Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Monday, 3 September 2007

Result (hmmm....)

Got my mark from my tutor for that piece I put on here recently.

I got 82%, which is a "B". You need 85 for an "A".

OK, I know that 82 is a good mark, but I was quite pleased with that piece of writing, more than anything else I've handed in, so I was a wee bit disappointed. So, I wrote and asked him what would have made it an "A".

He said that there were similies and metaphors in it that he didn't get, and so it couldn't be an "A", as "A"s are only for stuff that is publishable. Huh?

Hmmm...... sort of knocked me down a tad.

OK I have a piece of prose, 2000 words, due in by 14th September, plus another 500 words written about it.

Then two pieces of 1250 words each due in by 5th October, along with another 700 words about them.

Nothing written so far.

Nothing in my head writing itself, as sometimes happens, either.

Oh bugger!!!
It's a distance course, but there is an online "forum" for other students. Not many take part. I'm not a part-taker, myself, not much. But I've had a browse over the last few days and see a lot of them talking about having lost their "Muse".


The only muse in my life are mews, and they are produced by my lovely two cats, who live with my mum now, cos she has a big garden and I don't, and I live by a busy road, and anyway, if I had them here, how would I be able to get down there to see her without a cat-sitter up here?

Sorry. It's a sore point.
THIS cheered me up though. Wasn't going to put it on here - not keen on long posts. But it made me laugh.

This is from an online test, to see if you're Bi-Polar:
  1. Are you on medication?
  2. Do you like blue cars?
  3. When considering heights, does the thought of jumping / flying come into play?
  4. Do you have bad credit?
  5. When contemplating seeing a psychiatrist, do you consider yourself an experiment?
  6. Do you shuffle your feet?
  7. Do you like blue cars?
  8. Do you think "they're" crazy?
  9. When you think about being 'normal', do you get depressed?
  10. Do you keep noticing things that others miss e.g., birds, daisies, bricks, blue cars?


0-2 Check your pulse!
3-4 Close, but no cigar
5-8 Yep, you're bi-polar
9-10 This isn't funny, get professional help immediately


Chalkhills Collective said...

Hi Helena,
When I was a school my English teacher told me it was a complete waste of time my taking English Lit (probably right as I don't like fiction) and that I was likely to fail my English O Level. I didn't and that comment stuck with me. I went on to be an editor and write for our membership magazines for over 13 years. So what I'm trying to say is, don't believe everything your tutors tell you, believe in yourself. You can write and prove it every day with your blogs. That inspiration will come.

Thinking of you, Liz.

Anonymous said...

Did he write any indications or circle in red, as they usually do, on your paper as to point out the similes and metaphors that he didn't understand.

I'll have to re-read your story.

Anonymous said...

In a second read I discovered something I missed previously. You start out "head down...my scuffed blue shoes" and you end, "my eyes on my shoes, I think of Joanna's, with the triple buckles". These are wonderful metaphors using shoes to describe the difference of your life at home versus Joanna's home life.

Don't be discouraged!

Anonymous said...

AND the shoes take the story in a full circle. You know what I mean?

Helena said...


Thanks for that!

I remember twice in school- once in Junior school and once at Seniors- after I'd written some poetry, the teachers didn't believe that it was "my own work". At the Junior school she just told the whole class that I'd copied it from somewhere. But the bas*ard at Seniors made me come to the front of the class, tear up the pages from my book and put them in the bin- in front of everyone.

Deep down, I thought, wow it must be good cos they don't believe I wrote it!

Bit annoying years later though- on one of my pieces that I handed in at the begining of the course he wrote "This bit is good." and then he added, "Original??"


Helena said...


You got it! I wanted to use Joanna to hint at a comparison between the two homes. And nope, he didn't pick up on that. LOL!

The bit he said "this doesn't work" was this-

"Puddles lie in ranks along the path, mirroring street lights now fully lit. I splash through their yolks in my panicked sprint..."

First he said that puddles didn't lie in ranks, as this implies something like ranks of soldiers. But all I meant was rows. I just wanted a better word than rows.

Next he didn't like the bit about "yolks". He just didn't get it.

What I meant was, the way that street lights reflect in the middle of the puddles, like a big orange yolk!

But he didn't get it. He also said that it "didn't help make the tension you are aiming at here" or something like that.


I thought it worked. I liked it. I see what he means about "ranks" maybe. But I like the "yolks" bit.

But anyway, because of this, I couldn't get an A.


Victorya said...

Oooh Helena, in the end go with your gut (I like the yolks bit, though I also think of ranks as regimented lines)

I had one instructor, omg, she circled one line I wrote, "When I looked in her eyes, I didn't see my reflection anymore, just stormclouds."

Then in the red ink wrote, "but you don't see you're reflection in other person's eyes."

Uhm, never see your reflection? Yes you do! you always do!

Some people just don't think.

Anonymous said...


Sometimes I "Get It".

He's getting a bit nit picky, I guess that's his job as teacher.

As I read the puddles bit... perhaps "rows" would be a better word because the word "rows" associates better with "yolks"... as eggs are in rows in a cardboard/foam package brought home from the store. Keeps a continuous imagery.

Yes, I can imagine streetlights' glow in a piddle - ha-ha - puddle would look like egg yolk. (Also in a puddle of piddle.)

So, I agree with him about the rank/row BUT I LIKE the yolk.

Oh, You are making me think too much about a long ago past college writing course. (chuckle, smile)

I look forward to reading more stories and stuff.

Have you considered writing one in Bob speak?

Helena said...


"nit picky" hahaha yeah I agree.

I did write and explain the yolks thing and I got a reply today. He said he didn't know how he would describe the puddles "perhaps without a metaphor at all?"


Yeah, ok, whatever. But if I hadn't put one in, you'd have asked for one!

david mcmahon said...

82 per cent? Tht's one tough mark. I read the work and thought it was brilliant ...