Saturday, April 21, 2012

Report Cards

Yesterday was a very special day. And no, I'm not talking about Marijuana Day or
The Day of Silence. I'm talking about Report Card Day. Report cards bring different reactions to different kinds of people. While the slackers and the stoners probably dread it, some people look forward to it. That is, those who get paid ample amounts of money for it.

I personally have mixed feelings about it. There usually is a mixed feeling of excitement and dread I get about getting a report card.

Report cards are a source of income for me. My parents pay me generously for each good grade and I get even more if I happen to be on Honor Roll or, even better, Distinguished Honors. In that respect, I look forward to report cards very much, especially when I very much need the money for other things (like I do right now after my vacation where I spent more money than I would like to report on jewelry and other such things). When I was younger, I used to feel this thrill and I used to imagine what kinds of toys that I would end up buying with the money.

Before, I also used to feel a sense of anticipation when I got them. Now that I can access my grades online and my mom can too, it's not the same. There's no sense of surprise or anything but it was pretty much ready to see from the start. When I was a kid, though, it wasn't like that. I didn't know my grades and my parents didn't either. The only time they might possibly be notified would be if the grades were bad. It's not like that anymore, though.

There still is that one little thing about report cards that bring on insecurity in me. Report cards make me feel that I can do better. That I can be better than what I did and that I should be better. Something tells me that I'm not good enough until I make straight-A's.

Despite the fact that I have made the Distinguished Honor Roll, I still feel stupid. I still feel inadequate as a student.

In reality, I know that this very line of thinking is stupid, not me. Still there is something inside me that feels like I am anyway.

Report cards are so simple. They are just letters in a column and maybe a few pre-selected comments anyway. They should hardly define you as a person, especially since it doesn't mark traits like kindness, wisdom or perceptiveness. But still, it gets to me.

Most other kids just tuck it away and don't say a word. It might start a conversation but they don't care. A few of them might moan about how they're just going to get grounded for bring home a bad grade but not me. My parents have made it very clear that they are proud of me, but I still can't make myself proud with my grades.

Like I said, I already knew about my grades before I got my report card. My mom checked the grade-checking program that we have to make sure that I was doing okay in Math and thus I began the bad habit of checking my grades whenever she or my sister was on it (she, like many students, use it to check how she's doing also).

There's a reason why I don't keep track of my grades, though. If I keep track, I get obsessed. I feel the need to focus in on those grades and work so hard that I'm stressing out about it all the time. I set super high goals and I feel inferior when I don't reach them. I figure it's not worth all of the stress that it causes.

I'm sure that this whole report card complex is more than it needs to be. I should probably shut up and spend the money. But there's a part of me inside that just keeps laying it on me and I'm not sure I can get it to shut up.

And so what if I'm not smart? I work very hard, people like my writing and I'm generally a pretty good person. That's worthy enough.

It's all about those little steps and small victories. I'm working on it. The day that I'm able to fully quell these voices is another day that I'll be closer to calm.

One stupid piece of paper won't label me anymore.

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