The other day, I mentioned that I would get my Peter Pan adaptation grade back by e-mail from my teacher. Last night, I got back to my room from rehearsal and my roommate said, "Our teacher e-mailed us!" I got very excited and immediately booted up my computer. I was sure that there would be a few good comments, as well as some constructive criticism that would spur me on to write the entire play and then one day it would be produced! And then published! And then-
It didn't exactly work out that way. The good news is that I got a decent grade on it, probably mostly due to the fact that, as I covered in Monday's post, I did have a good rewrite of the devil dialectic scene, and my project, in its written and presentational form, was pretty well done. But in my world, none of that matters if the storyline isn't well-recieved... and it wasn't in a way.
The comments basically stated that my teacher wasn't sure what the action of the plot was, what the body of the story is, and that if the story follows pretty much the same line as Barrie's, it's not terribly important.
Getting these notes upset me on a few levels. On the grade-grubbing level, I wanted more points out of ten. On the shallow level, I wanted to impress a teacher I admire. On the skill level, I wanted to be seen as a good writer. And on the make-excuses level, I wanted to e-mail her back and say things like, "But... I didn't explain my whole plot well during my presentation! It's so much more than that! But... you only saw one scene from the entire play! I have more! I have them right here! Read them!"
I didn't do this last thing, of course. My grade is what it is. My presentation, in all its okay-ness, filled with my nervous babbling, was what it was. I can't change any of that. I do believe that my story is important, that it's a different look into the Peter Pan story we all know. But it's a fault of mine that I didn't get that across in my presentation. I had ten minutes and I didn't use them as well as I could have. Making excuses will do nothing. However, I plan to write this play. It may never be produced or published or even read, but I want to write this play for myself because I am interested in the story. It's true that I want my teacher to think I'm an awesome writer, but even while I'm composing this play, I can't harp on that, because then I worry too much about what I'm doing to actually do it! And I want to do it. Getting those disconcerting notes just made me want to do it more. And I plan to.
On a separate note, I discovered an essay contest on a board at school yesterday. You either write about your all-time favorite book and how reading it changed your life, or write about e-books and the future of bound books and literature. Both of these topics are excellent ones that I feel passionate about, but I think I may write on the latter. I have neither the time nor the money to do this (I'm on location for the film from noon to midnight pretty much every day this weekend, starting right after my Shakespeare midterm today, and the entry fee is $25. And I am poor college kid) but I really do want to write these essays. Perhaps I'll bring the topics with me to the set, since I'll be sitting around for awhile. If I win, I get $500 and that would be kind of awesome.