Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Reasons writing a paper now is so much easier than it was 20 years ago:
  1. There's information on the internet.
  2. My friends actually know stuff. And people. In some cases, they are actually experts.
  3. There are citation generators on the internet. Holy cow.
  4. My house is quiet and empty, with literally no drunk people in the hallway and no one watching 90210 in my suite.
  5. I've been a professional writer for six or seven years.
  6. I was a professional writer about the subject of the class at least some of that time.
  7. I have actually done (most of) the reading for the class.
  8. If I get bored or weary, my inclination is to blog or go for a short walk, rather than to go to the end of the New Jersey Transit line without checking to see if there's even a train back or start self-publishing the most amazing, totally definitive 'zine ever and distributing it.
  9. The presentation that has to come from this paper will be at least partly copied-and-pasted, and will not involve any last-minute runs to the bookstore for markers and extra posterboard.
  10. My computer weighs less than 20 pounds, and is therefore practical to carry around with me. Also, I don't need to keep four different disks with me if I want to write a paper and e-mail it to my professor.


Joe said...

11. "Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know you are getting the best possible information."

OK, Michael Scott once said that. . .but it just seemed to fit on the list.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Oh, yes, Joe. A Michael Scott quote is nearly always appropriate.

12. It is now acceptable to carry a backpack by both straps. Weird to do otherwise, in fact. Which means that, should you have a backpack full of books and your laptop, you can carry it reasonable distances without passing out from the pain of having all of that on one shoulder.

Amanda said...

Oh, I must have a copy of that 'zine.
And please tell me about these citation generators, as I will be writing a report a week about a pathology and its indications and contraindications regarding massage.

Joe -- If I happen to run into you on Duke Street with my double-strapped backpack, please be nice.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Amanda- I am not sure copies of (any of) th(os)e 'zine(s) still exist, but I could probably recreate one for you. It would involve the typewriteriest font I could find (but not an actual typewriter) and the word "fuck" a bunch of times, between which there would be a lot of unusually well-spelled and -punctuated words, for a 'zine. Some of it would be very prosey, but with weird
to make it seem
poetry to me.

Also, there would be some photocopied images, and if you looked closely at them, you would be able to see the Scotch Tape lines around them.
Also, seriously, these kids all wear both straps. My cool-kid one-strap self of the late eighties would be scoffed at now.

Cousin Mouse said...

No problem with the word verification - I had to do the same thing on my blog. If someone whines, forward all the spam comments and the comment notifications that they generate to them, see how THEY like it!

Yeah, I want to see that 'zine, too. I'll show you my 'zine. Are 'zines valuable collectors' items, yet?

Another thing that has changed - you don't have to ask your prof if submitting computer-generated, rather than typewritten papers is ok.

Cousin Mouse said...



My word verification this time is "coril," a measurement used in the making of fireworks fuses indicating the burning rate.