As of five hours ago, I’m officially done with my sophomore year in college. Frankly, I’m still in the fuhgeddingaboudit stage, so I don’t think I’ll have it in me to muse any more on how… interesting this year has been. Not for now, anyway.
But I’ll say this: I have reached that point, as a writer, where my characters are teaching me lessons.
Most of you have probably heard of my WIP, Bluebird. Some of you may know that I trashed basically the whole thing about six months ago and reworked the plot. But that’s not the point. My point with this is that I didn’t change everything about it. One of the lessons that defined my MC Caitlin’s story in Oldbird (as I call it), and which will play some sort of (secondary) role in her current story, is this:
Test scores and GPA don’t determine your worth as a person.
Let me say that again.
Test scores and GPA do not determine your worth as a person.
I believe it a little more each time.
That was easy for me to say back then, in 2011 or whenever. I had straight A’s and ridiculous test scores. But now that honors organic chemistry 2 (*shakes fist*) might be my first B ever, I’ve had to start practicing what I preached to Caitlin.
I thought I was teaching her something. But now she’s turned around and taught me something.
Without spoiling too much of the story, I can safely say that although Caitlin continually downplays herself and compares herself to her best friend Kristine, all that belies her true nature. Sure, she has flaws – an erratic temper, a debilitating degree of iconoclasm, a general tendency towards surliness, and a whole ball of festering resentment regarding… oop, spoiler alert. But she could talk all day about anything Shakespeare. She speaks, reads, and writes Spanish far better than I do. She’s funny and perceptive and heroic as all-get-out. She’s so much more than the twin Bs she got in statistics and biology the day before her story starts.
And you know what? I’m more than the B I have a good chance of getting in ochem. I can tap-dance alongside the (immensely talented <3) musical theatre majors here. I’ve tried out for Jeopardy! twice now. I had two legitimate conversations with Brent Spiner, for god’s sake. Who cares about my 3.9something GPA when I made up a wild story to remember the mechanism for aldol condensation and regurgitated it perfectly on the final, even though I hadn’t thought about it in a month or so?
But that’s a post for another day.
For now, I’m just going to pack up, thank Caitlin by letting her talk at me uninterrupted for the first time in a long time, and relish the fact that I totally got my karmic revenge on aldol condensation.