OP-ED: So Is This Essay Still Due?

Hi Professor, quick question: considering yesterday was arguably one of the most nerve-wracking days of my young adult life and I stayed up until 3:00 A.M. watching friendships crumble over the future of our country, is this essay still due?

I know this assignment that’s worth 15% of my final grade in this class has been on the syllabus since Day One, and you reminded us last week that it had to be turned in today, hard-copy, but seeing as I spent all of the past eighteen hours with my terrified eyes glued to the election results coverage, listening to drunken screams and needing to remind myself every eight seconds to breathe, I didn’t have much time to start — let alone even come close to completing — this 10-page report.

Now I know what you’re about to say: why didn’t I start this essay before Election Day? Believe me, I asked myself that too. The thing is, I wasn’t too worried about having enough time to finish; I thought the whole ‘electoral college’ thing would be a lot clearer by around 10:00 p.m, and I would not accept the reality of a nation so divided. That’s all.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was very aware for the majority of last night that maybe during the commercial breaks I should probably get going on this assignment, or at least consider the prompt. But I kept getting distracted by the results streaming in and the chip bowl that kept emptying and the tears that kept clogging my vision because all of a sudden I felt ashamed for wearing sparkly red, white, and blue.

But honestly, let’s be real for a second, Professor — what does this even matter? What’s one assignment in the big scheme of things? Can this one grade guarantee success in my future? Will these ten pages change my life? No, but the election results from last night already have. So how about pushing that deadline back? I’d suggest putting it to a vote, but maybe this time just make the call on your own.

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