Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Everybody wants me

Well, at least they want my brain. For our statistics final, we were allowed to bring in an 8.5" x 11" "cheat sheet" with any information we wanted to include. I used 8-point font and .25" margins, and worked on it every morning I woke up at 3 a.m. or so, which went on for more than a week. It was pretty darn comprehensive.

Before the final, I met with my study group partners, Jerry and Carly. They're also older students -- so much so that they consider me young. We did some reviewing, then had some coffee and chatted. Jerry convinced me to switch sections for two of my fall classes to be with the professors he thought were the best. I was psyched because I'd be in class with him, and apparently the feeling's mutual. He kept saying that he hadn't been pulling his weight during our homework sessions. Finally, I told him that he had -- because he asked all the right questions. And I meant it. You learn best by teaching and answering questions about a topic.

Jerry also had a funny conversation with Leslie, another girl in my class. I can't remember how it got started. I think they were saying how much they liked my cheat sheet, which I had also insisted on giving her. He kept declaring how smart I was. (I'm a little embarrassed to relate this, but that's what happened.)

"I'm not the smartest kid in the room," I said.

"Yes, you are," he said. I gotta say, I loved hearing it. Narcissistic I am, humble I am not. And his good opinion of me means the world to me. Maybe because he's roughly the age of the professors at The Bad Place, who had such a negative view of me, or maybe because he's really brilliant (although he refuses to see it). I love it when smart people think I'm REALLY smart.

Before the test, everyone foregathered and started comparing cheat sheets. And the one everyone wanted... was mine. People even went to another floor to make copies of it. It was incredibly flattering.

I also talked with Jerry about his wife and son's emotional problems, which have a lot in common with mine. I keep feeling like I should tell him about my disorder. Because I know that if anything, he'd be even more impressed with me, knowing what I struggle with and what I've accomplished despite it.

But you know what? Tonight, sitting down to recount this, I just feel sad and lonely. I've got a few weeks before classes start again, I'm between internships. I already miss my classmates. I don't know how I'm going to fill the time until classes start again.

Jerry said today that this was the first educational experience he'd ever had that exceeded his expectations. I agreed with him that this program was better than I'd dreamed it could be; as I told Elah on Sunday, I'm a born-again social worker. I'm really proud that I'm learning social work values and skills. And a huge part of the reason why I love this school is the other students, who have been so supportive, understanding, and effusive with their praise of me. It has been balm to my wounded soul.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

1 comment:

  1. What's special about you, Ayelet, is that you're not only smart, you're insightful. People notice that, even if you don't.

    If you're bored and lonely, give a holler. You know how to reach me.