Monday, August 11, 2008

Me And Intellectual Superiority

I have been trying to figure out how to write this post without sounding like an ass but something tells me, that is going to happen anyway so I may as well commence typing.

If I were stuck in a room full of one hundred people and we were all told that the dumbest half of the room population would be executed, I don't think I would be sweating too much. I don't think I would be the smartest guy in the room either, probably not even in the top twenty, but I am confident that I wouldn't be in the bottom fifty. I guess what I am getting at is that I am not an idiot but I am far from being Einstein. In cartoon terms, I am smarter than the average bear...but probably not by a ton.

Now that I have stated the same thing a handful of different ways, I will go on to say that I have a mean competitive streak in me when it comes to getting good grades in classes. In my last two years of college I learned that for me, the best motivator to do well in a class was to make it my mission to get a higher grade than certain people in the class. Sometimes these people would be the annoying, overly talkative people, or the snobby I-am-so-much-smarter-than-you types. One way or the other, it was my goal in life to make absolutely sure I drove them into the ground grade-wise. Most of them probably never even knew I was competing with them, which meant that I had an advantage...but nevermind that. For me, it was all about competing with someone. I have found that as long as I do this in every class I take, I will come away from that class with an A. Not because I am smarter or care more about the class, but because I smoked several people in the class in a competition that only I knew about. Is this a somewhat childish motivator? Yes, but as long as I get a good grade, I couldn't care less.

This summer school class has been the same, except this time I pitted myself against everyone in the class because I have come to be slightly annoyed by all of them. These women and their political correctness, professionalism, and elitism have pushed me to do better than all of them. These Masters students that consider themselves better than me, though several of them have never taught a day in their lives. Well, screw them. I have made it my goal to get an as good or better grade than them and do less work than them. So far, I have succeeded.

In my first test for the class, I scored a 96% and only studied for about half an hour. In my second test I scored a 99% and studied for fifteen minutes. I have gotten perfect scores on all of my papers with the exception of one and on that one, I got one point taken off. The thing that makes me happy is that I know that most of the other people in the class have studied their butts off and have done no better than me. Except on the last test, I know one girl got 103%. That's ok, if you study hard you should get good grades. She did better than me and I am ok with that because I know she studied for at least an hour by conversations I overheard after the test. My point is that I am succeed without doing almost anything. I am winning in a competition with a bunch of elitist Masters snobs. I knew I should have paid the extra grand and taken this as a Masters class. Oh well.

One more test and one more paper. The paper is a cakewalk and so far, the material for the next test is too.

I am winning.


At 10:49 AM, Blogger dustin said...

I used to do the same competition thing back in high school, though mine was always about quarterly GPAs. In my first trip through college, I didn't have anyone I could directly compete with in that way, which was part of the reason my grades weren't so good.

Does studying for an hour truly constitute a large time investment? I considered myself to be a bit of a light studier, and I rarely studied less than a couple hours for an important test. Then again, we generally only had two tests during the quarter — a midterm and a final — so that might explain why we studied more for them.

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous phear said...

At the end of high school, I thought is was hilarious that I ranked number 1 in my class along with about 100/500 people that all got a 4.0. This was due to the high school not willing to give a final GPA above 4.0. I had exactly a 4.0 with my AP classes calculated in. Some of these folks really had a 4.3+ but it didn't mean jack squat and still doesn't!

In my masters program, I didn't have much competition because many of the folks around me could not explain themselves or speak English very well despite some of them being quite smart. It is amazing to see how hard some folks work to achieve what I take for granted not only in my language and culture, but my place of birth. On the other hand, I have seen many reasons why it should be extremely difficult but not impossible to become a U.S. citizen.


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