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emmanation

You like me! Of course, you probably don't know me very well.

you have been judged

December 22nd, 2010 by biscuit

Grades were posted yesterday at 10 am. At 10:01, hands shaking, I logged in.

I did fine.

I don’t deal well with being evaluated. That’s an unfortunate quality in a student. In an adult, really. Without evaluation, how do you know your weaknesses? The thing is, I’m not particularly interested in my weaknesses. Yesterday on Lifehacker I read this thing about playing to your strengths rather than focusing on where you need improvement. The idea being, I guess, that as you get better at things you’ll either gain the confidence to tackle your problem areas or you’ll not need to work in them at all anymore.

I kind of like this idea, but I don’t think I like it for the right reasons. I don’t like it because I think it’s good to focus on the positive (although I do). I don’t like it because I think it makes more sense than working to improve your problem areas (I don’t, actually). I like it because I really truly hate to face up to things I’m not good at.

Part of that, of course, is that I’ve spent my life up until this point doing exactly what the article recommends. I spend time improving on the things I think I’m good at. I like to write, and I’m not a bad writer, so I write. I like to draw, and I have a … unique style – so I draw. I love it when lots of people look at me, and I’m good at bossing people around, so I volunteer to be in charge of things.

I am not good at programming. I’m getting better, but every time I turned a program in for a grade I got a nervous feeling in my belly. I don’t want to submit to the world (or, you know, my professor) something that I don’t feel represents me in the best light. I don’t want to show anyone the things that I am not good at.

Basically I want everyone to think I’m perfect. Absolutely, completely perfect.

Which, obviously, is why I don’t like to be evaluated. You don’t evaluate perfection – you just stand back and admire.

Which is why this time next semester I’ll probably log on to my school account with my hands shaking to see how I did.

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5 Responses to “you have been judged”

  1. D says:

    This is a VERY interesting and timely post. I had lunch with a psychologist friend the other day (you know who I mean) and it was firmly suggested that I start working on my weaknesses. I know she meant well, but at this stage of the game? Perhaps a little… while I keep honing my (few) strengths. – BD

  2. D says:

    Another thought… Having to meet OTHER peoples expectations is tiring. And perhaps a little demeaning. Of course, if these people sign your paychecks..!

    I think a happy medium can be found. Think of what you are doing as giving yourself the tools to find that medium. – BD

  3. Hayley says:

    There’s a movie called Trombone Player Wanted which proposes the you should think of strengths as things that invigorate you (not necessarily things you’re good at) and weaknesses as things that exhaust you (things that you love doing but are not very good at then become hobbies). I think you would like it. Of course it doesn’t hurt that it tells a really cute story about a grade school band and is narrated by distractingly good looking guy.

  4. Betsy says:

    Remember when we all did that Now Go Find Your Strengths book? I loved that… I think you and I were the most happy with our descriptors and were fine letting other people’s strengths be the things we weren’t good at. Good way to be. 100% agree.

    And, btw, you ARE perfect.

  5. I wish teachers delivered your grades in a prettier way! I pretty much refuse to look at my grades until the week before the next semester starts – bad news is easier to stomach that way 🙂 But I told a professor this and he EMAILED me my grade along with comments about my classroom ‘behavior’ (read: eating in class, oogling the cute jocks at the back, oversleeping and arriving late about 20x).

    You are adorably perfect. From one student to another, you have absolutely nothing to worry about because you are a good, no, GREAT student. And grades are a poor measurement of comprehension.

    To hell with grades and finals; enjoying the class YOUR way is so much more important.

    *** I received the highest grade in that class btw 🙂

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