Murder? Oh wait! You Mean an English Paper! Oh! OK! by Catherine Saunders

Murder? Oh wait! You Mean an English Paper! Oh! OK! by Catherine Saunders (McCrimmon Honorable Mention)

If you ever wanted to kill someone,

Like bury their body in your backyard kind of kill,

It was probably the moment your English teach spoke
these words…

“Your. Next. English. Paper. Is. Due. Next. Monday.”

Cringing, you think desperately for a topic to write

A topic you feel strongly about,

A topic worth 20% of your grade.

Oh goodness, you begin to hyperventilate.

What do you feel strongly about again?

You’re only seventeen!!! You’re supposed to know that

So you ponder.



A paper about the opposite of something you feel strongly

So. You. Think.

Gay Marriage.

You refuse to write a paper about why people.


Should not have the right to get married.


You refuse to write a paper why drugs are good.

Laughing to yourself about even the thought of that,
you move on to the next possibility.


You think to yourself, ‘Hmmm… In what incident does alcohol
NOT make one look like an idiot?”

The stories from your English class are enough to help
you keep that belief.

Lost. Confused. You don’t know WHAT to write about.

So you choose the one thing you can think of, pickles.

Why pickles should be eaten with cream cheese.

The opposite.

Why pickles shouldn’t be eaten with cream cheese.

Well that fails! 
[crumbling up the stupid paper… you didn’t like it anyway.

Amazing how a rant about pickles can be so amusing…
But not work with the topic at hand.

And you thought pickles always worked. [note sarcasm]

And now, you have come to your final resort.

Murder…. YOU MEAN!!! Rewriting the English paper…

Not murder… Goodness that’s just silly.

Who murders over a college English paper?

You do obviously… Frustration got the best of you?

Check please!

Placing your hand to your face you ponder.

Your mind a complete blank.

You begin to think about what you had for lunch.

What did you have for lunch?

[sigh] Now you’re just getting off the topic at hand.

You can’t think like this.

Your mind has gone on complete shut down and you can
think of nothing.

Taking a break (break… yeah… even though you hadn’t
really been working to begin with) you go and get some pickles and cream cheese
to calm your raging nerves.

Your pounding heart.

And finally decide…

style="font-size: 12pt; font-variant: small-caps;">why papers like this should
not be assigned to college students.

The opposite.

style="font-size: 12pt; font-variant: small-caps;">why papers like this should
be assigned to college students.

Ok, you know your English teacher meant all the best
by assigning this paper.

But secretly you blame your current illness on the stress
caused by the receiving of this damned paper.

Oh you’ll get him back… Just you wait.


In keeping with your decided topic, you look at the
assignment through the eyes of your teacher.

This paper is supposed to enhance the way you look at
the topic you chose.

So the English assignment wasn’t really to make you

Just to open your eyes.

To help you think and be an individual.

To make sure that the next generation of people aren’t
just robots who look and act the same.

But have personalities of their own.

Minds of their own.


Intelligence… something that is grown inside a person.


You get it now.

Say one chose a topic on gay marriage.

The experience of writing the paper was to help you
strengthen your belief on gay marriage.

That all people are created equal.

That all people deserve the right, not the privilege
to be happy.

For happiness should not be a privilege.

Had you chosen drugs.

This paper would have enhanced your stand against them.

Make your belief that the effects of drugs upon
the brain, upon the person,

Chemical. Emotional. Physical.

Are most definitely unhealthy.

And that there could be no possible benefit for them,
save for the medical drugs used as medicine.

Chose alcohol.

It would have just made you realize it still makes people
look like morons.

That people who spend their days throwing up in toilets
should find something better to do.

Because all you can think is that barf is quite unbecoming
on a person.

You never really liked the smell of it anyway. [gag]

Your mood lightens as you realize you really won’t have
to murder your English teacher.

You mean… You won’t have to get an “F” on your English

Strengthening your beliefs is an important way to grow
and learn in college.

For, really, to most college students, it’s all about
emotional growth.

(Quietly you laugh at yourself. Emotional growth? College
students? Whatever…)

But honestly, that’s why you’re here.

You want to grow as a person.

You want to be an individual.

Not some generic robot.

[robotic beeps] I am human. No. I really. Do. Have a.
Brain of my. Own.

That follows everyone else, and believes what they believe.

Because what growth is, is finding what is right for

People are different.

Everyone varies.

As do beliefs.

That is what growth is, knowing that people vary and
are unique.

And a paper like this is good for you anyway.

As you sat there, tediously writing this shattered paper,

Incoherent as it may be.

Jumbled. Rambled. Scrambled together for the purpose
of just writing something down.

It dawned on you.

Maybe failing an English paper IS a way to grow.

All you’re A’s have spoiled you.

Made you cocky.

Think you’re actually good at writing and can keep an
audience interested.

And writing this paper has made you realize that.

You’re not finished learning all you have to learn.

And you’re not finished experiencing all you have to

The frustration and anger you have felt during the entire
duration of this paper was necessary.

Because without it, you wouldn’t have grown…

Tired. And completely livid at the fact that you know
you’re going to get a horrible grade on this shambled mockery of an English
assignment, you have to remind yourself:

It. Is. Ok.

Writing each paper isn’t for the grade. Be it an A,
or B, or in this case, most likely an F.

It’s about testing your limits.

Getting angry.

Learning what you’re good at.

And what needs work.

Your teacher was helping you grow, and learn.

To look at life from various angles,

Multiple shades.

Diverse shapes.

So you decide to murder.

Ok. Ok.

Not the teacher.

The English paper.

So it’s all pretty much downhill from here.