L’esprit de L’escalier
Have you ever had those times that you feel moments of defeat after you say something in a report, conversation or argument, and days later you come up with a better statement or reply? L’esprit de l’escalier. It is the French term that literally translates to “the wit of the staircase”, an idiom that means a person who is overwhelmed by the argument or statement put against him loses his composure, and doesn’t get it back again until he is at the bottom of the stairs. It is the act of thinking of a witty and brilliant reply, but the opportunity is already lost.
Whenever I write an essay in ENGLCOM, I have a rather difficult time in finding the right words and the right things to say. But after submitting an essay, new ideas keep coming in as I indulge myself in self-pity. Even now as I write this letter, I’m sure I will think of something better once I post this. I believe that the reason this is happening is because of the pressure ENGLCOM gives. Once you pass an essay, you will be free of the pressure and new ideas will freely come pouring in.
To whom it may concern, brace yourself for ENGLCOM. It is not to be taken lightly. Even if you have a chill professor, it’s not them who will be doing the work, it’s you. One night you will just see the workload beside your desk and think, “I guess this is crammable stuff”. No, it’s not. My advice to you: Do it immediately. Because if you don’t do it immediately, it will just pile up. The next thing you know, you have a mountain of things to do and research on. My another advice for you is to do a lot of reading. Not just about fictional literature, but also about current events and the things that matter. It’s important to be aware of the things happening around us, so that we know the problems in our society, and of course, not to run out of topics to talk about in ENGLCOM. My third advice is for you to manage your time wisely. Time management is important, especially when you have ENGLCOM because it certainly consumes your time. Late nights and early mornings spent with your laptop will be one of the most memorable times you will have with ENGLCOM. Lastly, don’t be afraid to make changes. There is a reason why we make drafts and revisions while making our papers. It’s alright to express yourself and write down whatever comes to your mind, and just edit and revise later on. This way, you won’t go “l’esprit de l’escalier” on your papers too.
As my ENGLCOM journey comes to an end, I would like to thank my professors, Dr. Gustilo and Sir Mikko, who have guided me and taught me new knowledge in reading and writing. They have not only been educators who taught us, but also models who inspired and encouraged us to aim for excellence. I would also like to thank my fellow classmates who have been giving me peer assessments and advice on how to improve my essays, and also my groupmates for giving me a much more enjoyable experience in ENGLCOM. Overall, the ENGLCOM experience is very stressful. However, after you overcome the obstacles, the stress will be worthwhile as the things you have learned will be useful in the future.