Then there was that class whose books you return to frequently, and you remember doing quite well in that class, and remember the professor liking you. But there it is, a B on your transcripts. The same grade you got in classes you paid a lot less attention to, attended less, cared about less, sold all your books from said classes immediately after they were over.
Such are the things that matter to people that you never quite got. You never cheated, or even shared answers and compared notes before a test. You didn’t storm a professor’s office after getting a B to demand you receive a few more points. You always felt like you either got the grade you deserved for the work you did, or the professor was too much of an idiot to appreciate your genius. You actually preferred to lower your GPA for the sake of never changing your style to fit the professor’s expectations, than be one of those fools who would beg for extra credit and argue pedantically over the accuracy of a test question.
But, you were still surprised to see you’d gotten a B in that class where you read Montaigne, Luther, Calvin, Machiavelli, Pico della Mirandola, Erasmus, More, etc. You then saw you’d gotten a B in your beloved Greek mythology class, and the one Creative Writing class you really liked. Same with your favorite Art History class, and Poli Sci class. All B’s.
You went back and examined your life and saw nothing but B’s everywhere, popping out of memories of how you treated others, how you conducted yourself in various situations, how hard you worked, how much you tried to get ahead in life. There were, for sure, moments of being a straight A student, flashes of brilliance. But, for every fifteen minutes of brilliance, there were days and days of laziness and mediocrity, punctuated by equally short moments of pure ignominy approaching outright evil behavior.
You’ve led a B student’s sort of life, a solid, almost-respectable 3.0 average approach to getting ahead at work, finding a mate, hitting your milestones. The only time and place where you’ve carried on a sustained A+ student’s way of being is in this or that running fantasy inside your head. Nobody is fooled, nobody thinks anymore that you can be whomever or whatever you want to be if you just put your mind to it.
In fact, even most of your more vocal well-wishers have stopped saying much of anything to you or about you. To say that they are all disappointed would be a bit much. They are more…baffled.
Your story isn’t over yet.
But, how do you go from being one who is always more than comfortable to tell the story of a B student when pressed to tell the story of his life to telling the story of a sharp, clever student sitting at the front of the room every day raising his hand every time a question is asked to the class, running immediately to the professor’s office to camp out until next morning’s office hours to where the teacher down until she relents and yields up just enough points to bring him into the A range and help him keep that 4.0 GPA?