Tag Archives: university

My inner critic

Apparently sixth grade was a big year for me:

The year I learned about autism.

The year I did my first volunteering (outside of a church setting at least).

The year I wrote my very first report. (The report was about koalas. Oh, the irony as I write this from Down Under 23 years later.)

It was also the year that I got my first B.

I’ll never forget it.

Mrs. Smith handed me my report card and there, next to “science” was a B. A big, fat, dreaded B.

I was devastated and burst into tears.

Cry. me. a. river.

My 11-year-old logic: My family didn’t have much money. If I wanted to go to college, no doubt I’d need to get there on scholarship. And if I wanted a scholarship, no doubt I’d need to have a perfect school record. Perfect. Six grade included.

(Where does an 11-year-old get these ideas? Certainly not my parents for the record! They were thrilled with my B and never, ever pressured me about grades during my entire life. Not even once.)

But there I was, an 11-year-old with ruined college and career plans.

maybe I couldn’t become a child psychologist after all. (I wonder what a child pychologist would say about my ideas back then? Hmmm… another post for sure.)

I’ve since earned a few B’s, and when I got to college I actually got a C once. It was in math or science, of course.

But you know what? I don’t even remember what exact class that C was from… because it’s not important.

I’ve since learned that I will never be perfect. I will never have “straight As.” Not on my report card, and not in life.

Most of the time, I’m at peace with that; sometimes I still wrestle.

beginning this five-minute-a-day blog is an excercize in beating that inner perfectionist to death.

Do you know how hard it is to just write and not edit and then the world see all of my flaws and typos and scattered thoughts?

But it is working. It is helping.

And I am becoming more comfortable to just write. Write without reservations.

Thank you Mrs. Smith for helping me to see that a B is still really, really good. I’m sorry it took me a few years to figure it out.

Q for you: My inner critic is the perfectionist. What’s yours??

Love,
A

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.

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Thank God for 12th grade English

By teh time I was a senior in high school, I was pretty over it.

I had all of my credits finished the year before and had begun taking classes at hte local community college, but I left 12th grade English for 12th grade becuase everyone told me that I shouldn’t miss out on my senior year.

Even though i could have easily finished it the year before, i left it so i could have my “senior year experience.”

Turns out, I thought it (school in general) was a giant waste of time and wished I had just finished up the year before.

But soldier on, i did.

School was always easy for me. I didn’t have to try very hard. (Unless it came to memorizing stuff like science terms or historical dates.)

In my 12th grade english class I never even read the books. I could easily join in class discussions and even write essays abotu the books just based on what others said in class. (I’m an excellent bluff-er.)

I was a total faker. A faker getting straight As.

And then my teacher – Mrs Hurley? – assigned The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

I’m not even really sure why since it was a thick, thick book, but I decided to give that one a try.

I read the entire book in about three days. Loved. It.

And that was my turning point.

I read the book, engaged (for real) in class, and wrote a stellar essay about it.

After that my teacher asked me to be a student teacher and help her mark the other student’s papers.

I didn’t grade them of course, but I did critique their writing, write remarks and comments, etc. and then pass them onto Mrs. Hurley for the “real” grading.

it was my saving grace that year.

If it weren’t for that class I may have never started reading again. (And I might have never gone to class again either.)

I loved Mrs, Hurley. I loved that she not only saw something in me, but then she gave me a platform.

I’ve always loved reading – ever since I was a little kid. But that’s the class where I discovered I wasn’t just good at writing, but I enjoyed writing.

Thank you Mrs Hurley for helping me to discover a little something about myself. Now here I am, 17 years later, actually beginning to do something about it. (I stil have a long way to go, but hey, at least I’m going.)

I never did tell her that all of my “A-graded” papers until that point had been based on a bluff.

STOP. (just went nearly a minute over!)

Q for you: Did you have a teacher that changed things for you? How did he/she influence your life?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.