July 19th, 2006
|10:06 pm - Veronica Mars, Like Just About Everyone, Is Smarter Than Me|
Yesterday, I was explaining to a co-worker how I ended up in my current position. I reached the part where I walk into my academic advisor's office and tell her that I want to leave the doctoral program, the part I described as "one of those hardest things you ever do in life." And as I told her, I felt the tears beginning to well up as my body was consumed with whatever mix of emotions was stirring in me at the time. I held it together, however, and I don't think she noticed.
It surprised me because I thought I was over it.
I make jokes all the time. I was a straight-A student in high school, winning gobs of awards in academic competitions, featured in the newspaper multiple times. So I proudly report my three C+'s in a row at Rice, a hilarious sign of my declining academic prowess. I laugh at the fact that I was actually on academic probation for one semester of grad school. Before I dropped out. Before I said, I can't handle this. I'm not good enough. I am going to take a Master's and run. I give up.
And I'm supposed to be a role model? My academic record looks like Veronica Mars's ratings in season two.
Sometimes, it's hard not to feel like a failure.
Current Mood: emo
Current Music: Two - My Ceiling's Low
::hugs you hard even though you don't know me::
You're wonderful. We're each on our own journey in this crazy life, and the really important things aren't tallied in degrees, or listings in Who's Who, or on the bottom line of a bank statement. Friends, cool experiences, laughter....that's what it's about, and you're doing fine. ;)
Thanks for the hugs. I would also like a chicken quesadilla.
Success is not measured in absolutes, man. Grades are nothing in the real world. Put enough distance between yourself and academia, and you won't care.
What matters is you: all that you are, all that you bring and give and offer. If you set goals for yourself (PhD, for example) and then life experience makes you change that to a Masters, as long as you are happy with the result, that's all that matters.
On a typical day, I interact with a lot of crazed PhD candidates who are clearly hanging onto sanity by a thread. Honestly, it's not for everyone (nor would any sane person want it to be - it means devoting every iota of your energy to school, as far as I can tell. Bleargh. More to life!)
It's late, and I'm rambling, but I just want to say that you're articulate and bright and far from any sort of "failure". :P
That icon is perfect. Heeeee. Thanks.
Who called you a role model? You're a person. We're all just people.
On the other hand, the fact that you have actually secured employment in your own damn field, and that you had all that awesome feedback on your science-blog and all those compliments on your writing does rather make you an example of how one needn't lose hope simply because one's grades ain't so spectacular. You, sir, are in process. As are we all.
I'm a role model for my siblings and younger cousins.
I know what you mean. I feel like a failure all the time. But think about it this way I'm an actual failure. Like I failed. You just chose something that worked better for you. That doesn't mean you fail. If you had wanted to complete the academia thing you would have. I've said it before and I'll say it again you are in the top ten awesomest people I know. And I know a whole lot of people.
I still think you should know more people, but I really appreciate that. It's definitely one of my favorite compliments ever. *hugs*
What they said up above, plus a very important thing: grades are measurements that show nothing about the circumstances about how you got them. They do not tell us anything about natural talents and facilities, preferential treatment, rapport, or just having a good year or semester or hour of the day; they don't tell us about the death you had in your family when you got that grade, or how much it wasn't actually your interest but you didn't know at the time, or how the teacher hated you. It's just a measurement of one period of learning and how well you met guidelines for learning it at that time. Moreover, that's just measurements for stuff you learned with someone applying formal judgments to it; you don't get grades for all you might be learning in unofficial venues. It says something about how you achieved in that context, not in all of life.
There are benchmarks for failure or success in life, but rarely are they about grades. You're the kind of guy who makes sure an actress in a show you adore gets a pillow when she's running herself dead exhausted to entertain you, dude. That's infinitely cooler than whether or not you got a C or an A in a particular class.
The grades are fun to focus on, but the key issue here is that I, who was the golden boy who'd make his momma proud, couldn't even make it through a measly doctoral program.
