Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Who is this person?

Someone is stalking me. She resembles me in every way except she is a raging perfectionist. I am afraid, because I think she has a nefarious plot to take control of my body.

But seriously you guys, who is this person? I took my Ethics final today, and I got an 82%. It has been KILLING me ever since.

Granted I have good reason to be mad at myself. I studied for an hour and a half in the library prior to taking this final. I have six finals this week, SEVEN if you count the take home one that was due last Sunday, and well something had to go. So I chose Ethics.

Ethics has been a battle all semester, not because it's difficult, but because the fact that I was forced to take this online, community college ETHICS class in order to obtain a Bachelor's of NURSING degree in SCIENCE has slowly driven me insane. We read Hobbes and discusses the Social Contract theory and I silently weeped over the fact that I was forced to take this class despite already having a Political Science minor. We talked about Divine Command theory and I tried not to scream from thinking of the 12 credit Western Civilization ginormotron of a course I took for the Honors College of CofC.

And so it's been hard to find motivation, compared to say, the useful courses I am taking. I can study for a Nutrition final with gusto, because I know that more than likely this will be relevant. I might have a patient one day ask, "Hey Nurse Liz (they'll call me that), what Vitamins should I take if I want to have healthier gene expression?" (They'll ask that too, people are often concerned about healthy gene expression) And I'll think back to my Nutrition class, and tell them to take Vitamin A which can be found in things like apricots, sweet potatoes, and liver (yum).

I am motivated in my BIO, Anatomy, and Developmental Psychology classes for much the same reason. But then there's Ethics, a class I constantly forget I'm even taking because it's online. And I force myself to write posts about Kantian ethics, when I could be doing a vast number of other things. And sure, Kantian ethics is important if I was going to be say, a philosopher or...nope, a philosopher, that is literally the only profession where that would be important. But Kantian ethics is not something that is going to come up as a nurse. Never in my life will I hear, "Hey Nurse Liz, what would Kant advise me to do in this situation?" And if I did I would run screaming from the building.

So my point is I had no motivation and I thought the final would be easy like the mid-term, so I didn't study enough. And I got 12 questions wrong out of 70. And I walked out of that testing center full of self-loathing. Which is why I want to know who this new person is, who gets a B and feels like a dimwit. I used to love getting B's in college. A B was a solid, hearty grade, nothing to be ashamed of, preferable even to an A because a B showed some proof that you had a life outside of school.

But things have changed. B's are no longer expectable. I want A's on literally everything. I want that 4.0 GPA like I want someone to discover calorie free chocolate.

And this is not the only disturbing trend toward perfectionism in my life. I want to be a freelance writer and I do just that, but I want to take on everything and be perfect at all of it. If my room is dirty it pains me. Right now it's dirty, probably not to a normal person, but to me it is. It is taking all of my willpower not to vacuum and dust, because I know that time should be spent on studying instead. But I am very close to being the person who dusts her vacuum cleaner.

Is this some part of the aging process I wasn't aware of? Or is this simply something that has been dormant inside of me my whole life and has now been triggered, like a really obnoxious genetic disease?

All I can say is THANK GOD I was not like this the first go-round in college. Thank God I wasn't like this in high school even. I did well and I tried, but I didn't feel like I had to get everything perfect. And because of that I had a very happy high school and college experience. I didn't get a 4.0, but I also didn't obsess over a B. Instead I went to the beach in the middle of the school week.

I guess I'll just have to learn to deal with this new freakish side of myself. There are still pockets luckily where the perfectionism has not invaded. For example all anyone has to do is ride in my car and the trash and dirt will dissuade any notions that the driver is a perfectionist. Look inside my closet and it becomes apparent that I am somewhat of a hoarder, saving literally anything that could have any minute smidge of sentimental value (this includes everything from movie tickets to receipts).

It is my dearest hope that I keep this pockets of slobbery.

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