A Scamp and the Never Ending Outline

I don’t like outlines. I never make them. I like to take my William Faulkneresq stream of consciousness writing style and clean it up into the pretty little gems that eventually get turned in. I will admit that several of those gems were a bit rough before the editing stage, but I have survived my entire educational career without making an outline.

The writing class that I was forced to take for the doctoral program was all about formulaic writing….and making outlines. 2 outlines per paper….yes 2. One outline for the beginning of the paper, and a reverse outline at the end of the paper to make sure that we did everything we mapped out in the first outline.

Shoot me now.

I know that I teach my little future leaders to make outlines and do whatever they can to make their drafts easy to write, but I really hate doing them myself. The only good thing about not enjoying making outlines is that I am not alone. I would have never dared say anything in class about it, but one of the guys in the program raised his hand and actually asked what the purpose of making several outlines was. I believe he is a vice principal, and probably in his late 40s, so I figure, if he hates outlines, then it is okay for me to hate them too.

I didn’t have long to sit in my hatred though. My adviser in Scotland asked me to make an outline and a timetable for my dissertation. I am a little bit behind in the writing portion of the project, but I sat for the last two days and made a very pretty (okay, it is not pretty at all, it is actually mostly bullshit) outline and sent it to her. I am still slugging through the literature review, so I think tomorrow I am going to switch gears and work on my introduction.

It will be much easier for me to expel bullshit out of my fingertips when I am writing about myself and my interest in the research. Should anyone want to know about critical literacy, and how to use it in the classroom, or feels the need to talk about children’s literature, feel free to come my direction. I’m 57 articles and 20 books in to these subjects.

I’m practically an expert.

In the meantime, I am going to channel my need for naps into going to the gym to work out. If I have to go dateless to a wedding attended by my ex-boyfriend, then I am going to make sure I look damn good.

Of course, this always gets in my way: