Monthly Archives: September 2007

Paper Perfect

I’m back.

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.