20 March 2007

Cumulative weather

Or A life of almosts.

Afternoon, I dropped by the university to pick up my transcript of records. I hated doing that. I hated getting report cards, course cards, anything that has grade—my grade in it. Not in fear of failure in the zero-point-zero sense, but in failure of making the cut in terms of excellence.

I started out college with the awesome feeling of taking the right course: of enjoying seven o'clock classes, forever enthusiastic, because I couldn't get enough of learning and being my self.

And then terms ended. Terms ended with regret of not making it to the dean's list. School years ended. They ended with the frustration of having only three-point-something averages.

College had to end with disappointment in graduating almost with distinction. Had I only pushed a bit harder, my undergraduate self said.

In the afternoon, my graduate self looked at the transcript. With the simple intention of dropping by the school to pick up a two-page document, I wound up sitting for half an hour looking at numbers, recounting each imperfect episode I lived through: an enjoyably prestigious career, if only the boss wasn't such a baby; the loveliest lover, if only there was love going on; the chic blouse missing a button.

Yes, no point spending much time, intellect and energy on things like these; only you realize that after doing it, after making amends with your mind:

(There's no place for bitterness in my life but my coffee...) 3.450 is not a story but a stat. The glories of a term, its deathly dullness, or sheer uselessness are not translated in those figures.

(If I only needed to be employed, my transcript of records is in fact good-looking.)

—Or How we fool each other.

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