Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jumping Through Hoops

Today I handed in my first assignment to my school. Actually, it was three separate assignments (a theatre program, a 300 word show review, and a thousand word show analysis) that, cumulatively, are worth 50% of my final grade. The other 50% comes from my final 2,000 word paper.

Now I know why the students in my RT class are prone to freak out when writing is discussed. After all the hoops they make you jump through, you feel like you're handing over your life when you pass that stack of papers over the desk.

First, you obviously have to do the assignment. Difficult, but not terribly. The essay format, as far as I can tell, is not extremely different from home (I say this now... I'll probably fail and then have to eat my words), but they required us to work from a "style sheet," which basically tells you how to make your bibliographies uniform. The problem was, until last night, despite searching both on the internet and physically in several buildings, I could not find a style sheet anywhere. Finally, I asked the only professor who was around at five p.m. last night where I could find one and she brought me a packet. The three-page style sheet was hidden within the depths of it, but it wasn't even headed with that title, so you'd never know what it was.

It was a relief to find out that the bibliography was basically MLA and I added those touches to my already-completed essay. Printing it out once that was complete, though, was an adventure in itself. There are not a ton of computers in the library because they provide lot of space for you to bring your own laptop, set it up, and print it out. I'll be doing that next time, since all of the computers were taken up, and I'd estimate that 80% of the people were on Facebook. I love Facebook, but if there are fifteen people wandering around looking for a free computer with panicked looks on their faces, I'd say you should go Facebook in your room.
I went over to a librarian (dun dun DUNNN) and asked him if I could use the staff-protected computers (they had let me last time I traumatised them.) He asked me why and told him I needed to print out my e-voucher to turn in with my essay. "Hm," he said, and I knew what was coming. "I've never heard of that."
Okay... is the academic system new or something? Every academic question I've had in the library has been met with blank stares and "I've never heard of that"s. Surely all of the students on campus have had to print out an e-voucher at least once a term in the library.

Eventually I found a free computer, printed it out (I had already printed out my hard copies) and went with a girl from my class to hand it in. I knew that you had to submit it both in hard copy and online (the latter with a secret code that they never tell you; I got it from Emmie), but what I didn't know was that in order to turn in the hard copy, you had to have a printed-out e-ticket that verifies that you've already submitted it online and a cover sheet, which basically says, "My name is... My e-mail is... I am handing in this packet [signature.] This packet, I am handing in [signature.] I am removing this packet from my hands and putting it into yours [signature.] This packet was given to me by the student [school stamp.]"

My classmate and I took turns asking questions that seemed stupid to the guy who was taking our papers, but were legitimate problems. Like the fact that apparently, our name is not allowed to be on the papers anywhere (they're graded objectively by several different parties)... but our e-mails have our names in them. The guy said, "No, they don't. It's your login code." But the official papers were got say something completely different. We changed it, but I am worried about that.

Finally, it was time to hand over the papers, and at this point, we had invested so much work into them (more work filling out the forms than writing them, probably, and much more stress) that we didn't want to turn them in. Should it really be this much work to turn in a few papers?

So basically, I suppose this is our midterm time.. it's weird to think that in about a month and a half, I'll be done with classes.

Last night, I saw an incredible play called Water (you can see the video about it here). It was a seamless production- the scene transitions were incredibly well-orchestrated, the story and acting were fantastic. I only had one teeny-tiny nit-picky complaint that the actors sometimes had trouble with their Canadian accents, but a)I doubt the British audience noticed it like I did, b) they switched between so many different accents that it hardly mattered and c) everything else was amazing. They went between using extremely high-tech sound and light effects to just using their bodies (like flicking their cheek with a finger by a microphone to make the sound of water dropping) and flashlights... and it was just as effecting. A truly fantastic production. I have yet to see a bad play here.

Rehearsal soon for class, where we'll be discussing... essays. Goody. Like I haven't had enough of those today. But she is giving us snacks.


Anonymous said...

Another library adventure! at least you had a person join your team.

***I would definitely find a way to verify that your essays were received. You don't need any surprises when it was WAY to late to correct.***

I am glad that the plays they picked, even the diverse range of story styles, is meeting your thirst to see shows.

Wonder if any of those shows will be floating around when we get there?


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