Sometimes all I can do is try. Often, even my best of tries turn out to be failures. Still, at the end of the day, I really am a hard tryer.
Remember that exam? You know, the first exam I’ve had since my last pap smear? I knew I had missed a few points, and I was already beating myself up over them. I figured I had cost myself a few percentage points, and that at the least—the very least—I would score a 90% (which in itself would have made me mad, because I know I could have gotten 100%).
Hi. Try 78%. By my standards, I might as well drop out of school right now, curl up in the fetal position in the corner of my basement, and make friends with the spiders that build their webs there, because I’ll never amount to anything. No, I know: “Bs and Cs earn degrees,” and 78% is still passing.
NO. 78% is, in this situation, a BLATANT, GLARING, EMPHATIC FAILURE. (And I don’t capitalise my words very often, so you know I mean business.)
Why? Because this is a basic English class. If it were calculus or chemistry or biology or trig or (heaven forbid) computers, I could accept a 78%. It would be a low score, but it wouldn’t be surprising to me. However, despite the fact that I have already taken—and aced—both English 101 and 102 at an accredited university, up here I am taking the very most basic English course for the third time in my college career. According to my Canadian university, those 101 and 102 classes taught me nothing, so I have to take their prerequisite English class in order to continue with my major (English).
“Okay, that’s fine,” I thought to myself, “I’ll spend $1,000 on a class to learn something I’ve already done, and I’ll sail right through it.”
And this exam, though a bit nerve-wracking, was not that hard. I literally expected the LOWEST I might get would be a 90% (and even that would have been annoyingly low for me).
But 78%?? Even in my dumbest of subjects, a 78% is a disappointing grade for me. 78% is a C. I am not a 78% English student. (Again, the sciences and the maths? I could be a 78% student. I know my flaws, people. Trust me: I’m very aware of them.)
I have a myriad of issues with the way the exam was worded and consequently graded (as far as I can see it, 6 of the 11 points I missed are completely controversial, and if I got them back, I would be back at the 90% I was expecting), and I am so frustrated with it, I actually might go talk to my professor about it. I never thought I would be that person—the one who could not accept a low grade, and automatically assumes there must be something wrong with the exam if I’m getting a 78%. But look at me now; I AM that student. I’m the one who is about to whine to her professor about the way the exam was graded.
I’ve never done this before—I really don’t like confrontation, and saying I really don’t like confrontation is kind of like saying MINI Coopers™ are cool: it’s an enormous understatement. Part of me knows that approaching the woman isn’t going to get me anywhere; she has a doctorate, I am in remedial English; she will counter all of my arguments with beautifully-formed rebuttals that leave me shaking in my fake Uggs™; she will laugh in my face, leave me with my 78%, and proceed to grade me even more harshly for the remainder of the semester.
But the other half of me remembers how I was taught to fight for what I believe, and not to let the world get me down and all that motivational stuff.
And you know what? I buy it. I believe all that motivational stuff. I consider myself—without a doubt—an A student when it comes to English. Not a C student. Not 78% good and 22% bad. I need a better ratio than that. I suppose that sounds arrogant and cocky, but I consider it “confidence.” I know what subjects I’m not good at (anything math-related), and I accept those flaws.
But I can’t seem to come to terms with this 78%.
All I can do is try, right?