That First Amazing Grade

OH YES.

Unrelated: kitten.

Unrelated: kitten.

I love when professors recognize my genius. Seriously. It’s the best validation besides getting a high-five from your dad or your mom or an angel.

My best essays are ironically written in a hasty, half-delirious manner. Whenever I write how you’re “supposed” to write – that is, with multiple drafts and careful editing – the essay always ends up being a dud. What should be a masterpiece turns into something you’d find on the bottom of your shoe after walking around all day.

Starting is always the worst. I tend to clean everything in my room first under the pretense of “not being able to work amidst clutter”. Really, I’m hoping that my professor will be abducted by aliens and that the assignment will be canceled if I wait just a biiit longer before beginning. After I come to terms with the fact that aliens chose to fulfill some other student’s dream of professor-abduction instead of mine, I get to writing. Eventually, I get into my stride and the genius begins a-burnin’.

Not to brag or anything but my professor said my analysis of The Rainbow Fish was really ‘insightful’ and ‘subtle’. Just to remind you, I ended the essay with the words: “each fish is entitled to its own share of sparkle”. I’M SO INSIGHTFUL.

This grade was particularly special to me after my mediocre first grade.

I’m aware that grades really mean nothing. They do not measure intelligence nor do they reflect the value of who you are as a person. (Over-achieving students everywhere:  “WHAAAT?!!!”) That doesn’t mean I’m not going to dance in my socks on my hardwood floors to celebrate. Because I am entitled to my own share of sparkle. Forever and always.

- Daughter

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That First Mediocre Grade Hits Hard

I just got my first assignment back since my return to college after a year off and I am… displeased.

My professor called my assignment ‘thoughtful’ but wanted me to flesh out my argument more.

I’M SORRY, OKAY. I AM SORRY I AM WORTHLESS IN YOUR EYES. I AM SORRY THAT I ONLY HAVE A THIRD GRADE EDUCATION. I AM SORRY.

Me.

Me.

The grade I received brought up some dark memories and academic insecurities. How will I get a job if I didn’t get an A+++ on this assignment? Who will hire me when I’m a degenerate basically failing out of school? Oh look, a B, how nice… oh wait, no, it’s not, go sit in a corner and stop thinking so highly of yourself, YOU ARE MADE OF MEDIOCRITY.

See, I expect myself to be an Einstein in school so when I don’t get a million percent and get, say, an 89%, something is wrong. And that something wrong is ME. My poor excuse for a GPA currently has its tail between its legs and is shaking in a corner, hoping it will get adopted by some nice family but knowing that it will probably not. My GPA will die without ever knowing a family’s love and live the rest of its life behind the cold, metal bars of academia, never to be freed.

It’s not like I even got a bad grade. I got what many consider a “good” grade. But is ‘good’ what I’m aiming for? I might as well be ‘average’ if I’m just going to aim for ‘good’. I like to think I am a special, pristine snowflake in a world full of dirty snow and sleet. Therefore, I need to up the ante in terms of grades to reflect this truth.

You could say I’m an overly sensitive student. You could say that I need to relax. You could tell me to work harder to get that perfect grade. You could say all these things and I would just say: YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE, MOM, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.

- Daughter

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