I thought I had written out my anger but clearly I hadn’t.
I meant this half term to start writing my next essay, a mere bagatelle at 2,500 words. I started this evening but my mind kept wandering here, so this is where I’m writing.
I hate writing essays.
I put this in my Learning Contract, a short piece of work of aims, goals, trials that I expect to face in my course this year. I was honest and clear cut about it.
I didn’t explain why though and I didn’t have to. But I need to think it out. Part of the reason I did my degree in Maths was because it didn’t involve writing essays. I did one short module on the history of Maths, which I really enjoyed, but I sweated over the essays, never feeling confident in my ability.
Going back to reading my school reports I’m not really surprised I lacked confidence. Even with the subjects I thought I was enjoying I got negative reports. Nowadays reports have a far greater emphasis on accentuating the positive and not being quite so vicious.
From the age of 8 to 14 I never had to write in English at school. I only wrote to my grandmothers and occasionally one of my sisters and I don’t suppose any of those were masterpieces.
I wrote French essays but for these I would be focused on using my limited vocabulary and getting the grammar right. The approach to these was different, with piles of dictionaries and books of synonyms and all manner of reference books that don’t exist in English. I don’t suppose I had any chance of putting any creative thought into an essay, let alone developing structure.
Reading through all these reports that all say that I’m superficial, and don’t think deep enough made me feel inadequate then, and, make me feel angry now because they still make me feel inadequate. I read them and wondered if they were right, if I simply couldn’t apply my mind as my father kept telling me too, and that maybe I’m just not capable. No wonder I don’t want to start an essay.
The fact is that I have two external sources that loomed large in my life, my schools and my father, and they both agree with each other that I’m not performing up to my abilities and since neither of them ever questioned my mental health, my state of mind, the only answer is that I’m lazy and unwilling.
is the word running through my head, although I can’t identify the teacher’s voice. It means more than lazy, literally it means do-nothing, idle, work-shy. I was a disappointment to my father as he saw my inability to study a complete waste. I do remember trying to explain to him that misery was not a good companion to studies but he didn’t see it.
I feel misjudged. I feel unsupported. I feel maligned. But I also feel angry that I am still suffering the consequences both practically with anxiety at the very least over essay writing but also feeling that I have lost out on what my education could have done for me if teachers, both in French and in English had taken my situation into account and helped me more. What a waste of all those years. I realise I didn’t help by burying all this and not showing what was going on inside but I didn’t really think that anyone would give a rat’s arse about how I felt.