I am obsessing.  I have been for months, but I’ve reached the climax of it.  The climax is not fun.

You see, there’s this award at my school that’s given to one graduating senior in every department that has a major.  It’s an award for scholarship.  My rival for this award doesn’t make sense.  She’s very involved in the department, because one teacher really likes her and so he involves her, but she’s not a scholar.  There’s no nice way to list her faults, and no matter how I phrase it, I’ll sound petty.  But, the fact remains that she hasn’t the vocabulary of a graduating high schooler.  And the teacher that involves her, he pads her grades . . . he  and another professor have decided that she can do no wrong!  Other teachers grade her on a scale that’s different from the rest of us students.  Her grade point average is comparable to mine (I’m graduating summa cum laude), and yet, she’s been rejected from every one of the graduate programs she’s applied to–this is a direct result of four years of coddling, no challenge, no growth.  Her work is on par.  It’s standard.

My work, on the other hand, had been labeled entry-level for graduate school.  It’s more than good, it’s outstanding.  I’m not afraid to admit that I know I am academically superior to my rival for this scholarly award.

This is why I’m obsessing.  I’ve done everything short of killing her to change the state of things, but she is a teacher’s pet and he’s campaigned for her.  I am not a pet.  I am a student who explores and challenges–this makes me recognized by the other teacher for my scholarship, but not necessarily liked.  The scholarly award has become a popularity contest and I am going batty because of it.  I’d rather see it down the toilet than cheapened like this.

Every time I think I’ve let this all go–no more tears, no more repeating the same arguments to the same people, over and over again–it comes back to haunt me.  I hear it overflowing and bubbling out of my lips once more.  I hate it.  I don’t even realize I’m doing it!  There’s something about this whole stinking situation that I am just not able to let go of.  I’ve talked to parents, friends, teachers who were involved–it boils down to this: I did want that award, but if they gave it to me now, I think I’d still be obsessing over it.

I never expected to get this award, I expected it to go to my rival in the first place, until our test results came in.  I blew the scores out of the water.  The others barely even came close to touching me.  In the history of the school, I got the highest scores.  All of a sudden, I felt like I had a fighting chance.  Especially since my rival has let her schoolwork suffer for her wedding plans.  But, of course, the teachers who have been padding her  grades campaigned for her, and the rest is history.

When I found out, unofficially, that she got the award, it was a hard blow personally.  But also, since I knew two other people in the department that I would be happy to see get the award, it wasn’t like I would be freaking out this much if it went to someone who deserved it.  She doesn’t.  On paper, we look equally good.  In reality, she’s been piggy-backing off our department members for years.   And I’m obsessing.  Can’t you see?  I’m obsessing about something I can do nothing about.  I don’t want to kill anyone, I don’t want her to go down in the flames she is going down in academically, I don’t want this award to be cheapened, but I  can’t do anything about those last two.

All I can do is breathe.  And stop thinking about it.  I’m not sure I can do that, but I’m going to try.  Because this just makes my life unnecessarily harder, and I’m better than this petty attitude.  Ultimately, what matters is the education that I have gotten for myself.  And boy howdy, have I ever.  Some teachers know that.  Others don’t.  Doesn’t matter if the whole world doesn’t know it.  Because I do.  I know that I have taken advantage of my education, and wish to continue learning inside and outside of school.  This is the important thing.

And if I have to obsess about something?  That’s what it’s going to be.

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