What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The question is what can you make people believe you have done.

Arthur Conan Doyle

I have been struggling with perceptions lately. And because I make no qualms about the fact that this corner of the interweb is also my therapist, minus the hemp skirt and Birkenstocks, I shall explain:

There is a boy currently in two of my classes. I met said boy for the first time last semester, despite the fact that we are both graduating this year with the same major. He seemed nice, and still does in some ways. There are two things you should know: 1. Boy seems to overextend himself. I don't know if he was behind or what, but he seems to take a zillion credits in an attempt to get done what the rest of us seniors have by now. 2. Earlier this semester, Boy found out he was accepted to the grad school of his choice. I won't go into specifics regarding his career choice, but let's just say it is a place where you become a doctor. Only not for humans.

The professors swoon. They rant. We had a party, complete with cake, after class one day to celebrate his acceptance. We've clapped for him. More than once. There seem to be no end to the backslapping and accolades.

Here is where the problem lies: Boy and I have been grouped together in one class all semester. And he has done, well, nothing. Because I want to do well, I work hard. For the both of us, apparently. He is essentially skating by on grades I have earned. I send him portions of projects to contribute to, he emails them back untouched. I stay up all night completing "group" work and he takes the credit. He shows up late to group meetings taking place at obscure times because that is the only time he can meet. He asks me for my old exams from past classes and answers to homework questions. Not only that, he requests them . . . as if I have an obligation to share. I have not obliged. 

Golden Boy is a deadbeat.

I have a kiddo, a husband, and a full course load. I get my homework done. I work hard. Enlighten me as to why his time and success is more important than mine? 

All this may sound like sour grapes. Not so. We have different career paths and he has undoubtedly worked hard to get where he is. I actually find his situation encouraging. Academically, I have done better. With the right references and experience I, too, will find the perfect school for me.

We've seen it in movies a million times. The person, usually a woman, loved and adored by the boss but utterly disliked by his/her coworkers. There have been times I have wanted to march into my professor's office and expose him for the fraud he is. But I don't. Because society dictates that I am above such pettiness. But am I? Really?

Perception is a tricky thing. And I don't think I am the only one that feels compelled to right them when they are so utterly wrong. It is very hard to sit by while others take advantage. But that is also life. Running to the teacher rarely makes them look like a fool . . . and the results are seldom satisfying.  There is often little one can do to change a perception once it has been established.

So I simmer in silence and remind myself that there are just four short weeks left. He will go on his merry way, as will I. Only, I will leave knowing I can actually walk the walk. This will have been a lesson in humility, and I will be a better person for it. Life has a way of making things crystal clear . . . just not always in our desired time frame.  

As the Muggles say, “Truth will out.” -Arthur Weasley

And now this bit of ugliness is off my chest. Thanks for listening.


  1. Vent away. Your frustration is completely understandable. It's hard, but I've come to realize that these things work themselves out if you are patient enough. You may never get to see the result you want, but best believe it will come.

  2. Ugh that is really frustrating and so sorry that you have to be around someone like that.

  3. Very frustrating - but take solace in that eventually his ways WILL catch up with him because someone will call him on his bull. One day he will encounter the woman who will let him fall flat on his face because she has nothing to lose in doing so. {if it'll help, I can run upstairs and grab my Birkenstocks...}


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