First Paper

One page, single spaced. Response to the first four chapters of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. The first assignment always makes me nervous. It was my very first one in, oh, seven years. For a grade.

Except that no one actually got a grade, because it was the first one. BUT before the instructor returned our papers, she explained what we should include, and what not to write. She spoke of arguable points one could make and defend in such a response paper. She made a claim from the text and she saw me shaking my head at her claim. She told the class I wasn’t jivin’, and that it’s okay to disagree. That made me nervous, too, because when I turned the paper in, I had no idea what she expected. She piled the sheets according to her roll, I think, because she handed me mine first, the way the teachers do, extending it to me across several people, tacoed so that no one else could see it. I peeked inside. Huh. Then I opened it flat in case I missed anything. Averting my eyes and hiding my smile, I tucked the paper away in a folder, which I slid into my backpack with the rest of my books, and I sprang out of the classroom.

I cautiously take this as good news. But with enough heart to make my day.

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