Rotten

是我過去這一星期來的心情。

2005/03/03,上星期四,二篇報告的成績下來了。50分過關,聽說不容易到70分以上,一篇差強人意:第一個評分者給60,第二個評分者給56,平均58,我知道有些地方可以寫的更好,是我自己沒花很多時間在上面,這樣的成績我接受。

另一篇,看到成績時,我呆了好久。

46!!!
 
那就是FAIL...
 
老天爺,我從來沒寫過failed paper,這樣的失敗對我來說,打擊很大。對,我沒有花很多時間在上面,可是不代表那是爛報告,更不代表那是份failed paper,我沒有希望得高分,但真的沒有料到會沒過關。而且,這篇作業,我還特別請那位在高中當老師的美國同學看過,得到這樣的結果,大大出乎我意料之外。
我不敢說我寫過的報告很優秀或是很突出,可是都有一定的水準。突然想到以前在美國唸書時,那個位教American Literature的教授,有一次我在系主任辦公室外時,突然叫住我,他說:
 
Miss Yen, good work!
 
這位教授很怪,從來就不肯叫我的名字,每次我在課堂上舉手發言時,都只是做個手勢,請我發言,他連點名也不肯叫我的名字。那時突然叫住我,讚美我,讓我受寵若驚,學期結束時,我的成績是A。
 
是我的思考邏輯和模式走了樣?還是英美二地標準差太多?老實說,我還真的回答不出來。我只能說,美國的教授們,在想法上,給學生很大的空間,當然,我個人的經驗,並不代表事實就是這樣,況且,我的學校只是個區區的州立大學而已,遠不及這所位於據說擁有悠久歷史英國的學校。
 
收到成績後,和一些同學聊過,我發現,有趣的是,只要有去tutorial的,單獨和教授談,教授之後告知要著重討論的地方,乖乖照著寫的人都有過。天啊,原來我們學校的研究所是這副模樣。
 
和一位教寫作的美國教授仍有連絡,我把這件事告訴他,甚至把老師的評語給他看,美國老師說:
I did not think the comments were particularly insightful or helpful. In fact I thought they were ill-considered and hurtful. It would take more space than it is worth to comment on them any more.
 
對於一個口令一個動作的事,美國教授說:
Part of graduate school is business. You have to learn how to play the game.  It's cynical, but there are plenty of idealists who have stuck by their guns and who are no longer in graduate school because they did not want to compromise their purity. You need to do is find a way to give them what they want, and then, having done that, find ways to fulfill your own desires and writerly needs.

我了解評分是很主觀的,只不過我在想:沒錯,教授也是人,但是他們應該比常人更客觀才是。看了老師在作業裡逐行的評語,我都快昏倒了,報告第一句我寫 School has been a universal experience.....
 
這位天才老師,在a universal experience字下畫線,寫perhaps slight exaggeration,我的媽啊!!!說學校是universal experience是誇大其辭喔?難不成School is the experience which only exists in UK?
 
現在說什麼也沒有用了,沒過就沒過,重寫就是了,這樣的打擊對我來說,未嘗不是一件壞事,我想,我太過自信了,以為自己無論如何都會過關。
 
The professors in America gave me too much liberty.
 
所以我以為自己也會得到相同的自由度,但沒想到.....挑戰非傳統主題的下場是這樣,那我還是乖乖的好了,老師一句話一個口令,這樣我也省事,不用去想一些新奇的東西來寫。
 
I fell;
I failed.
 
What a beautiful rhyme with alliteration.
 
不過,塞翁失馬,焉知非福。不能在失敗的情境中沈陷太久,得想辦法解決問題,出走困境。
 
ps. 老師對於這篇failed paper的評語:
There are some moments of insight here, but I am afraid that this paper does not reach the standard required at MA level.  Your argument that these school stories all function in the same way is essentially reductive and results in a superficial and generalised treatment of each text. While I accept that there are similarities between them, it would have been far more productive to demonstrate the different ways in which these texts make use of the school setting they have in common. For example, you mention that malarkey is a dystopian text, which certainly differentiates it from the other books, but you don't deal with this aspect of Gray's book.  Your argument that there is no difference between the fantasy of Harry Potter and the realism of Tyke & Malarkey also demonstrates a lack of sensitivity to the generic structure of narratives in terms of language, thematic development etc.  Your argument is fundamentally flawed and needs radical rethinking if this paper is to work as a legitimate discussion of these texts.

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