A Guilty Conscience
I am someone who is a contradiction in many ways. There are some things that do not bother me at all, they don’t even elicit a twitch. And then there are the others. They are the things that sometimes still make me feel badly. One of the worst feelings in the world is the one you get when you feel like you have let yourself down.
Some of these stories have been shared with you and some have not. Within this blog I am so very honest with myself. That is not to suggest that I am dishonest or less than truthful, but there is a stark reality to seeing the thoughts and feelings in print.
This morning I remembered the final exam of one of my political science classes. We were required to write four essays. There were five different topics to choose from. I don’t remember specific details anymore, other than I had three exceptional essays. I knew my stuff and I did a fabulous job of presenting it.
It was the fourth essay that was the problem. I just couldn’t effectively answer the final two questions. I tried. I really tried to come up with something but nothing came out of me, the bluebook was empty.
And then I had a brainstorm. I remembered the professor talking about someone who had been giving an assignment and was unable to speak about the assignment and deftly turned things by providing an outstanding presentation on a different topic.
So I said what the hell and I began to write about another topic that we had covered in depth, but was not part of the final exam. In my opinion it was the best essay out of the four. I got an ‘A’ on the exam and an ‘A’ in the course.
The next semester I signed up for another course with the same professor. On the first day of class he took me aside and used these words with me, “I don’t want you in here if you are going to try that bullshit with me again.”
It caught me offguard. I was unprepared and I kind of nodded my head and babbled at him. I felt exceptionally guilty because I realized that I had let myself down. I’d like to say that I learned my lesson and that I have never done anything to make myself feel badly, but that would be a lie.
As I have grown older there have been a few events here and there, but within my time as a college student I don’t think that I ever felt worse than I did standing in front of him that day.