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Tuesday, August 5, 2008


A select few pursue without fear of failure or ridicule because they have faith and confidence in their ideas, and most importantly in the value "of" those ideas. These men and women are anything but cookie cutter molds of anyone else. They distinguish themselves not for their ability to blend in and adapt, but for their oddities and discernible traits, habits and ideas. They outshine others, not through pompous or pretentious actions or words, but through their quiet contributions. Can you think of who they might be?

As an English major in college I read many books and wrote many papers, so many that these books and pieces of paper sometimes became my most feared enemies and I often struggled to escape their grasp. They kept me from sleep, enslaved me to my desk and sucked up all my energy and at times swallowed me whole. These overwhelming moments passed and relief soon arrived and with the relief my love for the words on white paper returned.

Of all the papers I wrote in college, there was only one, however, that I categorize as a truly excellent piece of writing, the only one I wrote and submitted in "pure" confidence. As I wrote my essay on Lysistrata, a play written by the Greek playwright Aristophanes, I enveloped myself in the character of Lysistrata in such a way that I became the character. I knew her heart and understood her mind. With such ease my hand moved across the paper, no forcing of ideas, just a smooth flow tying the pieces together like glue. When my professor returned the paper a few weeks later, my delight over the high grade paled in comparison to my satisfaction over what my professor had written in response to my work. I examined his every word and his analysis. I noted every underlined detail and reveled in his praise. Then, I realized I had pleased my reader greatly, but only after I had pleased myself first.


Read Lysistrata, the play at the EServer Drama Collection
or the Ancient Greek Online Library
Download the ebook for free at the Gutenberg Project
Biography of Aristophanes at Theatre History.


  1. I love words on white paper, heck I always loved seeing the blank white paper. I was one of the few amongst my classmates that loved doing the research writing.

    I think you have to love your subject, have a keen interest or passion for it as you did for the play. Those are the papers you generally like best and which usually receives the better grades.

  2. I, believe it or not, don't like research. I do my best stuff when I write from the heart. This could also be because I didn't "get" a lot of aspects of English until later in life well after high school.

  3. I remember that feeling of immersing myself in a subject, writing it out (oh my -- I even remember writing a paper out by hand before going to my . . . typewriter). So satisfying, all about the ideas.

    It feels more complicated now. But still satisfying in the end.

  4. I think I will write many papers and read a lot whether being an English major matters or not LOL. Hopefully, I wrote get too bummed out to write a paper outside an English course. I have not read the "Lysistrata, but I have heard it once or two in high school humanities class.

  5. And... now we blog, the white paper is now a white screen. Reading the comments may not be the same effect, but certainly, it must be in the same category :) You are so inspiring!!


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