Farnsworth kept him late working on that miserable laundromat account. He called his wife, Grace, who was more than a little annoyed about being stuck with the kids at bedtime. Eric resigned himself to a dark house and a cold supper whenever he managed his escape.
Taylor October 26, To learn the Dear former self essay of a drug, it is necessary to kill a rat. Scientists have many identical rats. Four years ago, I tested the boundaries of a relationship, and in so experimenting, I killed it. There will not be another like it, for it was its own thing.
I stood in the hallway before a closed door holding a paper plate of absinthe-colored champagne grapes, just washed in the student kitchen.
The door opened, and there was the professor. This was how she looked alone. She had a face. The dialogue was underwhelming. How was my semester was going, the professor asked. I was afraid of my classes, I said. The professor and the literary cloud I imagined she lived on were my escape.
The true source of confusion, though, was that I tried to turn the landlady into a friend. The professor had given the essay a glowing A. She had a deadline, but it was nice to see me, the professor said. The professor encouraged originality and boundary pushing in writing. She urged students to find the forms that worked for the stories they were telling.
In her own work, she often discussed people who created unconventional family structures and romantic relationships. Overall, it seemed to me, she thought people should feel free to test the limits of their lives, or at least not let the bounds of convention hold them back. In that doorway, the idea that you could make a life of your own—you could buy funny grapes at the fruit stand instead of cantaloupe in a clamshell container, you could knock on a door and the person you daydreamed about would answer and be glad to see you—was realized.
A friend once read a version of this description and took something else from it: It was telling, she thought, that the professor cut the conversation short. She urged us to explore subjects that made us slightly uncomfortable, as those subjects tended to spur interesting thinking, and writing.
As an exercise, she asked us to describe someone else in the room. One student described the professor. In his description, he connected her distinctive hair to what he presumed to be her religion.
It was hard not to flinch. There was something ostentatious about describing the professor at all. These two scenes became omens. That moment with the grapes, which to me had seemed a gateway to something, would in fact be the closest we ever became.
It was actually Night and Day, but imagine it was To the Lighthouse, which I also read because of the professor. It was as if I had them both with me. I was beginning to know the professor the way I knew Woolf—that is, from her books.
It was as if the professor existed inside it, ready to have a mental conversation in which I simultaneously felt understood and alone. I felt a connection to her written words, and I imagined that she would understand the thoughts I had in response. She did seem to understand my writing.
On the bookshelf, they were equivalent, the professor and Woolf. But Woolf was dead. I constantly noticed things that reminded me of her and kept her apprised of the coincidences. But I also wanted her to know me better, and sending her my personal essay was one way to achieve that.
There was an element of exhibitionism there, the white flash of a Word doc.Ray Bradbury – Sample Literature Essay.
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