Tuesday, June 03, 2008


...Is a b*tch of a taskmaster.

I had a conversation with a teacher I admire very much today. The conversation was about a few overdue assignments I had (read: have) and it can essentially be broken down into this:

Him: "You deserve a good grade in this course."
Me, internally: Yeah, right.

I left the conversation in a very sour and depressed mood, despite the rash of good events that had happened to me previously. I did substantially better than the class average on an exam, I got three free books, and I won a contest. Still, I was mopey. I have an annoying tendency when I'm depressed to have thoughts of an existential and nihilistic flavour. Standard emo bullsh*t. (Go cry emo, I'm not going to give you the dignity of a capital 'e.')

To paraphrase a friend of mine, I have a preconceived image of the world and how it works (or should work) and I act irrationally when reality does not match this preconceived image. (I'm obsessive-compulsive, so sue me.)

I have a very antagonistic view as far as late assignments are concerned. If it's late, I'm not going to get any marks for it, so I'm not going to bother wasting my time with it. The problem is that this isn't the case. I can get marks for late assignments, just not as many. I don't care about the assignments. They do.

This led me to two questions. First, is my notion that late assignments are not permissible a preconceived notion that I impose on myself because of a perceived (or idealistic) social standard? Second, am I just trying to justify my actions?

I think that the first question is true. I don't think that I should receive any marks for a late assignment. Most, if not all of the student body would probably disagree. So much for the perceived social standard. I have no doubt that it's a preconceived idea. As an only child, I'm subject to the stereotype that only children have poor social skills, little or no friends, are spoiled, prodigies, and so on. Unfortunately all stereotypes have some basis in fact.

As a very young child I had no-one I would consider a 'friend' and mostly associated with adults. I think this left a lasting impression on my psyche. Specifically, I think I learned a fair number of behaviours from mimicking and to uphold myself to an exacting standard. The standards I demand of myself are neither reasonable or realistic. I fear that this is a deep-seated and irreversible behaviour, and probably the root cause of my disorder. It's frustrating, and frankly, it pisses me off. I don't blame my parents or my family, but I digress.

The implications of the second question, to me, seem worse. Do I use my belief that I should not receive marks for overdue assignments as a justification for not completing them? (Even if it is just a subconscious justification?) If this is true, then I'm only justifying my laziness. Irregardless of whether it's true or not, I still need to deal with the consequences of the first question.

I'm sure that I will be obsessive-compulsive for the rest of my natural life. But I need to break this cycle and control it if I'm going to succeed.