  I’m late.  And I’m handling it pretty well, don’t you think?

I sent my “apple” off to teacher.   I’ll still get an A.

Just kidding!   Cheers!



(Image by Google Images)

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Reader Comments (37)

Oh, Terri! Only YOU can make me laugh out loud after the shitty day I've had. Only you can turn a term paper into something dirty. And only you can so elegantly intertwine wine into your post. Whenever I do it, it simply sounds like I'm an alcoholic. Good luck on your term paper! HUGE (non-gag-reflex-inducing) HUGS to you!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel (Totally Ovar It)

Ha, ha, ha, ha! As I wipe the tears from laughing, know that this is just the kind of post I NEEDED to read. I've been working my shapely ass off since yesterday afternoon, because I've got some tough deadlines. I ought to have managed my time like a professional. Yet, I played hooky and enjoyed my morning yesterday - and have absolutely no effing regrets. Oh, freelance happiness. But then, reality strikes in the form of email reminders every few minutes. What's with the dudes anyway? First they sit on the project, and then, when they realize it is due in a couple of days, they convert it into urgent for writers/suckers like me and respond with "you're the best". Oh yeah.

Anyway, for the bloody almighty dollar, I am ho-ing away with just a few fit-sy jerk-y reactions to Twitter. I'd rather be writing a nice pompous post gloating on that award (yeah, I want to make it a nice standalone post). Sadly, though, I stayed up late last night and was up very early this morning so I could stick to the deadlines. Can't, cannot not do it.

And then, like Ms. Manna from heaven, I saw this email update and happily rushed over.

Thank you, thank you, Terri. I am curious to read your paper :-D And I'd think virtual BJs would be the most boring ever. Oh well. I'd beg off with a virtual headache.

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVidya Sury

"Oh well. I’d beg off with a virtual headache." <----one of the Best.Comments.Ever! LMFAO
Gosh I love you Vidya. You make my day so much more joyous.

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

Now see, this is writing talent. You can take any subject and weave it into an entertaining, laugh inducing post.
(And the gag reflex nightmare is not just for lesbians. Just sayin')
It took this post to make me realize - it's all the damn title pages killing the forests!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlly

Wine, women and deadlines. I'm a virtual whack. But you know that. And the BJs? Ewwwwwww

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

Well, yeah Ally, cause I'm not only entertaining, I'm all about educating the populous regarding our environment.

Gag reflex....yea, I remember from when I was on the other side of the fence.

Glad you liked my funnies. I write them for my blog friends....such as yourself. HUGZZZZ

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

You do have a gift for making us laugh, at things that shouldn't even be funny! I always look forward to your posts for just that reason!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEva Gallant

Thanks Eva. I am glad you like my unique sense of humor. Or just the fact that I'm weird. Either way....just sayin. XOXOs

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

I would so suck at being scholarly. I hate repeating myself, so I would probably panic and just start making stuff up. They don't actually check on the statistics that you pulled out of your ass, do they?

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKarla Telega

"I have a deadline for this paper. I hate deadlines. I hate being told what to do. I’m a bit of a loner and take pride in marching to my own little drummer."

I knew we had something in common!

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSelena

Terri, repeat to yourself: "I choose this. I choose this." Seems like you have the format down, now you just have to do it.

By the way, you didn't mention "Statement of the Problem" in your synopsis of the format of your research paper. That would be right after the abstract and before the lit review. I've written quite a few of these things, too!

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLorna's Voice

Thanks Lorna and you're right...again. You're too smart for me. I gotta go back and put that in now. JUST KIDDING. I already did. I just didn't include it in my post because I was just being silly. But I do appreciate your trying to keep me honest. It's a tough job. And, again, you are right. I did choose this. And secretly? I love it.

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

Hi Karla. Hope you're feeling better today. I've missed you! And yes, unfortunately, they check the statistics. Hard to believe. I can make up stuff in my posts, but not in that dang research paper.

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

YEAH! Kindred spirits always make me smile. I do hate those things. It may be why I'm not rich, famous or successful. Or maybe it's just lack of talent. LOL

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

I seriously doubt lack of talent; so it must be the stubborn thingy!

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSelena

Seems to me that by the time you got to the heart of the ed-ju-ma-cated research paper,everyone would pretty much know what it was all about and wouldn't have to read that looooong paper. I think those title, abstract, intro, lit view pages are dreamed up by some sneaky prof years ago who got so tired of reading boring papers, he added those as Cliff Notes so he'd know what a paper was about without having to read it. He was C.Y.A. - or not Y but his.

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlbddiaries

Yep, I sure have heard that before. Can't imagine why. LOL

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

I love that Nan! "Cliff Notes". Makes perfect sense, too. I mean, if I were Professor, I wouldn't want to read all that boring crapola. LMAO

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

I do not understand why you are not rich & successful, in the common understanding of the words. I do think that you are "wealthy, and "brilliant".
Maybe there are just too many people in the USA (340, million), and with all the JLO's, LILO's, the thirst for the common entertainers gets all the attention. (Not to mention a plethora of "old goats" in the Republican party etc).
Come to Canada to work-We only have 34,million. You'd get noticed here! :-)

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlittlepatti

I have one speed: Not fast.

Amen, to that. Hilarious.

I also choked on the "virtual BJ" but not because of a gag reflex...just because you're funny.

Hang in there with all the tree-killing.
This too shall pass.

(And you will, too.)


November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjulie gardner

Girl if I could get out of this lease, I would high-tail it up there. Well, I would meander, cause that's how I roll. And thanks for writing all those kind words. I love 'em everyone.

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

Hi Julie and thanks for stopping by. It's fun for me to bitch and moan about school, but the truth is, I'm loving it. I feel like I'm accomplishing something. And these days, with my employment situation up in the air, accomplishing something is a big deal. And I wasn't kidding about my speed. I just can't get in a hurry anymore. Not really "can't" but rather "don't want to". LOL

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

I like warm wine.
Is that weird?
I also have one speed and that is slow but I have the "I'm crippled excuse" to which a smart ass professor would say "But Kim, your brain isn't crippled."
I'm screwed either way.
Good luck lady.

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

Hi Kimberly. Well, I like my merlot room temperature. And I do like my merlot. It's my fave. Thanks for stopping by and making me smile. Hugssss

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertsonoda148

What a trip you are!!! I wanted to strangle someone, anyone, in grad school...but like you, I secretly loved it and was enormously proud of myself for (finally) getting it done. Cheers.

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterk8edid

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