This is the year I hope to stop beginning sentences with the word "so."
I am working on the last paper of the semester. It is due on Friday. I set myself a due date on it by this weekend, which has now been extended to Monday sometime, because I am taking an intensive course in religious ethics in January and it begins on Friday the 7th. And I have to have 1/3 of the reading done for the whole course before I step into the classroom, so I am going to need some time to prepare, namely next week.
Which means I need to get this damned paper done. Only it is really resisting my efforts to get it to write itself. Damned thing.
What's troubling me is how much of myself I should put into the paper. For 12, 13 weeks, we have been reading and writing and meditating and writing, and I have worked through a lot of stuff. (The paper is on Anger and Buddhism, by the way.) I have delved deep into myself, working through some childhood trauma, naming my experiences as abuse, and acknowledging that it sucked bad enough to cause problems now. In my reflection papers and in class, I have talked about the anger I carry and how it is rooted in pain and fear and how that pain and fear is rooted in trauma and how I am working to heal that trauma, all these years later. Buddhism, and how we learned about it through experiences this semester, has been a very intense, very personal, and often painful growth process.
I am just unsure how much of that is appropriate for me to include in my final paper. Do I stay true to what I have been doing so far? Do I detach and treat anger a a purely academic construct to be examined through cold, theoretical language? The former threatens to be inappropriate and the latter seems dishonest and unhealthy, as though none of what I have felt and learned and internalized this semester has affected me in any significant way.
I think I am going to write what comes and see where it takes me. Whatever is stuck is personal, so I guess the personal stuff will come out first, maybe kicking loose whatever needs kicking so that I can get to the academic requirements of the paper. I'll let you know how it works out. Stay tuned.