Received feedback on one of my Easter break essays today. Had got the marks earlier, and they were pretty good: "this candidate is capable of undertaking PhD work" grade, and frankly, if there were a handful of marks more, I cannot say I wouldn't be tempted to.
The feedback, however is a completely different story. There are two words of appreciation, and a systematic dismantling of everything I had thought, said, or deduced since the day I was born. My analysis was well presented, but it was well presented tripe. Well presented cowdung. Well presented horsepiss. My lame assumptions, uneducated analyses and trivial conclusions were all well presented. But they threw a great many marks at me. After all, presentation is everything.
I checked up the anonymous list of scores, and I am pretty high up on it. Which makes me wonder. How about people who got ten percent less than I did? Would they have missed out on the presentation? What must their feedback be? "Your analysis of hyperventialtive Foucauldian power in a post-post-post-capitalist patheticocracy opens up new paradigms of thought for a generation of intellectuals and dismantles everything the academia has held sacred so far, but shouldn't you pay attention to adding subheadings for clarity and following the essay skeleton laid out in the guidelines? I mean, C'mon, presentation is everything!"
How about people who flunked? I suspect theirs read: "Your dog, who undoubtedly wrote this piece, ate half the guidelines book, and this lack is evident in the sudden disappearance of structure from your essay. The points about woof woof woof are relevant, but the analysis of Hamerbas needs barking…er… breaking up into subsections. We are terribly sorry but you shall have to submit this essay again. This time, ask your cat to write it."
And how about the people whose marks shot through the roof and condemned them to a PhD? "Piggy poo matrix with a cherry on top! Wanna teach?"
Ok. Enough. Back to studying.
P.S. All of London is topless.