And words are all I have,
To take your heart away…
To take your heart away…
When I went to high school we were encouraged to take CLEP (The College-Level Examination Program) tests before graduation. Passing the test gives you the opportunity to receive college credit for what you already know. They are still available. I don’t know how many there were back then but the tests I took aren’t on the list now. I took three of them. One was in algebra, and I missed passing by a very few points. The other was for Freshman English and the third Humanities. All of these were in the requirements for a Bachelors degree at the college I chose to attend. I received credit for both the English and the Humanities tests. There was a limit of 9 college credit hours that could be earned. Because of that, I still had to take the Freshman English class on writing 500 word themes.
|My magnetic Maxine words!|
|500 word theme structure|
We would begin class with the greetings then he’d go into teaching. We’d do the lesson and on Friday he’d make the ‘big’ 500 word theme assignment. It was guaranteed to ruin the weekend. The interesting thing was how he chose the topics for the paper. He never had a planned subject on which to write the theme. He would look around the room then focus on an object. That object would become the assignment.
For some reason now, it’s easy for me to spit out 500 words. In fact most times I have to make myself stop. (He’d be so proud.) Maybe it’s because nobody is making me write. Back then though, it was torture, especially hand writing, editing, counting the dang words, editing then writing a mistake free paper on some off the wall topic that had no meaning. I labored through the semester, dutifully counting the blasted words and coming up with some semblance of a readable paper each week.
One Friday after looking around the room, Mr. Assistant Professor proclaimed the topic that week would be ‘A Chair’. Yes, write a 500 word theme about a chair. Great. Not only was it about a chair but it was to be about the classroom chair he pointed out. Great again.
Frustrated to no end I determined that writing 500 word themes was for the birds and decided to share that information with Mr. AP. I re-wrote my theme about the chair and went on to explain that when I was finished I was finished and it shouldn’t matter if it was 500 words or 350 words. If it was legible and made sense it should be acceptable. But if he insisted on 500 words I could write 500 words on nothing or in this case on a chair, just to make the required word count.
Monday morning I had changed my mind but it was too late. I had to turn in what I’d written. I handed it to him and hurried from the room. Friday, when the previous papers were handed back and the new assignment prescribed, he placed my paper on my desk, upside down. Reluctantly I turned it over and lo and behold, I had an A on my paper! I had a smiley face and a note from him as well. The note said that I had made my point and from now on when I was finished I could stop.
Talk in everlasting words,
And dedicate them all to me
It's only words and words are all I have,
To take your heart away.