If you want to know what torture is, try writing a 10-page paper on a not particularly interesting subject and, to top it off, make sure it's in APA format. For the uninitiated (and fortunate) APA format refers to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It's de rigueuer for writing papers for nursing courses, some of which are about as exciting as watching grass grow. Once I get started, the writing comes somewhat easily. But when it comes to formatting, you may as well ask me to explain calculus. The particular course I'm taking now requires that before a paper can be submitted, it has to be reviewed by an academic resource committee. I find it nothing short of amazing that the reviewers never have a comment about my content but instead hone in on the ample number of violations in APA format. This struggle dates way back to my college days when I chose to write a paper on Emily Dickinson for a prof who earned his doctoral dissertation on her poetry. I got an A for writing and an F for mechanics. Things aren't quite that bad, but pretty close! A few weeks ago, I accidentally deleted three days' worth of writing and couldn't retrieve it. I've since learned to hit the save button after every paragraph.
A friend recommended a program called Scholar Word, which is supposed to format for you, but I think I wasted my money. Anyway, I am in the process of writing and ordering the references so I will only have to type them once. And, in between, running to the kitchen for a pizzelle. I'm hoping to have this all wrapped up tonight so I can submit the accursed thing before Friday's deadline. It's difficult to think of dragging the Christmas decorations down from the attic or getting the tree when I have this obstacle in front of me, not to mention preparing for a second interview in a few days.
In the meantime, I was reading "Progress of a Soul" last night before retiring and I thought the passage I opened to was fitting, given how unpleasant I am finding this course. St. Teresa of Jesus was staying in yet another miserable inn and had the misfortune to be assigned the worst possible bed. The lopsidedness of the mattress made it impossible to roll over, and she commented that it gave her an inkling of what it must be like in hell, where one cannot change position and where there is no escape from the torments.
This isn't that bad. In a few days, it will be all over. And then I get to start all over again in January.
I usually don't decorate until after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I don't know why, but I've always had the innate sense that it was appropriate to wait until Dec. 8th. Now that it's the eve before, the lilac bush in the backyard is illuminated by miniature globes of blue. A little bit of the white stuff is all that's missing. It's my simple little gesture of love for Mary.