Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dr. Nancy and Ms. Positive Polly

After a perpetual stay in the Dumps, also known as last week, whether it was the result of me choosing to put on rose colored glasses or God slapping them on my face, saying, "ENOUGH of your whining already!"...

I experienced some positive moments today.

Now don't get me wrong, I tossed around quite a few negative thoughts in my head today, more so than the number of positives, but!

I tried to recognize the positives when they came about.

One was that I ran four miles today, after not running since January 27th. Whoa.

Two was that before entering the rec center, there was a full-on car brawl for lack of available parking spaces, and after circling the block once, during round two I noticed an available spot. For moi.

It really made me happy. I took note of the happiness.

The final positive actually happened at the beginning of the day, and it came in three parts. And each part came with a negative element.

What? This is day one out of the Dumps, I NEVER

I repeat, NEVER

said I was an overachiever.

(In case you don't know, I hate it when people call me an overachiever. I would be flattered, but it's such an incorrect label that it actually somehow makes me loathe myself as a twisted, backward result of being labeled as such. I guess it's like that famous story line where someone is misunderstood to be someone he's not, receives praise for it, lets the praise go on for a while, then hates himself for not only being a liar but then somehow doubly hates himself for re-realizing he didn't do whatever it was that would have earned him praise. E.g., in this situation, when someone calls me an overachiever, I feel the need to correct her, but then in correcting her I'm saying "Oh, I'm a total lazy ass," and then realizing, "Oh wait, that doesn't make me feel good about myself..."

I don't know if you followed any of that, but I digress.)

Ahem. So I agreed to go to this accreditation committee thing this morning, to give our program some feedback and, well, get them re-accredited. Now I agreed because I received an email saying I was chosen to help with this meeting and so a)I thought I was special and I was flattered and b)I pictured a room with maybe six students helping out, so I thought they needed more help than it seemed today they actually did.

So, after grumbling in the shower, in the car, in the cold, surpassing a coffee stop due to lack of time, the grumbling continued as I realized the room had plenty of people who had agreed to help.


There was coffee for us. It was warm, and it was free.

(It wasn't very good.)


It was there.

And there were muffins.

(They were better than the coffee.)

Part two:

During the meeting, people were going on and on about their great experiences in our program.

Now. I can see that we have a tremendous faculty here, and tremendous resources, and a tremendous number of classes, etc. etc. There are some faculty in particular whom I greatly enjoy.


I feel more than a little rushed, overwhelmed, and lost amidst


of course work, professors, things to put on my resume, and


to get what I believe to be an adequate amount of it done.

For example, I would love to take a class this summer, which I can do for free, because I'll have paid my dues by working for the university for two semesters and that is how it works. Which is awesome. But if I take a class, then that will mean I'm not at an internship, and just about everyone else in the program will be. So when I graduate, who's gonna get a job? I'm guessing them first. But taking a class is a good thing, I thought. You know, furthering your education. So why should I feel like educating myself is going to bite me in my underachieving* ass, come graduation? You see my pickle.

So, after hearing people who are getting their undergrad degree here, or already have, talk about all their ample time to make relationships, work internships, take courses, I couldn't take it anymore.

So I raised my hand and offered up my negativity.

Sure, people didn't like me for it, I bet. Perhaps my answer would have been a little more forgiving if I was drinking Starbucks, or Caribou. But this is certainly not the first time this has happened. Let's not bring up the time I bashed on Winnie the Pooh in my children's literature class in 2006. Yeah. Let's just...not.

Well after our dismissal, I refilled my coffee (hey, it was free) and my delightful friend Mary came up to me and said, "I'm glad you complained because I was wondering if anyone was going to."

"Negative Nancy, at your service," I replied, adding cream to my java in an attempt to take out the bite (it didn't work).

Mary and Nancy bitched a little bit more on our way down the hall, helping me sweat out some of the gobs of negativity in my veins, but then!

(Part three)

Something even more releasing happened (this doesn't underscore your assistance, Mary. You were a great help).

I settled in the lounge to work on my take-home quiz, and there were some other people in there from my next class. They were chatting.

And all of a sudden.

I heard Erika say how she went to a different accreditation session. And then.

It happened.

She said that she complained too.

I spun around in my chair.

"All of these people were so happy," she said. "Why are you all so happy?, I thought."

I found a fellow Negative Nancy.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Huge, cynically satisfied sigh of relief.

*I don't think that taking a class is underachieving. I just wanted to reiterate that overall I think I'm perhaps a normal, possibly underachieving person. But not over. Trust me, if you want an overachiever, I can show you some. I can recognize them because they don't act like me. They're too positive.

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