“I know I can.”
-Nas, God Son Album
I hadn’t written a paper in about 4-5 years. I just hadn’t. And academic writing has always been hard for me. But, for what I need to do, and the spheres I travel in, this has to be something that I conquer. And this week? I got a D on a reflection paper.
A. Whole. D.
My formatting was off, and analysis was weak and it was a trash paper! I mean, it was! And my professor (yes, Prof. Welch!) gave me the chance to resubmit it because the formatting was so trash.
So, did I do?
I cursed, called Monday (the day I got it back) trash AF, and resubmitted it.
Point: As a student, especially as a minority student, you have to know when to play the game and when to pop (totally) off. You have to know that certain halls of academia are still tinged with race, sex and class! You cannot pop off when you are been shown grace. What do I mean? My professor told me that she would be open to changing my grade if I resubmit my paper. What would have happened if I snapped off on her? Thisclose to graduation?!
Girl. Chile. NO.
I resubmitted my paper. I took the critique disguised as grace, and did what I had to do. I mean, she could have just given me that ugly, hard D. I refuse to let pride stunt my destiny!
This week confirmed that I am built for this. That the wit is still there. The talent has only strengthened with time and experience. That my analysis is–it’s there. Like any muscle, I have to work it.
With my class for Dr. Wall (whom I adore!), we have to do 2 papers. One is for a midterm, and I plan on doing my midterm on Lucille Clifton. I didn’t even meet her until this class. And she died of cancer. Dr. Wall is a space-maker. A space-holder. Unapologetically so! Dr. Wall said in her class (while talking about criteria), there is not enough critical literary analysis of Lucille Clifton.
What does that mean?
Critical literary analysis is being able to break down what the writer is saying and apply it in a broader or more narrow context. How deep can you apply it? And how does it apply?
And on Thursday, ya girl applied for graduation for this Fall.
Oh, yeah there’s something brewing for this. A poem may–or may not—be what culminates at the end of this journey.