*This was written by a Clark Atlanta University student. Check out her blog www.luckyguess.lovelymess.tumblr.com *
the red pen. a tool used by teachers and professors all over the world, for many years. by now, in “the college years,” we have all become very familiar with the meaning of a red mark; corrections, scratch outs, errors, suggestions and ultimately, change. most of us have become a bit immune to the whole thing, realizing that a red pen mark is pretty inevitable in most classes. but to be quite honest with you, the older i get, the further i get along with my studies, and the deeper i get into my major, i’ve developed some pretty strong feelings towards it.
my heart does NOT bleed red ink! ..but apparently, some of our professors thinks it should. imagine taking every thought, every feeling, every single emotion you have, and putting it down on paper, just to see it all striked out, or flooded with question marks? ..now, i can’t speak for everybody, [especially for those majors who have very strict guidelines.] ..but i am an artist. I am not an english major, nor do i have any english based classes. in every single one of my classes, we are encouraged to be ourselves, to speak “freely,” and to develop a sense of discernment. so of course, that has been the tone with every paper i have written. now, don’t get me wrong, i’m not against a few punctuation and grammar corrections, [even though I could go without.] but crossing out MY words, replacing them with new ones, and suggesting that some of my thoughts simply aren’t needed, offends me. i’m tired of being penalized because my “poetic way with words” aren’t clear to you. and although i am the student, and technically the professor should be my “audience,” my stubborn way of thinking inhibits me from changing my words, just to make it a little more clearer for the reader.
however, rules are rules [so they say.] so i will try my best not to take it personally. but, i will not change the way i write. i choose every word ..for me. i write with passion, with soul, with everything i have in me, and as long as my commas are placed correctly, i could care less about anybody who can or cannot get a clear understanding of my mental. i write for me. …no one else.
and to all the professors, i appreciate the help, i truly do, but would it kill you to be a little bit more open minded? ..at least for those select number of students who express themselves a little differently. I just ask that the next time you whip out your handy dandy red pen, “keep in mind that i’m an artist, and i’m sensitive about my shit….” [-e.badu]