Is this me writing or him writing through me?
Currently I am taking in college Advanced Composition, which involves writing a huge research paper. For my topic, I chose mermaids in folklore, because I’ve always liked folklore, I want to write a story about merfolk, and it seemed like the only topic I could stay interested in all semester.
All is fine and good. He reads my first third, really likes it, gives me a few suggestions, and really encourages everything to move on. Then he reads the second chapter, isn’t too sure because I’m not clear, explains how to become clearly. Then we get to the third chapter.
Now, by this time I have found extensive lists of mermaid sightings, include mermaid dissections, sighings recorded by by Henry Hudson and Columbus (although Columbus probably saw a manatee), sightings as early as the Roman empire, and all sorts of other fun things. I don’t really know what to do with this last chapter, but I kinda wanted to pull in the sightings and what people did to protect themselves against merfolk, into the last chapter. Since he wanted me to make a comment on what the merfolk meant, I thought about it really hard and came to the conclusion that merfolk were the ancient aliens. Since we can now explore the ocean, we know there are no merfolk. But we can’t explore space, therefore, we have aliens and UFO sightings.
I showed him my outline and he thought it was crazy. Basically, the way he said it was that it pulled down the paper. He suggested that since I am finding stories from everywhere, from Japan to Native Americans to Europe to Africa, that I should do a discussion on what do these stories tell about the human psyche. (He said this after chapter two as well.) To encourage this, I should compare three stories from three areas, and then make my statement on what it says.
And I have something. Now, it’s depressing when I think about it, but I have something. In short, marriage sucks and ends too soon, people want simple things in life, but also to be special, and people want to be human. (I’ll eventually post this paper on my website so you can see how I came to that conclusion.) We’ll see some time later what he thinks about it. I can’t turn it in until tomorrow.
Then today, I looked at chapter 2 so I could put his edits into my copy for the final. And I found a note at the end of the paper.
In fact, the variances and differences among personality and activities are rare and usually induced by human interference. Interestingly, these characteristics are not isolated by continent but span the world. With both appearance and personality rather similar, it is enough to raise questions as to the true physical nature of merfolk.
This was written with the assumption that I would show the status of merfolk in the real world in the next chapter, including both sightings and the idea that they are the old aliens. With the new paper, it is obviously changed. However, he wrote underneath it:
NO. The similarities and variations raise the questions about what the merfolk mean of the human psyche.
Now, that is written as best I can tell. He’s very old and has handwriting that I struggle to read. However, this started me thinking.
Am I having him tell me what to write too much?
This teacher became excited about my project and excited about everything involved in it. And since I really want an A (if I don’t have an A, I lose my greater than 3.75 grade in his class.), I have been listening, nodding and agreeing with him in that I’ll do what he recommends. But after seeing his note, I’m wondering if this is case of this is what Dr. D wonders or is this a case of what a normal person reading this paper would wonder.
I don’t know. I don’t know if I would have the courage to go completely against what he said. And he may be right; claiming that merfolk were the old aliens is crazy. He originally suggested a very evolutionary idea of merfolk, which myself, as a creationist, will not do.
However, after all of this, I’m thinking if I’m bored this summer that I will write my original third chapter. I had enough. I could have been very interesting.