Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Excellence or Mediocrity?

99% of the time, I strive to be and to do my best. However, there are those times when no matter how hard I try, my best just doesn't seem to cut it. What should I do, then? Should I cut my losses and instead of setting my personal expectations so high (striving for excellence in something I know I can't attain excellence in) knock it down a notch and be satisfied with mediocrity? What if my best in a certain situation is only mediocrity?

Fall of 2006 was my "Welcome back to college!!" semester with the first half of my math requirement - Statistics. My best in that class was mediocrity, even though I tried my darndest to do my best. I find myself in that situation again.

Apparently, math and language ability both reside in the same side of the brain - the analytical side. The analytical side of my brain just sits there and stares out the window and daydreams. I can't seem to get it to do much. Writing, grammar, vocabulary - that side of my brain is VERY active and I can't seem to get it to shut down when it's time to go to bed. For one side of my brain, mediocrity is about as excellent as it gets. For the other side, the sky is the limit as far as excellence goes.

(Exasperated sigh.) The moral of this story is that I will have to do several things to attain excellence for both sides of my brain:
1. Know my weaknesses and work hard to turn them into strengths. I will have to work harder on Spanish vocabulary.
2. Understand there is no room for laziness when it comes to subjects I am not strong in. This will take personal discipline.
3. Ask for help. My Spanish prof told me "vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary!!"

If I want to go on to grad school, there will be no room for mediocrity whatsoever. I will have to walk in excellence 24/7. No one ever said school would be easy. How bad do I want this degree? How bad do I want to go to grad school? Bad enough to breathe excellence? Stay tuned . . .


The PhD Pimpernel said...

I advise the serenity prayer ... God (or a deity/entity of your choice) grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

We cannot always be what we desire to be ... but we can do our best!

E. Sheppard said...

I will definitely stay tuned. I feel like you will do well because you are so focused on what you want. I am still rooting for you and curious to see what you will do next.