Unpopular: Tell us about a time when you had to choose between two options, and you picked the unpopular choice.
I returned to University study in 2009, beginning with a graduate diploma in English. The initial papers included a Creative Processes paper whose final project spanned choices like writing and performing a play or creating and filming a short video, dance pieces or creative writing. I went for my strength in the writing option. I was not in a place to creep out of my comfort zone, making it to class was a triumph over the anxiety and depression I was experiencing.
Mid way through the preparation I got sick and missed a lot of the group meetings. I had a doctors note to avoid the final presentation. In doing so I would accept a grade based on my other marks. All of these were in the A’s so it would have been a definite pass. It would be the popular choice for most students. But I was stubborn and had been working on my pieces while at home sick. These included a poems and short stories. I had worked out a way to present them on my section of the wall, which was our primary display.
In the week before the presentation I had a final creative meeting with the lecturer. To say we had creative differences is putting it politely. He hated everything I wrote. Basically it was not in a style that he found acceptable. What really bugged me was that he showed me the poetry of another student as an example of where my work should be.
I am sure that work was very creative but it was not something I would write. Mainly, because I like writing that I can understand and not require a linguistics coach or constant reference to a dictionary in order to do so. I spent all night writing new material and editing the pieces that received the least criticism. I did not choose to write a poem so complex that as a reader I would hate it.
My decision was against the popular one of giving the lecturer what they want in trade for the pass you need. I was never good at that and was eve worse at trading something with my name on it for a grade. I got a really low grade. I could have challenged it based on the grades of my other work but in the end I didn’t respect his opinion so it didn’t really matter to me. I also felt the grade reflected on him much more than on my work and he deserved that grade or lower!!