Sunday, March 18, 2012

Research Papers

You sit at the computer, index cards stretched across the table, your fingers typing furiously to try to get it over with. You worry about in-text citations, and grammar and punctuation. They leave you up until the wee hours of the night if you happen to be a procrastinator. You don't want to do it but all you know is that you want to get a good grade in the class. This is the dreaded thing that is called a research paper, something that you are utterly trying to avoid. I'm not writing one now. I'm just writing helping to write my own sister's research paper again, since she's utterly clueless and I'm taking pity on her. We'll be doing it again next weekend, though, so that should be fun. All I know is that she's lucky her sister is a nerd, despite all the times that she's wished I was "cooler" and "more normal".

I've had a pretty lax Social Studies teacher this year so I haven't had to write any myself this year. Still I remember those days.

Of course, we only have the Internet at home to rely on for this. We don't even have the opportunity to get any encyclopedias or anything.

Research is something I've always been good at. While I haven't written any actual research papers this year, my crazy English teacher has given us a ton of PowerPoints to do that made us incorporate research (I hate public speaking so I would have much rather have research papers, actually) so I'm a pro at in-text citations. I can hear my English teacher telling us how he'll take half off and make us re-do it after school if we didn't cite something properly, pictures included, and looking around at us with those sharp, eagle-like eyes of his (I'm fairly sure it's something that will haunt me for the rest of my life).

So, anyway, I'm a pro. I was skimming the articles, looking up key words, using those links down at the bottom of Wikipedia that actually are useful... It was all good and my sister was waiting on me hands and feet. It was all well and good and didn't actually take that long to do. I thought I was in the Zone.

And then came the last part.

Before I go on, let me explain. My sister is supposed to write a paper to Alexander Hamilton about a current issue and how she would solve it. The issue she had to pick, of course, was debt (I am clueless on economics. Pick any social issue and I can give you current events about it and In case you don't know, Alexander Hamilton was the Secretary of Treasury, so this made sense.
Of course, my sister knew nothing about either of these.

Now, I don't really know enough about Alexander Hamilton enough to give my two sense on it and I am absolutely clueless about economics in general. So I was stuck.

I have to say economics is incredibly confusing. All of the articles were either A) filled with jargon I didn't understand or B) not helpful.

So we enlisted some help. Big mistake.

My uncle is super-smart and everything and he happened to be over for Sunday dinner. He told us there was no easy answer before going on and on and on about all the things that were to be fixed. I wanted to shoot myself. My uncle kept talking and the paper remained blank and I was like, "Curse you, Rachael!" Of course, despite the fact that this was her project and not mine, she had left and come back later. I ended up zoning him out and writing my own stuff.

I have to say at this point I am so sick of old American politics and that time era that it isn't even funny. Just the thought of him makes me want to scream and the thought of economics in general makes me want to just have a total meltdown.

And I hate research now. I absolutely hate it! Ah...

I'm off to float around in a richer world now. At least my characters don't need a works cited after every sentence they speak.

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