It was on a dreary night of April, that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With hesitating anxiety, I arranged my thoughts around me, that I might infuse a spark of intellect into the lifeless blog that lay on my screen. It was three in the morning; the mechanical hum of the adjacent laundry room resonated miserably against the fluorescent bulbs in the study room. My machine’s battery had nearly died, when, with a click, I saw the dull words of my post flicker onto the screen.

How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineated the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to write? The sentences were grammatically correct, and I had chosen words as intelligent. Intelligent! — Great God! The clunky prose scarcely covered the half of the screen; the relevant tags at the end of the post could not possibly illustrate properly the conventions of my post. The blog layout was well-formed, but this luxuriance only formed a more horrid contrast with the disastrous and unbecoming words that snaked down the page, suckling away any intellectual value from the post seemingly at once.

The different accidents of academia are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly an hour, for the sole purpose of growing the boundaries of human thought and expanding the well of knowledge so that my peers might bathe in its waters. For this I had deprived myself rest and a meal swipe. I had desired the reward of high marks with an ardor that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the lustrous dream of an infallible transcript vanished before my very eyes, retreating into the darkest recesses of the internet. Unable to endure the aspect of the post I had created, I hurriedly shut my browser. I threw myself on my dorm room cot in my clothes, endeavoring to seek refuge in sleep. But my attempts were in vain, as I tossed and turned in my bedchamber as the agonizing thoughts of my failures tortured my brain.

When I did sleep, I was disturbed by the wildest dreams. I thought I saw my future diploma, the manifestation of my academic success, in good condition on my study wall. Delighted and surprised, I approached it, but as I reached out to at last embrace my good fortune, it became livid with the hue of failure, and to my palms it gave a searing pain. Its form appeared to change, and as it modified, it captured my wrists in the unbreakable snare of handcuffs and rope. What I had so long desired had become the bondage that now held me captive. As I studied the freshly open wounds of my bound wrists, ink appeared to seep out of my injuries and form writing on the ground below me — tantalizingly close, yet a fog shrouded the words so that I could not decipher them.

I started from my sleep with horror; a cold dew covered my forehead, my teeth chattered, and every limb convulsed; when, by the dim and fluorescent light of my phone, as it forced its way into my consciousness, I beheld a notification on my blog — the failure I was responsible for. The email opened, and it presented some incomprehensible information to me. It might have said something, but I did not read. I was aware of only one letter that was present on the screen — C+ — which appeared to reach out to me, seemingly to mock me for my trespasses on academia. I recoiled, and quitted my phone, and fled into my covers. I took refuge under my sheets, where I remained during the rest of the night, languishing in the agony of my creation.

Review (in the form of an ‘author forward’)

For this project I wanted to do something that everyone in the class could relate to and would also find enjoyable to read. So after thinking long and hard about experiences we might share as a class, I decided the only experience we all must be familiar with is the task of writing a post for our class blog. In many senses, the blog is a bit like Frankenstein’s monster — a collection of many different parts, dug up from each of our minds. I wanted to also convey the sense of struggle that most of us feel as we pursue our higher education. Certainly there are worse fates to fall victim to than that of the overworked college student. However, at times it does feel as though our obligations for school are controlling our lives, and not the other way around, as it should be. The plight of the college student is both humorous and relatable, and in context, it was easy to frame and represent through the creation of one of our blog posts.

Stylistically, I quite literally took Shelley’s passage on Victor’s creation scene, systematically broke it down word by word, and re-wrote it in a way that would fit our experience. Certain sentences are almost identical to Shelley’s work (done on purpose, not out of laziness!) while others only echo the original text. I tried to use the same arcane-sounding literary style that was the popular style of writing when Shelley was around. It actually ended up being pretty fun to do, and as I have found, inserting words and phrases similar to the dramatic, verbose tone Shelley uses can actually be quite humorous when juxtaposed with modern or otherwise silly concepts.