On reading the question….

I’ve just got my latest essay back, and it would be fair to say that I am disappointed with the mark. (as, it appears from the comments, is the marker….”this is elegantly written, but unfortunately I must give it a low mark”…)

I have managed to write a history essay rather than a literary one, it appears. Which is not surprising, given I am more accustomed to that, and I was under pressure, and was concentrating more on the second essay that was due in the next week, and counts toward the dissertation.

All of which is a bit of a feeble excuse, when what has actually happened is that I have written a good essay, but answered the wrong question.

Much Missed Mother, when sending me off to exams (a common occurrence for many years!) always included two comments – “keep the heid” and “read the question – preferably twice”. Advice that was so well ingrained in me I used to pass it on to my own students.

Sadly, I failed to listen this time 😦

It’s not important. I have passed, and this degree is about fun and getting through, and not “for” anything other than my own satisfaction, and although the essay for this module is a disappointment, the module was fascinating.

But the advice I failed to notice is not something I want to forget. As with much of Much Missed Mother’s advice, it applies to so much more than passing an exam or essay; things are changing around me and I will make best sense of it all, and be the best I can be in it, if I “read the question” – pay attention to what is actually being asked of me, not what I want to answer, and responding with whatever wisdom I have to the real issue, and not my fantasy…..

That’s a learning that will make up for the poor mark…


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