Friday, 4 November 2011

57th percentile

I am a person that achieves. Not necessarily top of my class or best at something, but I like doing well. I guess everyone does. We like knowing we can do something better than others, that we are not just average and mediocre and that somehow, this being good at something enhances our individuality. Perhaps our achievements and talents are what set us apart from the other 7 billion.

English is not my strongest subject. At school I loved it because the ways of language made sense to me and it was enjoyable to learn. Now, however, English as subject has become tedious. I don't want to read Middlemarch or Portrait of a Lady. There is nothing in those words for me. 

Emma was great fun. I previously saw the BBC TV series with Romola Garai and the book was more fun having a specific image in my mind. It was therefore quite a surprise to get (only) 57% in my assignment. Normally, I do the assignments and I check that I answered what was asked and I move on. This was a punch in the face, a big red letter screaming at me :" HA! you underachieving shell of a person!" Somehow how I see myself is still always linked to how I achieve academically.

Sure, admittedly marks do not constitute a personality, but with a bad mark comes a lower average, and the lower average in English brings down my average in general, which could impact the amount of scholarship money I receive from the university for my degree. The better I do, the less I pay. So perhaps the disappointment is threefold: the work was not as good as I thought it was, my talent for English isn't either, and this will reflect badly on the amount I will have to pay for tuition next year ( since it is my mom who pays, it is even worse). 

There was a girl in school with me who always went to the teacher if she thought she could get just one more percent out of an argument. Even if she had 98%, it was not good enough. I also went to talk to my lecturer, but more to find out what I had done so that in future I could do it better. There are times when fighting for marks is the right thing to do, but here it was more of a learning curve. I still think marking is a subjective thing in the humanities, because it is hard to give the reason for each percentage. But I must admit my own mistakes. Also, there is no use in crying over spilt milk.

Now, after that lesson learnt, is another remark I have to make. 

There is a monstrous egotism that lives in people and they choose to feed it instead of combating it. Why would you give your old clothes to your cleaning lady, ask her to sell them to people living in poverty, and then still ask her to give you half of the profits? I know, you bought the clothes originally. But by now, you will not wear them any more. If no one would take them, you would probably throw them away. Furthermore, you have already replenished your wardrobe, I don't really see why you cannot just give your clothes away? 

The same goes for Matric Ball dresses ( = prom) . Mine was supposed to look like the one Catherine Zeta Jones wears in this ad: 

Needless do say, it didn't. 
But perhaps now someone else could use my dress. I won't wear it again. 

So if you are in the same situation, consider donating your ball-gowns to The Princess Project. I am unsure if they only take celebrity-owned ones, but that seems a tad silly. I mean, it is not as if SA has a lot of celebrities. 

Bride & Co has a similar idea in Johannesburg, so if you are in that area, you could drop your dress with them. 

Maybe I am a hypocrite. My dress has been hanging in the closet since 2006. I wore it once to Halloween. But I've never gotten round to donating it. However, I do clean out my closet about twice a year and get rid of everything that I haven't worn in a while. As in a year or three, not a month. Our cleaning lady takes the clothes and I assume she keeps what she likes and either sells or gives away the rest. I don't care. I am not wearing them any more and if someone else can use them and profit from them, that is my charity for the day. 

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