I've never considered you a failure. You took a Master's and ran...into a pretty decent combination of your interests.
Yet, your icon seems to intimate that I should overdose on some pills. THANKS A LOT, DAN.
Good grades don't make good role models. Good people do, and you're good people. Anyway, people who've messed some things up and changed their minds a few times tend to inspire me more than people who ace everything and go exactly where they always intended. I mostly just resent the latter.
I'm a HUGE failure, so I promise you, from the vantage point of total failure and total disapointment to everyone that knows you, you're ratings are still really really good. Don't be hard on yourself, you stand out with your wit and charm. You could never fail. Plus, you're going to be a famous author someday, and if you had gotten your doctorate or whatever it might have distracted you, and then the world would have missed out on what I know is going to be great.
Oh no, I did the dreaded your/you're mistake right in your LJ. The shame!
|Date:||July 20th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)|| |
My grades totally peaked in high school. Once I got to college, they declined and declined and I finally pulled straight As in my last semester. You can still be a cool person without having a stellar GPA, says I.
You wrote a thesis. Shut up.
Did you ever think that maybe you just weren't ready? If it is that important to you (Which I can understand, I think you feel the same way I do about education), I would think about going back in a year or so. I honestly think it is the best way to start grad school, after a taking some time off to regroup and focus. Many of my students who have spent their entire lives in academics are unprepared for the real world and are completely freaked when they start living in it. I see you as someone who can just about handle anything, but who sells himself short way too often. I truly believe that you are more than capable of completing grad school, and as for being a role model, it would certainly be an example of fortitude.
And NONE of my grad students have a sense of humor. Now THAT"S failure!
I think not taking time off did probably contribute to getting burnt out, but I don't know how "important," per se, it is to me anymore. I don't feel like wasting six years of my life when I've started on a pretty good career track already. Until I get tired of this and run off to Hollywood to become a penniless
sitar player writer.
Dude, you got a Masters and a job in your field. That's awesome! Also, you are universally acknowledged (except by anonymous losers, maybe) as Totally Great. You most certainly are not a failure.
(Also, blee. I hate that feeling, where you're telling someone about something that you ALREADY CRIED OVER, and you shouldn't be crying AGAIN, or feeling shaky and upset, but you totally are and it makes you feel like a loser and like everything is just crap. Blech. It's so frustrating when you just..can't stop being upset and unhappy, even though you shouldn't be anymore. *lots of hugs*, because that feeling really sucks. In that situation, I usually need lots of hugs and a good new recipe to try baking..gives me something to focus on. The last time that happened I baked about eight thousand snickerdoodles. Want one?)
Oh, you nailed that feeling. It was like WHAT THE HELL?
Come over and give me a snickerdoodle and a hug.
Ooh, school confession time! I failed AP English the last quarter (last two quarters?) of senior year in high school and didn't walk at graduation. I made up the English credit during a laughably easy summer school class at Venice High School, which was the first time I lived in LA here at my friend Loren's home.
So we're sort of reversed stories, you and I. And that's okay. We're both awesome!
P.S. Are kibbles and angst the neighbors of gonads and strife?
I hate that feeling! Which, by the way, came last when some woman I barely know essentially told me I was a loser and my life wasn't worth living. Ok, I added that last part, but seriously she attacked me and my life choices after meeting me for maybe 5 minutes. I was totally cool in front of her, and broke down as soon as I left the room prompting my brother to not so casually escort me out of the building.
And as far as being a role model, being the youngest in my family I don't really have to be a model to anyone, but I was constantly reminded that I was the last hope my parents had for a successful child, and they've been disappointed in me for a long time now. They're still hoping I'll become rich and famous somehow and be able to support them in their old age. I still have a few years before my nieces and nephews recognize that I'm not doing anything fantastic with my life.
That lady needs a couponette for a punch to the face.