Tuesday, 26 March 2013

seeking external validation

We've been to the school for Parent's Evening tonight.  We're really proud of the kids, they've settled in really well, and are doing well all 'round.  The big girl was massively behind on her reading books (just because the different schools were going at different paces), and has moved up two stages very quickly.  It's been hard work for her, but she's doing great.  So that was good...

But do you know what?  All the time the teachers were saying they were doing well, I was thinking, well, how well?  The big girl's teacher did say that she was secure for early stage, which left Kenny looking mystified, and made me happy.  No idea for the boy though.  

I really liked getting grades at school, and university.  I guess it helped that I generally got good grades, but mainly it was good to get some feedback.  It's always nice when people tell you you've done a good job, but it's even better to know how good!

I may have got this obsession with wanting to know just how good things are, and how far from perfect, from my Dad (which gives me a great excuse for a photo of my Dad and I).

I remember when I was at University, I got 99% in a statistics exam.  I was really proud, so I called up my Dad to tell him.  He asked me what had happened to make me lose out on the 1%. I knew the answer. Because I had asked my lecturer that very question - I had slightly wobbled on a graph drawn freehand, allegedly.

Also at University I had a lecturer in Women's Studies who was so nice it was unbelievable (dead clever too, and a great lecturer).  She was fantastic at encouraging people to speak up in seminars, and would always praise any input.  I remember in a seminar on sado-masochistic imagery (Women's Studies is a great degree), that somebody said that it was just wrong, and normal people didn't do that kind of thing.  I was busily hiding behind my hair so this person didn't see me roll my eyes - who were we I thought to morally judge?  But the lecturer looked at them and said "that's really great, it's so great that you're happy to say that here, thank you, you've raised a really good point", and then proceeded to make a really good point of her own that was vaguely related.  Genius.  I wish I had her ability to see the good in everything, but I'm still working on it.

To me, some things are good, some even great, but a lot are adequate or even, bad.  If things are good, then I want to know exactly how good, and how can we get the wobble out of the graph?

What about you?  Are you happy enough for things to be a nebulous 'good', or do you want to know how much?  Maybe I'm just a control freak?  What do you think?