Meta-life lessons


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.



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