Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Day 200: I Don’t Do Bad Grades

I was looking at this exam point some more and two memories popped up in relation to having an emotional attachment/connection to this point.

The first one is when I received a test back for geography, and I either almost failed or failed the test – and was absolutely flabbergasted by this. I just couldn’t believe it – I couldn’t believe that this piece of paper with such a bad grade had my name on it – there MUST have been a mistake. I, Leila, DO NOT GET THESE GRADES! Lol. All around me people had the same grade or lower and they were pretty ‘cool’ about it, meaning, they just saw the grade, had a little sigh but then they were over it. I was trying to play it cool but on the inside my head I was going insane – I had never been faced with the such a low grade and I didn’t have any reference on how to cope with this, so I was just like a bouncing ball bouncing in all directions inside my head with emotions and feelings bouncing along with it, trying to find out ‘how to feel about this’ and what to ‘make of it’. My whole day after that was completely fucked, I felt completely worthless and useless and was completely depressed by the time I got home that day.

Then I have another memory, where I am about to go home, school’s almost over and I have my paper with me with all my grades which were all just *perfect*. I was really chuffed with myself and when I got my mom had tears in her eyes. These were my last grades as I graduated from high school and it was like the epitome of my ‘academic achievement’ all throughout school – from primary all the way till the end of high school. My grades had always been great, and I had managed to end it off with ‘perfect’ grades.

And then I remembered that one bad test and how I had experienced myself. And I remember my friends who had to deal with bad grades all the time and how they did seem to be ‘overthrown’ by it the way I had been, and how jealous I had been that they could just not put so much of themselves into ‘a grade’.

And I could see how stupid it was to get so emotional over a bad grade, and I could see how stupid it was to be ‘so happy’ about a good grade – but it was like I just couldn’t ‘help myself’ – it was so automatic, so ingrained, so deep.

I remember get my first grades while studying here in South Africa, and I got my list and it was so awkward and weird – because usually, I would immediately go and take the piece of paper to my mom, that’s who the paper is for. But my mom’s not around here, she’s not involved in my studies. And so I was sitting there with the paper, looking at it, and it was just so ‘freeing’ that I could hold it without having to move and having to ‘show it’ to anyone. The paper with the grades was here for me, and me alone. I could share it with other people but I didn’t have to – because that was no longer what it was about. It was just a piece of paper giving me feedback on how I’d done on my subjects, so I could look at it, take in the information , fold the piece of paper and put it away – and that was that. It was so freaking awesome lol
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