The assignments that I'm grading right now are a descriptive writing assignment that I give in all of my writing classes. It's really a simple assignment - find somebody you don't know and observe the person for fifteen minutes and write a description that makes me "see" your person that you observed. Students tend to enjoy the assignment, and I tend to enjoy reading them. It's nice responding to them electronically (only the second time that I've done that) because I basically tell everyone to work on one or two things that are specific to what they turned in, but the rest of the comments are a copied form letter. In other words, I think I'm borrowing the institutional procedures of my administration when they respond to my reappointment, promotion, and tenure materials. Still, it's nice to get personal feedback, and because I do these tiny assignments, it means that the students in my writing classes get that feedback very early in the semester, which I think is a good thing.
I don't really have it in me to do the post that Scrivener asked for in an extended way, but here are the reasons that I can't do the self-affirming posts without apologizing for them or beating myself up for them:
1. I've been told by strangers that I seem "stuck up" since childhood. This is because of something about me, but so I'm sensitive that people will think that I'm arrogant or something or (horror of horrors for one who is raised by my mother) a braggart. I don't want to be one of those. Or a hot dog, which is almost as bad. (When was the last time you called somebody a hot dog? 7th grade? Takes you back, doesn't it?)
2. I think there's definitely a class thing at work in my not wanting to brag or boast or whatever, related to growing up hearing people being defamed because they "think their shit don't stink." Wouldn't want to be one of those people either.
3. I went to graduate school at a place where the culture demanded that you talk yourself down, and I totally internalized this.
4. Oh, did I mention that I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools for the first 9 years of my education? You know that whole guilt thing that Catholics have? Yeah, I've got that. Thus, I tend to feel bad whenever anything good is going on.
5. I'm superstitious, and I think that if I am happy with what I'm doing and express that happiness that it will offend the Gods in charge of my Academic Success, thus making them punish me and sending me into a downward spiral of stupidity from which I (and my career) will never recover.
And finally, I hate reading things that are about how great people's lives are. It makes me want to punch them in the face. Thus, when I write things about how great my life is, I want to punch myself in the face. That's no good. No good at all.
Hmmm.... What else? I REALLY don't want to finish these papers this afternoon. I am a lazy, lazy girl.
1 year ago