I am no champion of mediocrity. As a passionate fan of both the Faust mythos and the Kit Marlowe conspiracy theory, I think there's absolute value in the striving, the tireless windmill-tilting, the reach exceeding the grasp. I try, in as many little ways as possible, to make a habit of excellence.
And yet, if I take pride in anything as I go about this nutty adventure among the academic elite, it's this: That unlike some of my habitually-achieving peers, I have had experience falling short of the loftier kind of grade-related goals. If you have for some weird reason followed this story since I went out east and nervously took up the reins of a university education for the second time, you know I have followed Mark Twain's philosophy, and effectively separated my academic achievement from my learning. More than that, I've detached it from my self-esteem.
It turns out that's really helpful.
The program I'm in requires a minimum score. I need to hit this certain number for each class, in order to pass it. On a more micro level, each component test within each class also has to meet this threshold; getting a 96 on one thing doesn't make it okay to get a 64 on another one, for instance. And I've hit exactly that number twice now; once on the final grade for a course that's finished, and once on a test for a class I'm in now.
I am conflicted about this.
I'm not berating myself, and I refuse to. Shame is a particularly bad motivator for me. For the most part, I'm fine with what I've got here; it means I studied just the perfect amount. And since I dislike studying, that's good. But I really like understanding, is the thing.
And I know that if I really caught on to some of this stuff, I'd be able to show how well and how completely I get it. That's my problem; I take a while to taste every little nugget of info with my whole brain. The end result is good -- the stuff I know, I really know. But until then, this guy will have to be my spirit guide in the world of schoolwork:
And I'll just have to repeat the magic words: "...it's good enough for me."