First-Day Writing Activity
Instructions: Please read the article “The Late Paper” and complete the writing activities that follow. Work on this at home and bring both your writing and this article back on the assigned due date.
The Late Paper
Professor Freud announced in her syllabus for Psychology 101 that final term papers had to be in her hands by noon on December 18. No student, she emphasized, would pass the course without a completed term paper turned in on time. As the semester drew to a close, Kim had an “A” average in Professor Freud’s psychology class, and she began researching her term paper with excitement.
Arnold, Kim’s husband, felt threatened that he had only a high school diploma while his wife was getting close to her college degree. Arnold worked the evening shift at a bakery, and his coworker Philip began teasing that Kim would soon dump Arnold for a college guy. That’s when Arnold started accusing Kim of having an affair and demanding she drop out of college. She told Arnold he was being ridiculous. In fact, she said, a young man in her history class had asked her out, but she had refused. Instead of feeling better, Arnold became even angrier. With Philip continuing to provoke him, Arnold became sure Kim was having an affair, and he began telling her every day that she was stupid and would never get a degree.
Despite the tension at home, Kim finished her psychology paper the day before it was due. Because Arnold had hidden the car keys and Professor Freud refused to accept assignments sent by email, Kim decided to take the bus to the college and turn in her psychology paper a day early. While she was waiting for the bus, Cindy, one of Kim’s psychology classmates, drove up and invited Kim to join her and some other students for an end-of-the-semester celebration. Kim told Cindy she was on her way to turn in her term paper, and Cindy promised she’d make sure Kim got it in on time. “I deserve some fun,” Kim decided, and hopped into the car. The celebration went long into the night. Kim kept asking Cindy to take her home, but Cindy always replied “Don’t be such a bore. Have another drink.” When Cindy finally took Kim home, it was 4:30 a.m. She sighed with relief when she found that Arnold had already fallen asleep.
When Kim woke up, it was 11:30 a.m., just 30 minutes before her term paper was due. She could make it to the college in time by car, so she shook Arnold and begged him to drive her. He just snapped, “Oh sure, you stay out all night with your college friends. Then, I’m supposed to get up on my day off and drive you all over town. Forget it.” “At least give me the keys,” she said, but Arnold merely rolled over and went back to sleep. Panicked, Kim called Professor Freud’s office and told Mary, the administrative assistant, that she was having car trouble. “Don’t worry,” Mary assured Kim, “I’m sure Professor Freud won’t care if your paper’s a little late. Just be sure to have it here before she leaves at 1:00.” Relieved, Kim decided not to wake Arnold again; instead, she took the bus. At 12:15, Kim walked into Professor Freud’s office with her term paper. Professor Freud said, “Sorry, Kim, you’re 15 minutes late.” She refused to accept Kim’s term paper and gave Kim an “F” for the course.
Listed below are the characters in this story. Rank them in order of their responsibility for Kim’s failing grade in Psychology 101. Give a different score to each character. Be prepared to explain your choices. (You don’t need to turn this part in.)
Most Responsible 1 2 3 4 5 6 Least Responsible
_____ Professor Freud, the instructor
_____ Kim, the psychology student
_____ Arnold, Kim’s husband
_____ Philip, Arnold’s co-worker
_____ Cindy, Kim’s classmate
_____ Mary, the administrative assistant
Prompt: Please write a short (but complete) essay in which you explain which character you believe is most responsible for Kim’s failing grade in Psychology 101. Support your ideas with examples from the reading and your own explanations.
Requirements: typed and double-spaced
THIS IS NOT A TEST! There is no right or wrong answer. Please just give your honest opinion and explain your reasons for that opinion.