On Essay Panic

Over the course of Winter Break I was supposed to write three essays that I hadn’t written earlier in the school year, due to absences and anxiety. When I made this plan, it seemed like a great idea. I would have ten and a half days to move at as slow a pace as I needed to, and I could I take lots of breaks when it became overwhelming.

This is where I am one day after the break ended: I have one sentence written for one essay.

No, this is not the result of procrastination. This is the product of what I like to call “Essay Panic”. Essay Panic is what happens when you give Ella a nice, large, difficult writing assignment. (There are also many other types of panic, like Calculus Panic, Test Panic, Quiz Panic, but those don’t matter right now.) Lovely ole Essay Panic likes to manifest itself in the form of crying, hyperventilating, rolling about on the floor in the fetal position, running my palms down against my cheeks so that I develop slight jowls and crazy eyes, making desperate phone calls, etc. Isn’t it wonderful?

This isn’t to say that I am incapable of writing essays. Logically, I know that I’m actually good at it and that I wouldn’t be in AP English (which I LOVE, despite all the essays) if I couldn’t. But the memory of all of the assignments that I did get handed back with nicely circled, red ink A’s just flies out the window the moment that I try to start writing.

And so here I am on day Eleven and a Half trying to write one of my essays and failing miserably. Cecelia came over to read “Beloved” while I worked, and I wrote a sentence. One measly, not-very-good sentence. But that sure is better than a blank document.

Throughout our nation’s history, the President’s power as commander-in-chief of the army and navy, as designated by Article II, Section Two of the Constitution, has been a necessary and beneficial one.

And that has been where I have stopped. There have been many attempts at a second sentence, deletion of said attempts, and two bouts of crying, cheek craziness, and fetal position rolling. I’m a real essay-writing champ.

Let’s hope that I’ll be able to have this monstrosity hammered out by the end of the night without much more distress. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

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