Monday, February 6, 2012

Have I got issues?

Okay, so you know you have failure issues when you are agonizing over not doing well on a test for a class that you are not even officially taking!


This semester, I only have one class, a humanities class called Knowledge and the Media. The other students are taking French classes, and I have requested to be able to sit in on one of them because even though I don't need the credits, I absolutely need to improve my French.

Our teacher, Guillaume, is a very nice guy who has offered to grade my papers and tests as if I was registered in the class. After all, what is the point of doing the work without feedback? Which I truly appreciate, because he doesn't have to do this for me.

Today, we had a test, which essentially was an essay on a pre-selected subject with advanced preparation, and then written in class. Get out those French dictionaries and Bescherelles, folks! I prepared for my essay, took notes on my subject (Canadian chef, Michael Smith), and even wrote out a couple of practice essays. When I got to class and wrote the paper, though, I realized that I did not have enough words (and we only needed 250! How un-like me is that?!) and I didn't have enough info on my subject. It just didn't feel like enough.

We had two and a half hours to do the essay, and I was finished in a fraction of the time, partly because I had previously written and re-written my essay, and partly because I was being cheap on words. And I didn't have any more information to add to what I had done.

When I handed it in, I just felt this sick sense of not meeting the mark. I'm pretty sure I didn't do as well as I could have. And the thought of that still makes me feel a little ill.

The sad part is, it really doesn't matter. My mark is not official. I simply cannot fail this thing, because for me it was essentially just an exercise, not a real test.

I appreciate the desire to do well, but I've been home for over an hour and a half and it is still bothering me. I don't know what I think is going to happen if I mess this up. I know that nothing official will happen. I recognize that I am in the class in the first place because I need help, and so it is not outside the realm of possibility that I may not ace every test I take.

I don't really know why I feel so weird about not doing well at this. I've made it a life goal to learn how to be successfully mediocre at certain things. Bowling, for example. Personally, I think graceful mediocrity is a valuable life skill. Without it, I wouldn't be able to sing, play mini-golf, bake cakes, or train cats. Or, apparently, speak and write French.

I guess it is probably just my pride whining at me. It would be easier to stick to the things I do well, wouldn't it? But seriously, how much fun would that be?

Eh bien...

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