i just read online that for admissions exams at oxford, until recently they had one-word essay topics.
this means you had 3 hours to write a coherent essay from a one-word prompt. for example, "water", "bias", "innocence".
tests your capacity to bullshit, right? like a lit essay.
i used to gripe and groan, but the honest truth is that i loved those essays. i loved the ones i did for gender studies, where our radical feminist lecturer basically encouraged craziness, as long as it was backed up with quotes and whatnot.
planning these essays, doing the reading and having the expansive, opinionated, epic conversations with friends in coffee shops and walking home from uni through princes park, melbourne, sitting at home with piles of library books and sheets and sheets of highlighted paper... i get all nostalgic just thinking about it.
i like to remember that time, to remind myself that i did a degree once. i do have a brain. once, my brain was not mush. once, it could create 3000 words from nowhere, sometimes overnight (i confess i was a last-minute essay writer, and i never learned to be more prepared, because my marks were always pretty decent).
i do miss being an arts student. i did love writing essays.