Thursday, May 12, 2011

Episode 962: When Good Just Doesn't Cut It For You Anymore

Received an e-mail in the afternoon saying my Shakespeare creative project was finally ready for collection. Got a 71, which is about as low as you can go and still be a First, so I guess I should be thankful. Apparently the Pirandello influence was much appreciated, and if I'd gone even further with it, I would've done better. Now I don't mean to sound obnoxious, but I think the experience of three years at university entitles me to type what I'm about to type. Basically, at this point I know that I can turn in work at undergraduate level (I specify undergraduate because I'm assuming postgraduate is a whole new ball game and will be frankly more than a little disappointed if it doesn't require stepping up my game) and feel confident that odds are, it's going to come back as a First. I've worked out how much the system here demands for the results that I need, and I can deliver that more consistently than not. Honestly, it would be surprising to graduate from the Singaporean education system without managing to pick up this sort of skill. Think of it as a tactical advantage. Increasingly though, what I'm frustrated with is not being able to get the kind of grades that I want. In three years, I have never been able to score anything above 14 on any of my English modules graded on the 17-point scale, which translates into a 74.

Comfortable mark, right? Plus in all likelihood, it's something lots of people would be happy with. To some extent, I guess so am I, but it's just that (not very) deep down I know I could do better if I put in more effort. You know, read a few more articles instead of just skimming through the paragraphs that offer up a bunch of nice quotes, or actually start doing work more than 24 hours before it's due. Except putting in more effort to get something that in the larger scheme of things doesn't really matter, apart from how it addresses my need for self-validation, seems, well, like a waste of time. I don't think anyone, not even MOE, is particularly concerned with how high my Firsts are. Rationally speaking, I should be supremely satisfied with how I've spent three years coasting through classes on significantly less effort than I put into slaving over work in JC. Totally should congratulate myself, right? I suppose I could just learn to live with this perpetual feeling of vague dissatisfaction where results are concerned, but that seems rather defeatist, doesn't it? Ah well. I suppose this is a silly thing to worry about, and my healthy sense of self-esteem will reassert itself tomorrow. You know what's the worst of it though? I probably couldn't say any of these things to my fellow students without getting labelled either arrogant or idiotic.

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