SHORT: Slowing Down

Nicholas Lucchetto
The ESSAYER
Started Friday, 5:12 PM
Finished Friday, 5:40 PM

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Source: orangenomad.com

Another day, another essay for Language Arts. Even though we were assigned a report on two short stories that I didn’t particularly enjoy (The Box House and the Snow and Mercedes Kane, in case you were wondering), I always look forward to writing. The short but sweet moment when putting my hands to the keys for the first time is wonderful.

I made myself comfortable, plugged in the keyboard, and was ready to crank out some words. But, something didn’t seem right. Normally, if I’m familiar with the topic, starting an essay is a breeze. This time, however, my thoughts just couldn’t “fit together”.

I knew something was wrong when I only managed to write about a third of a paragraph without thinking to myself “this is awful” and promptly deleting what I had written. Looking around, I found that ten minutes and passed by, and all my classmates had at least a quarter of a page filled, while my paper was just a few sentences long.

For me, this was a completely new experience. Of course, I’ve never rushed my work for English class, but being behind everyone else in my row gave me an anxious feeling. Despite running a very public writing blog on the internet, outside of this platform I can be very self-conscious. Naturally, I began wondering things like, “will my friends think I’m stupid,” or, “will the teacher think I’ve forgotten how to write?” Obviously, these thoughts are ridiculous, and in the back of my mind I knew that nobody would judge me on my writing speed, especially not my close friends. But the fear was still there, and the constant pressure of being slowed down made the problem even worse.

Fortunately, the essay is due on Monday, so I have time over the weekend to finish it. Still, being surrounded by classmates who were visibly far ahead of me was scary and made the situation feel hopeless, even with the generous deadline in mind.

Now that I look back on it, silently freaking out over being behind wasn’t worth the trouble. Although I had no specific reason to be writing slowly, the situation shows me in the present that the extra time being spent on each sentence allowed more effort and creativity to be put into the paper. It’s unusual to see the “challenged kids” get ahead of the class and the “smart kids” taking their time for most people (I had the same mindset at one point), but after feeling the difference between speeds for yourself, you might think differently.

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