School, and the Definition of You

by Megan M. on April 6, 2009 · View Comments (Blog) |

I used to feel obliged to let people know how bad I did in school. I never did my homework; I wrote stories and drew pictures through my classes, as much and as often as I could get away with it (and sometimes when I couldn’t).

I read paperbacks and comic books—it’s harder for the teacher to notice if you make sure to have a pile of textbooks on the front corner of your desk. (At least, that was my theory.) My grades were middling, because I had to keep them at a certain level to avoid too much trouble, and to avoid getting kicked out of the theater program.

Even in college, when I had chosen my own focus, there was a theme: All of my performance and studio grades were excellent, but I stumbled through theory and history classes, though I made a bigger effort now that I was an “adult”. I didn’t read fiction in those classes, but I did do business planning and ideastorming about things that had nothing to do with music. Don’t get me wrong, I was interested in those classes—just not the way I was supposed to be.

When I truely “applied myself,” I was brilliant.

But I didn’t do that very often.

I am no longer defined by my technical performance in school—not even college. I’m defined by what I’ve done, and what I go on to do with what I have. I’m defined by what I’m willing to learn, and how steadily I’m inclined to grow and change and help others. I’m not a failure because the schooling I had wasn’t quite right for me. My life is getting better and more amazing constantly. No one cares that my grades were lame. And even “school” isn’t what I thought.

School isn’t some series of institutions with structured exercises and grade point systems.

School is me. The most important school has always been me. I just didn’t discover that until after I was grown up.

It doesn’t matter what you did before.

It only matters what you’ll do now.

  • Rick Wilson DMD
    Megan, it's always so difficult to apply oneself to things that one finds- less than exciting. I suppose the question should be- Is this thing, that doesn't exactly thrill me, goingn to help me do what I love?

    If so, then it's worth the effort, even if it's dry and not-fun. If the answer is no, well then perhaps we can just leave it and move on.
  • Chris From Cutcycle
    I like what you're saying and the hopeful tone of how you say it. The choice to rebel against who we have been is, to me, the most miraculous part of becoming more than the sum of our total experience. Thanks for the insights. And yes, I was referring to you in the Oscars post. :)
  • Paul Pettengill
    Great stuff Megan, so similar to my story. Its all about positive change.
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