I think I forgot a citation!

Hi, this post is hot off the desk of a stressed-out student tonight as I am in the process of what seems to be a never-ending battle with IB. Yes, my Extended Essay, possibly the most time-consuming requirement of the IB Diploma, is due in approximately 55 hours. With my deadline approaching quickly, I’m sad to say that I, similar to my counterpart, Harry Haller of Steppenwolf, have progressed “disappointingly little in proportion to [my] great effort” (Casebeer 246). First, let me explain the nature of the Extended Essay and it’s significance to the IB student through Urban Dictionary, which has proven to be useful and accurate in the past.

The Extended Essay. You’re welcome to follow this link to the Urban Dictionary definition; however, I’ll also provide you with my own interpretation of the Extended Essay. Some necessary background information on my current circumstances include: It is midnight. I started working on this thing at 10 this morning. I only just now broke 1000 words.

The assignment from Hell, commonly known as the Extended Essay, is a mini-dissertation/research paper on any subject of a student’s choice ranging from Psychology to Math to History. The maximum word count is 4000, which means the minimum at roughly 10% less is 3600. It’s kind of a big deal. Like a Doctorate candidate prepares his/her dissertation with mentors who also grade it, the IB Diploma candidate has a mentor who grades his/her Extended Essay before sending it off to some scholar in Mauritius, an island West of Madagascar and just above the Tropic of Capricorn, who then ruthlessly tears the aforementioned essay paragraph from paragraph in effort to give the student the most objective (debatable) grade possible, which decides the outcome of that student’s entire life. If the literary works of Hermann Hesse happen to be the only pet peeve of the scholar in Mauritius and you receive a D, your only hope is that your combined grade on the TOK Essay and Presentation is an A so that you receive a measly 2 points toward your Diploma. (I’d also like to point out that no one would even know about Mauritius if not for the fact that it is home to some, most-likely bitter, person who decides the fate of some incredibly unlucky IB student.) I realize talk of the grading system and points and such is very confusing to the un-IB student, so I’ll put it into simpler terms. The Extended Essay determines my entire life hereto forward. Basically if I get a low-grade on my Extended Essay I can kiss all hopes of having a college education and, thus, a career goodbye. In the future, without financial stability I’ll have to resort to collecting Social Security at 25, but because Social Security is about to run out I might as well kill myself now before I have to stab my husband and only child so that I can eat the last package of Ramen Noodles.

I mean… the Extended Essay is a pretty big deal, but I think I might have exaggerated a little. Even if, by some chance, I don’t do well on my Extended Essay, or any of my IB exams for that matter, and don’t get the IB diploma, I’ll still be able to go to Virginia Tech because they’ll have already accepted me by the time I find out I didn’t even come close to getting the extra diploma. Realistically, the IB Program is only useful in the first three years of highschool. It shows colleges that I’m taking the most rigorous courses offered to a highschool student and that I’m serious about my education. They don’t have to know that I’m a failure until I’m making my bed in my new dorm room. At that point, what can they do? Nothing.

Honestly, I lied. I’m not stressed-out. Come Wednesday when I turn in this essay-on-steroids, I won’t be worried.

So, to all you IB kids working on your Extended Essay tonight. And to those of you who, like me, will be using every means necessary to stay awake Tuesday night (although I don’t endorse the use of caffeine). Let me remind you that the paper due Wednesday is only a rough draft. PLEASE chill out. You don’t want gray hair by the time your 19 or have a heart attack at 20.

Put things into perspective. It’s really not that big of a deal at all.

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