I like to call this one "The Unbearable Suckiness of Sucking."
Does your graduate school have this? At my law school, papers are never really "due" during the term when you take the class. Instead, papers are "due" the first day of the quarter following the class. So if you took a class in the fall, and needed to write a paper for it, that paper would be due on the first day of spring quarter. So it is that I come to be frantically writing a paper on policing strategies for a class that I took in the winter. As in, completed in March. As in, it is now the middle of summer (okay, technically it's only 6 days into summer, but it sure feels like the middle of summer) and I am trying to remember that great idea I had for a new policing program back in February. Terrific. I guess the positive thing about writing a 30-page paper during your summer vacation is that you really really (Really!) don't so much care about the outcome. If I were still in the class I might be more invested in trying to impress the professors, or distinguish myself from my classmates or, you know, not suck in public. Now? Now I don't care so much. Especially because my professors have both been ousted from their jobs in the mayor's office since the class ended, so the whole "we might use your idea in a future policy!" thing has become more of a "I will read your paper while I sit, bitter and unemployed and alone, wondering how I got caught up in all this scandal!" thing. Not caring for me is a HUGE step, (you'll be shocked to learn I'm kind of a type-A school overachiever) so it was with some glee that I finished an entirely average 32-page mediocrity on Sunday, saved it, and emailed it to myself for one final read over on Monday morning before I emailed it to my prof. You can see where this is going. I opened the email on monday morning and found a 3 page, very early draft. I figured I must have just sent myself the wrong version, so I went about my day, came home, and looked for the real, full-length version. And it was gone. Gone. A look for it everywhere including a search of temp files and autorecovery kind of gone. A put my husband who is good with computers on the case and even he is unable to find anything and is left shaking his head in confusion kind of gone. Goney McGoner. Poof! Shit. The only thing worse then spending two days of your summer vacation writing a 32-page paper? Is spending a third day WRITING THE SAME PAPER AGAIN. Maybe today will be the day that I break down that last the summer associate taboo and start drinking at lunch. I think I've earned it.