Thanks to the advancements in digital communication and the tiny size of seminars at my public university, graduate students like myself get to have a less formal relationship with our professors. By “less formal” I mean we can e-mail them our essays a few days late and receive feedback via Word’s “review” and not crossed out and scrawled over in red ink and ilegible hand-writing. Really, it is something to be happy about. Yet I’ve found that this lack of formality results in some slacking off on the student’s side. Though sometimes the professors have taken up a laid back attitude in which they allow the students to “debate it off” Hunger Games-style while the sit and listen only occasionally throwing more lighting fluid onto the fire. But that’s another story, this one is about the fact that this morning I received the grade for my second essay for my Shakespearian Literature course and, after scrolling past all the detailed comments, say a big fat 85%!
Ok, so maybe right about now you require some background information. I have never scored below a 90% on pretty much anything academic in my life, I specify academic because my conduct in elementary and high school were far from ideal. Smart kids get bored easy and all that. I graduated from my BA summa cum laude (highest honors) with a 3.97 GPA (this is not the correct forum to get into why it’s not 4.00). I have always believed that a B means “smart, but too lazy to try” so when I saw that 85% I had a small existential crisis and began reflecting on where in my life I am going wrong. Something like this:
Needless to say, I immediately whipped my agenda open and began re-structuring my schedule around reducing my practically non-existent social life and increasing my studying time. This caused another mini-crisis because the reality of the matter is that 24 hours a day is simply not enough and, no matter what I do, that 85% will still be there like a dark cloud hanging above my head and following me around. My first mid-term is tomorrow, let’s just say this is the worst possible way to start my week. It is an overachiever’s nightmare.