I still haven’t worked on my LitHum essay… I sure hope I didn’t write a self-fulfilling prophecy.


September 5: the first day of class. I glance over the syllabus as my LitHum professor explains each book we’re reading, but I choose to skim over the due dates for the three essays I will have due this semester.

September 24: Our professor reminds us during class that our essay will be due on October 8, in two weeks. She announces the prompts, which I jot down on a sticky note that will disintegrate into compost at the bottom of my backpack. Out of sight, out of mind.


October 1: The LitHum professor reminds us about our essay with the expectation that we are at the final stages of our draft. 


How can this be? We finished three 500+ page books in four days, and I am still digesting Books 1-6 of the Iliad that I “read” over the summer. We are moving at a pace that does not allow me to properly develop my analytical skills and appreciate the literature. 

I sigh and shove another sticky note reminder in my backpack.


October 7: Just days before the essay is due, I suddenly become aware of my calc midterm coming up in two weeks. Making a totally rational and studious decision, I choose to review my math notes for hours. The essay? My document remains blank, with that cursor blinking petulantly at me. But in procrastinating, I at least stared at the math textbook and determined how unprepared I am for that midterm. 


October 8: I did not do well in my math midterm. I did not complete my essay. I did ignore my sticky notes. I did leave the majority of my work for Sunday night. I did bring this ruination upon me. 

The Ivy League is Ivy League-ing, I think to myself as I crumple to the ground like a scrapped LitHum topic. I cope with this truth by crying and shoving fries in my mouth in JJ’s Place at 2 am. 


October 8: It is 4 am—the twilight zone—where only monsters and manic college students are up. I am one such student, who read 4 books of the Iliad in an hour to mine for a close reading passage. 

Aha! Found one. Now time to say something remotely smart and profound in 8 pages or less (emphasis on less). Inspired by the goddess Homer always calls upon, I write like this is my last scrap of cowhide that I have left. As the lyre hums pleasantly as it is strung, so does the keyboard as I click-clack in rhythmic fervor. 

The Muse of Panic guides me as I log into GradeScope and submit my masterpiece: a first draft. 

Sad woman in library via Bwog Archives