Monday, April 14, 2008

Speechless.....Yea Right!

Today I read my term paper in front of my Senior Course classmates, the paper was entitled: Capote V. Grisham: A Study In The Nonfiction Novel.

I had a great time researching and writing this paper, and I worked it and worked it. Then when I was done I had a feeling I had a solid B paper on my hands. I was pretty nervous to read my paper aloud. I really do like turning in my papers and having the professor read it in the privacy of his home or office where I sometimes picture them laughing their heads off at the stuff that I and my classmates come up with. Because I am never there to see their reactions, it makes me feel better and I can continue to look my professors in the eye.

Reading my paper aloud to the entire class made me feel naked, vulnerable. I read it and felt the heat rising in my face but just kept on going. After it was over I sat back, relieved, as the next contestant got his turn.

After class the teacher has a little mini conference with the two of us who "presented." The Prof. tells the guy what a great job he did and how there are just some very minor improvements he could make. Then he turned to me, and because I do not have Capote's 95% accuracy when recalling conversations my paraphrased account goes like this:

Prof: You did an excellent job. Your prose comparisons were terrific.
Me: Really? (Picture me with my eyes squinted up, head cocked to the right, and a look of pure shock on my face.)
Prof: Have you ever read a scholarly review?
Me: Um, I don't know. What is a scholarly review?
Prof: It is a review done on a book, but longer than what you would read in most newspapers. Since Grisham's book is still on the bestseller list I am thinking you should contact some places that publish scholarly reviews and send out some feelers to see if they might be interested in your review.
Me: What? Really? (and there is the dialogue in my head that continues with "SHUT UP! Are you kidding me?! I cannot believe this!)
Me: Seriously?
Prof: Yes, absolutely.
Me: Um, okay. How do I go about doing that?

Because we have to complete applications to submit our papers to a conference, as a class assignment, I asked if I could instead send out these feelers as my assignment instead. He told me that would be fine.

I am still so stinkin' happy about this development. I was so, so, so happy, and completely pleased. I am not being modest when I say that I am sure I wrote a solid B paper, nothing more, nothing less. I still stand by that, but having my professor who I consider to be pretty intelligent and knowledgable suggest that my paper is good enough and interesting enough to publish? This was the perfect way for me to end my time at BYU.

I have tears in my eyes as I type this, I am just so happy. There is no other way to say it. I have 100% loved this entire experience. I hope that I can instill the love of learning into my children and that they will learn from my mistakes and love learning while they are young and appreciate an education starting now.

To my reading public: Thank you for being so supportive of me and always cheering me on, even when I felt like I didn't measure up to all the smarty pants on campus. I have the best family and friends a girl could ask for.


Abbie said...

Jeanna! That is soooo awesome. Seriously, you should go to grad school and then teach and then you can publish articles all the time! :) At least make sure that it's free or nearly free though... that way you can do it cheaply. Congratulations though. That is so awesome. I wish I had a professor say that to me.

Blaine & Angie Hamblin said...

Congrats Jeanna! What a great compliment and an awesome way to end your year. Who knew we were related to a soon-to-be famous scholarly reviewer:)

mom/Janet said...

I knew when you made your 7:07 post this morning that this would be the outcome. You've found your forte in life. Go for it and congratulations. I'm sure we'll be hearing about the outcome with your submission.

Julie J. said...

That is sooooo awesome!!!! But I must say, I'm not surprised. You are smart and articulate and I love hearing your thoughts and opinions. I can wait to read your scholarly review!
Good Job! We love you!

Holley, Dane Brien & Wesley Berry said...

Oh Jeanna, I am so completely thrilled for you, I'm at a loss for words. I knew that you could do this. I think your professor is absolutely correct. You have the talent and intelligence to delve into these books and pull out the essence and meaning and then put that into words that regular people can understand and the talent to write for a more academic audience. Yours is a rare and unique gift to be able to speak to both sides of the academic spectrum. This is definitely a talent that you should foster. In addition to submitting your article to an academic journal, you should see about freelance writing for your local newspaper. I think you would be a fantastic book/movie reviewer and features writer. Jeanna you ROCK and I just know that we are going to be seeing even more amazing things from you!!!!!!!

Bridget said...

Hey Jeanna,
This is one of you silent readers, and fans. I just wanted to say YOU GO GIRL!!! That has got to be one of the best feelings ever. I remember a similar experience I had last semester with a paper I worked on really hard for an art history class. When my teacher turned it back, he told me it would make a great thesis topic, and every time I see him in the hall, he asks me when I am going to apply for my masters in art history. Well, it's not publishable, but it was a great feeling to get that sense of approval and regard from a professor.
I am so happy for you that your experience has ended in this way! You totally desire it!

Brittany said...

that is so so great! i am so happy and proud of you. i knew you would do great when you im'd me yesterday about praying for you. i know you have worked so hard in the class (and the rest of school)you are so very deserving of your grades! well done! even more reason to celebrate on the 26th! happy day!

Aunt Beth said...

Major congrats Jeanna. What a confidence booster to get that kind of a response from a teacher. I'm sure impressed. I'd love to read it if you're willing to share but also understand if you aren't. Abbie R has my email address.

Aunt Beth

Cote Corner said...

That's awesome! And now you're done? What a way to end it all! :)