Your tutor can see into the depths of your soul

All they have to do is read your essay

You know that bit in Harry Potter when Snape’s teaching Harry to block Voldemort from his mind? And he’s looking inside Harry’s head and he can see all his past memories and experiences, those that have shaped him into the wizard he is today? Your tutor’s doing that. And they don’t need magic to do it.

I recently received a piece of essay feedback. Feedback for an essay that was written at the eleventh hour, or rather the third hour past midday, 30 minutes before the deadline. It was the product of an all-nighter, a semi-conscious haze of spurious points and gestures made concerning a topic of history I was very loosely familiar with. It also came in a grand total of 600 words under the limit. Not my finest hour.

The greatest surprise however, came not at the fact I’d somehow managed to scrape a 2:1, but at the astoundingly piercing comments made by my tutor.

In this one paragraph of slating criticism and surprising optimism, my tutor also manages to create a synopsis of my entire life. He sees the pity of unsapped potential, an ability which exists but is never fully utilised. Why? Because I’m too lazy.

My secondary reading is unashamedly ‘lifted from other sources’, my writing becomes increasingly littered with ‘slips’ and ‘errors’ as I come to the end of the ordeal that has stolen my full night’s sleep.

Ultimately, I ‘could have worked on it much longer’. Just like I could have worked much longer on the essay before that, or the grad scheme application that got rejected, or this Tab article I keep meaning to write.

Unrelatedly, the tutor also took the time to deliver one of the most monumental pars to my grasp of punctuation that I have or will ever receive:


Anyway, when you hand in your essays from now on know this: your tutor now knows you better than your mum. He knows you dislike your Aunt Dorothy, that you still haven’t got your brother a Christmas present, that you used your housemate’s fancy balsamic glaze again without asking. And they know it all from that semi-colon you just used; incorrectly.