In English Comp, right next to me sits 'Techno Kid'. On the other side of him is Ammo on His Wrist guy. Now Techno Kid is thin, intense, long haired, kind of looks like Shaggy on Scooby Doo. He attends college for computer graphics (is that a degree?) I don't know. He wants to design computer games.
So anyway, I was at the library yesterday, trying to get all this information around for a historical overview of the evolution of Occupational Therapy. My group's era is 1917 to 1929. We're looking for the societal, legislative, and medical advances of the times. I was getting frustrated because everything that I typed in led to 127 million hits. "Train at Home for a Rewarding Career" "Become an Occupational Therapist" "Earn Good Money!" I was starting to grit my teeth a bit. I talked to a librarian, and she showed me one lone reference book sitting on the shelf. The History of Occupational Therapy.
It was time for English Comp, so I walked from the library across campus to class. The classroom was empty, but there was a message on our board. "Go to Library, Love, Mrs. Braun." (Is that not the cutest thing? I wanted to take a picture of it, but didn't have time. I had to walk back across campus to where I'd just come from.) I headed down the stairs thinking, 'Gosh. I was sure that she said we were meeting in the classroom first and heading to the library. Unless that's my Thursday class. We're also going to the library. Maybe we're suppose to meet in class first. I know somebody is meeting in the classroom first....' and at the bottom of the stairs, I see Techno Kid standing at the door with a pained, oh-how-stupid-I-am look on his face. I laughed. "I did the same thing," I said, and he held the door for me and we headed for the library.
On the way over, I asked him about the assignment. He has not begun it either. Like my own essay, his is also in the thinking stage. I've got two essays, two opposing views. I'm supposed to research and take another stand. I know what I want to say. The topic is euthanasia. I've got four articles to bolster my point of view. I just have not had the time to sit down and write the darn thing. Anyway, Techno Kid says, "The last time I took this class..." I looked at him amazed. "Why are you taking it again?" I figured that I would hear something about "I knew that I could get a better grade," or something like that. This is a smart kid. He looked at me and said, "I failed this class. This is my fourth time of taking it," and while my mind is spinning on ahead thinking 'dyslexia' or 'learning disability' and wondering how I could help, the kid tells me, "I don't like to do homework. I'm already a couple journals and one newspaper essay behind." I didn't even know what to say. I wonder why he is in college. I mean, someone is paying for it. If he's not, his parents are, and if I were his mother, I'd be suggesting that he take a break from school, get a job, and think about what he wanted to do with his life. If he chose to ignore me, well, he'd be paying for college out of his own pocket. I don't waste money. Four times!
On the up side, the class we had for English Comp was taught by Jennifer, the daughter of one of my fellow Sunday school teachers, and the class was all about how to use the different search engines to find topics from books and periodicals and other libraries, etc. I was so glad for it, because heaven knows, it will help me considerably for this history project. And at the end of the class, everyone filed out. We had been given some research homework, and I made up my mind to get it done before leaving. I don't need one more thing to do on my 'things to do list'. So I sat in the darkened classroom and completed my homework. Techno Kid was there too. He finished before I did. I mean, really, this fellow is bright enough.
I have a test today, and I've got to get moving. I have a lot of stuff to do. Two major writing projects. I worry about today's test. It just seems like there is so much ahead of me that I start to worry. How am I going to get it all done? I don't think I can get it all done. But everyone who has gone through this class before me got it all done. So I take a deep breath and try to feel confident that I will get it all done too. Last night, headed for bed, I said to Tim, "I wonder how long it will take before I get over the feeling that I'm on the verge of catastrophic failure?" I'm doing well, as far as I can tell, so far, but this fear of failure is very real. And I find myself wondering where all this self doubt comes from.