I had to go on a blogfast recently (about two weeks) because of piles and piles of paperwork. I’m the only music teacher in our High School and we recently just finished the first grading period. I had to check 800 test papers, fill in 11 grading sheets, and encode 800 grades one by one using this archaic grading program which is tedious and mind-tiring. I swear, I almost came out of it cross-eyed.
The grades are just part of the paper work: I had a blacklog of lesson plans.
Now, before you teachers start tut-tutting and shaking your heads, I have a valid explanation for it but I’d rather not go into it. I do acknowledge that I slacked off a bit on that department, especially with my school work demands. While I was busy hitting the piles, I had this idea of writing about my being a perfectionist and how it interfered with aspects in my life. I should have immediately written the witty words in my mind on paper but because of my self-enforced blogfasting, I held the idea off and am now certain will not sound quite as fetching.
Here goes anyway:
I am a perfectionist. I think. I remember writing an essay in elementary and crumpling my paper everytime I made a “mistake”. (The quotation marks are there because these mistakes are often imagined.) My seatmate made a wise comment: “Just go on with it. We have to pass it soon.” I didn’t listen and true enough, 5 or more crumpled papers later, our teacher asked for our papers and I got a zero for not being able to submit it. It wasn’t that I didn’t have something to say. I did. I loved essays and was never daunted by writing them. But I got a zero because I couldn’t take a slightly askew handwritten word or a letter ‘i’ with its dot out of place.
Another instance: I was in college taking up Forms and Analysis. Music. I was no dummy in it. But we had our midterms and I had a feeling I did terribly on it. I had no proof since our professor didn’t return our paper until AFTER the final exams. I just had a feeling I didn’t do well — so I slacked off. I cut classes. In my mind, I can no longer get a perfect grade so I dilly-dallied. At the end of the semester, I got my mid-term paper: I had one mistake. I still could have gotten a 1.0 (our highest) had I not slacked off after the mid-terms, but I did. So, naturally, after all the classes I cut, I did poorly on the finals — for real, this time. It was a miracle I still got a 2.0 and didn’t flunk the course after messing up.
This is my problem and I’m dealing with it. I’m quite sure being a perfectionist results in procrastination. My brain is still too fried from work to really make an in-depth inquiry about this so I’ll leave this for a while and tackle the issue once I get my brain bearings.
It’s good to be back, though. See you around, peeps.