May 5, 2006 6:49 pm

To Be Sixteen Again

:note: Atreyu

I’ve been feeling pretty defeated lately. I know I say this all the time, but it’s true. School is rough. Yes, I go to an art school, but it’s not as foofy as people expect it to be. There is a lot of work to be done and people pretty much talk about your portfolio as if it’s your life rather than a graphical extension of who you are.

What brought this on was that twice this week I’ve had a teacher say something that really hurt me personally, but wasn’t in any way directed personally at me. The first one involved him ranting about people who say they can’t learn things from books and how awful that must be and how sorry he feels for them because they will never get anywhere in life. Um, I am one of those people who doesn’t learn well from books. This is surprising considering the amount that I read, but I read because I enjoy it, not because I’m trying to teach myself something (generally). I can remember facts that I’ve read, but I have a hard time sitting down and teaching myself a concept solely from a book. I really, honestly, learn better when someone is telling it to me in the form of a lecture. The teacher also said something along the lines of “they want to be shown everything! How can you learn anything if you always need somebody to show it to you? I can’t teach you everything you need to know!” Which, yes, is true. Duh. However, I don’t need to be told everything, I just need a solid basis on which to stand in order to continue my learning by using a book. I can’t start from nothing + a book. It doesn’t work for me. Thanks for telling me I am a failure and I will never get anywhere in life.

The second incident involved the concept of grades and how some people are so focused on the grade that they don’t care if they learn stuff or not as long as the grade is good. Several other people were agreeing with the teacher and said in high school they really couldn’t have cared less what grade they received as long as they learned the material. On one hand, I agree with this – the grade shouldn’t matter as long as you learn the material. However, I am SO all about the grades. You guys know this. A C to me is like an F to anyone else. I don’t get them. I can count on one hand the number of Cs I have received in my lifetime. This is just how I am. I generally learn the material, but grades are important to me because it shows that you take things seriously enough to do the work and do it well. That’s why I care. It just seemed like they were insinuating that I was stupid for caring about my grades and that caring meant that I didn’t bother learning anything. So frustrating.

I got a flyer today about a job opportunity, and the guy that handed it out stuck around for a while and made small talk with me about my USB flash drive. “Everybody’s got one of those nowadays. You should really have your name on yours. I mean, so if you leave it behind we know whose it is. We get those all the time in the Lost and Found. It needs your name and phone number. It’s really important.” Meanwhile, I’m trying to interject that yes, I realize they’re easy to lose, I work in a department that ends up with lost ones all the time and yes, we send them to Lost and Found and I am aware that people lose them. He wouldn’t have any of it and I finally said that I’ve got the name of the drive (what it shows up as being named when you plug it into the computer) as “MEGGANS USB” so hopefully that’d help and he said it wouldn’t, I needed to have MY NAME AND PHONE NUMBER on the USB itself blah blah blah. His patronizing attitude really upset me, like I was an idiot five year old that didn’t have my name on my backpack or something. He kept asking questions about my portfolio (crappy) and told me where to send my cover letter (to him, so he can “fix it” and give it back to me) and what to mention in my cover letter (him).

I’m just sick of people ripping me down left and right. Daniel made some sort of joke today about how I don’t help out around the apartment and I didn’t find it funny at all, considering he hasn’t done the dishes in well over a month and I am the one who has done them every single time and I have completely cleaned the apartment a few times and done laundry and vacuumed and cleaned the bathtub and rinsed out my dishes for the poor sap who ends up having to do them and yes, I get thanked occasionally, but does that make up for it? And then he’s going to come home and read this and be all apologetic but I will have already done the dishes and cleaned the bathroom again, and then what can you do? Shall I dirty them again so somebody else can deal with it?

What I’m really wishing for at the moment is to be sixteen again. I was thin, successful in school, not very stressed, still being taken care of by my parents, still in gymnastics, still had friends. I’m seriously unable to find anything really wrong with that picture. Daniel was around. I didn’t have very many responsibilities. I really only ever got in trouble for being on the Internet too late at night. Nobody hassled me about a portfolio or a career or housekeeping or anything like that.

I don’t want to be an adult.

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  • Nicole says:

    I feel like this all the time. I miss the times living at home not worrying about bills. Bills are really what gets me.
    However, I have figured out I do NOT like dealing with adult issues that my parents used to do for me and I took for granted such as car insurance information, registering at the DMV, figuring out how to find a good mechanic and dealing with that.

    However, at the same time, I find it liberating to make a few small decisions. Sometime the IDEA of DECIDING to pull an all nighter gives me the chills because I don’t have to ask anyone, or answer to anyone who does not approve.

    Overall, 16 was a good age, but I wouldn’t trade where I am now for high school any day of the week, bills, extra body weight and all :)

  • Paul says:

    Hey Meggan, just know that I’ve been feeling some similar growing pains and I think that this time in our lives is an important time. It’s where we define to the world what kind of adults we’ll be. You’ll get through it, and you’ll figure out how you fit into these different roles. Just know that you aren’t alone in figuring out your adulthood. All of us are.

    take it easy.

  • Madame D says:

    Responsibilities, oy!
    Overall, I was an unhappy teenager. I couldn’t wait to be on my own and making my own decisions.
    I think what weighs most on me now is having to make the decisions for my son. It’s not just me, it’s someone else to think about, and I can’t be completely selfish.
    Though, having someone to pay all the bills=sweet!

  • Yajaira says:

    I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Probably because of the stresses of having to find a job now that I finished school–but God, being an adult sucks sometimes.

    The good thing is you can still make it fun once you forget about the bills and cleaning the house O_o.