I am not particularly brilliant. Being a homeschooler, there are two intellectual stereotypes: genius or fairly dumb. Obviously, stereotypes are extremely broad….there are plenty of homeschoolers who don’t fall into either of these categories. I am one. I am not a genius. I get decent grades, but I didn’t finish school early, win a spelling bee, or start a generation changing revolution (http://www.therebelution.com/, anyone?). Pretty much the only thing I am really good at is reading. Obsessively. And talking about reading. (my roommates are already tired of my passionate ranting about literary topics). Hence the English major.
A lot of my college classes right now are fairly easy. Lots of reading, some simple projects, a lot of staying on top of details. This is perfect for me. I read the chapter, look over the terms, and quiz or test fairly successfully. This is especially true of subjects like history, art appreciation, and speech. I wouldn’t say this is being smart…just happens to be my talent. However, some of my peers…seatmates, roommates, etc., work much harder at these classes than I do. Hours of studying, organized notecards, constant review. Unfortunately, some of them don’t test as successfully as I do. This causes several issues.
First, there is sheer guilt. When my grade is significantly higher than that of someone who has spent much more time agonizing over it than I have, I feel guilty. Logically, I know that I have no control over this and should not feel any guilt, but regardless, it is there.
The more awkward result is my consternation over what to say…this occurrence has left me paranoid about admitting my lack of preparation for anything, lest I do well. I am equally nervous about sharing my grades, reluctant to make someone else feel bad. Finally, I cannot ever express discontent with my own performance…if I got a B when I wanted an A, that sounds bad to someone who just wanted to pass. If I got an A minus when I wanted a nearly (or exactly) perfect grade, that just sounds ridiculous.
This leaves a very delicate balance to walk and I have not figured it out yet. How do I rejoice in my grades without making someone else feel bad? How to bewail my performance without sounding superior? I do not in any way feel like I’m better than someone who has to study harder for a grade….honestly, it makes me feel lazy, like I have it easy. I want to rejoice in the grades of others without them comparing their grade to mine and feeling bad. Suggestions anyone?