The Real-Life Application of “Reapers”

Admittedly, I have trouble going back and revising my writing. Growing up, I always kind of had a chip on my shoulder when it came to this. I was always allowed to submit essays without any real necessary needs for extensive revisions. Even recently, I submitted an essay early in my History of Theatre class, and managed an A the first time around, meaning I saved myself a lot of trouble in the upcoming weeks. However, when it came to my “Essay 1” submission for intertextuality, I cringed as I found myself deleting all but 400 words of my formerly 1600-word essay for revisions.

In Moran’s Interdisciplinarity, he tells of how a scientist named Edward O. Wilson “believes that a link can be found between ‘genetic evolution’ and ‘cultural evolution’: the latter is simply a more recent manifestation of the former” (p.177, Interdisciplinarity). This hypothesis made me think back to my biology class, and the scientific method requiring the testing of the hypothesis. And in order to come to the most satisfactory and logical conclusion, scientists obviously do not just run their tests once, but rather various times in order to confirm the validity of their research.

This repetition brought back echoes of Jean Toomer’s Reapers, and the overall theme of repetition (ironically, this poem was repeatedly referenced in-class). And so, all of this draws back to the struggles I face as a writer, especially recently and having to essentially rewrite and restructure my first essay.

After having rewritten my essay, I did something I never do… I had another student read it and give me their opinion. I never do this because I’m usually self-conscious about sharing my writing and getting negative reactions (perhaps another reason I have trouble having accept the fact that I need to do revisions). The student I shared it with was also an English major, and after going over it with a few grammatical corrections, she told me she liked it, and that it’s better than anything she’s ever written. Now bare in mind, I had spent hours upon hours on this essay, running through it time and time again with a fine-toothed comb. And so I am confident in my submission, but I was also confident in my shaky first submission so we’ll see.

It’s funny, after getting back the A on my Theatre paper, I was happy about my grade sure (worth over 30% of my grade in the class), but overall the professor provided little to no feedback. And so I felt a little empty. Assuming my confidence in this essay turns out to be justified, I can only imagine how elated I will be.

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