I’m a pretty mediocre student.
I’m saying this not as any insult to my own intelligence. I think somebody can be clever, can be a quick learner and still be a piss-poor addition to a classroom. Some people just learn differently, or can’t focus, or spend the entirety of a lesson drawing Batgirl on their notes. I’ve made peace with this, and I can accept whatever grade I get as directly proportionate to what I deserve.
I do get pretty uppity (uppity like a hive of fucking bees) when I get a grade I feel that I don’t deserve. But that’s a psalm for another Sunday.
Today in one of my classes my teacher hands us our complete midterm grades. My college doesn’t technicallydo midterm grades, but eh, that doesn’t stop this professor. So she hands us these complex grading rubrics with the percentage of assignments done so far and our estimated score for the semester, at that point.
I got a C. Eh. No big deal. I neglected to turn in an assignment and it bumped me down a bit. I’ll be back up to a B by the end of the semester.
A very obnoxious girl sits next to me in that class. She’s nice. Just…extremely obnoxious, and I haven’t yelled at her yet because I feel that everybody deserves to have friends and be treated with basic respect, even if they are constantly and sincerely annoying.
As I’m analyzing my paper, Obnoxious Girl leans over, the bright yellow of her Roxy sweatshirt reflecting ominously onto the page.
Obnoxious Girl: Ohmygod, you got a C?
Obnoxious Girl: That’s awful! How could you get a C?
Me: I aspire to mediocrity.
Obnoxious Girl: Oh, I bet it’s…look. See? This assignment right here. You have a zero there.
Me: Huh. That must be the assignment I didn’t do.
Here Obnoxious Girl stops, and looks at me like spiders had suddenly started crawling out of my nose.
Obnoxious Girl: You didn’t do an assignment?
Me: I didn’t just NOT do it. It was a preconsidered protest. I –
Obnoxious Girl’s eyes get a bit unfocused and blank, as though the nose-spiders had begun a well-choreographed tap dance on my upper lip.
Me: No, I didn’t do it.
Obnoxious Girl: Why?
Me: Work makes my tummy feel funny.
Obnoxious Girl: You can give her a medical excuse. Did you go to a doctor?
Me: NO I DIDN’T GO TO A DOCTOR I WAS BEING FACETI….AUGH.
I take a deep breath, and Obnoxious Girl shifts the papers on my desk to look at the scores on the next sheet. I let her.
Obnoxious Girl: You also didn’t do very good on the last speech.
Me: Hey. I got a B. She docked me fifteen percent for having bad eye contact. I did just fine.
Obnoxious Girl: You got a 303 overall.
Me: I saw that. When I looked at the sheet.
Obnoxious Girl: She said the…ohmygod, you got the lowest grade in the class.
Me: Seems so. Mediocrity – ACHIEVED. Deedle-ee-ding!
Obnoxious Girl: Oh, man. I would be fa-reaking out if I were you. You’re taking this really well.
Me: I like to pop a valium before this class.
Obnoxious Girl recoils a bit. She stares at me, her lower jaw trembling and a bit of spittle pooling incredulously in the left corner of her mouth.
Obnoxious Girl: Are you…serious?
Me: Of course I’m serious. This is my serious face. Oh, did my face not move? Sorry. Side effect of the valium.
Obnoxious Girl studies me for another moment, then bursts out laughing. The rest of the class turns to look at us as her laughter turns into something like a turkey gobble.
Obnoxious Girl: That’s pretty funny.
Me: I thought so.
Obnoxious Girl: I got a B. I’m going to talk to her, though. I think I deserved a better grade on the last paper.
Me: Well, she does grade pretty hard. And you’re a smart cookie.
Obnoxious Girl: Thank you!
At this point the professor began talking again and I was released from conversation.
I promptly drew Batgirl all over my midterm grades.