May 10th, 2004
Last week was busy and rough. I’ve been quiet and busy, and successful and unsuccessful.
I spent my entire Saturday the Saturday before last working on a take-home test for my Statistics Class. On Dr T’s Math Pages you can see the results. I got a 92 for my efforts. I’d have preferred a 100, of course, but the fact that the lowest test grade is dropped helps me there. Being that there were only 3 tests (the final will come in a few weeks), that’s not a lot. But part of me is vexed that I can’t say I’m “top kid” as Edward James-Olmos calls one of his students in “Stand and Deliver.” Still, an A is an A, and I should be content with a performance that’s going to be positive.
On another note, last week brought me a zero for a major project in my Java class. I overextended myself to go over and above what was required of an assignment creating a Swing GUI and discovered bugs in Swing that prevented the UI from working properly. This ended up bogging me down in getting the interface right, and I was unable to deliver. Thus, zero.
That said, I’ve done so many extra-credit “stars” in this class that the underperformance still leaves me sitting with a 98-100 average. But it depressed the hell out of me last week. I had a hard time reconciling myself to this mistake. I am struggling to recognize that a mistake I make is not me. In my mind, a mistake = me. When I get a zero, I AM A ZERO. This thinking is not rational, though it has spurred me to excel in many areas. But from a mental health point of view, I can’t see that it’s terrible constructive. Finding that balance — between trying to be a high achiever, and being an emotionally well-balanced person — is something I’m looking at more.
Frankly, dealing with this has been percolating in my head to such an extent that I have neglected this site and many other responsibilities. The past several months is teaching me a great deal about how to be. It’s real work. But I think the perspecting I’m gaining are building a foundation for myself. In some sense I feel like the end of my marriage was the beginning of Joe Crawford 2.0. Or maybe 4.0. Probably the defining events for me in my life were these:
- Joe Crawford 1.0: Being Born
- Joe Crawford 1.5: Skipped a grade from Kindergarden to First Grade
- Joe Crawford 2.0: Experiences in the Phillippines
- Joe Crawford 3.0: April 1, 1988
- Joe Crawford 3.5: Becoming a Respiratory Therapist and being good at it
- Joe Crawford 3.9: Moving to Los Angeles
- Joe Crawford 4.0: Marriage dissolves; All that came before is broken down and will be rebuilt with truth and love
4.0 has been ongoing for two years now. It’s funny, I didn’t even remember that it was two years ago that Jennifer left and I was forced to confront my own life. Forced to do this painful uncomfortable thing and ask questions of myself: “who am i?” — and be prepared to answer that question, with truth about the good and bad and neutral things that make me me.
And about facing the truths that are uncomfortable — I continue to seek the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Thanks for reading and listening to me today.