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Friday, October 20, 2006

Of Wrong Things and Red Ink

So I got my first college essay back today. Of course, the teacher told us we were all wonderful people and got us all anxious and expecting our papers to be a flood of red ink. So after reassuring us for a good five minutes, he handed our essays back, and sure enough, there was a good bit of ink scattered about the paper. But there was one problem: it was blue. Blue ink. Blue? I thought, blue ink? This would not do. Correct my mistakes, tear my paper apart, disparage my writing, but please, do it in red! Being disparaged by blue ink is a crime against humanity! I don't want some subconsious good feeling because my incorrect assertions were kindly pointed out with a peaceful, good-feeling blue. I want them shouted in red ink that says "Fix this! It can be better!" Now, perhaps the professor simply had used up all his red pens on the essays before mine, or threw his last red pen at the wall in disgust. But somehow I doubt that such problems could be the case. Red pens say "this is wrong." Blue pens say "well, this might not be the best...but I don't want to hurt your feelings." Please, tell me I'm wrong. I don't need a blue pen to make me feel better about myself. The red pen helping me become a better writer will make me feel better about myself. So would profs please break out the red pens and let them flow? Of course, if you like blue pens, that's okay. I wouldn't want to damage your self-esteem.


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