Perfection eludes me


Amish women deliberately place some kind of little mistake in the quilts they make to indicate their humility; only God is perfect. I always thought that concept was entirely arrogant, myself. How in the world can they even consider that anything they create with their own hands could be perfect?

And so it is in my life: I am very far from perfection. I am an undergraduate student (at 53). Because of health issues, I can only take 9 credit hours per semester. It will take me a very long time to graduate from college. That said, I work very, very hard at my studies. I probably spend twice as much time on assignments as most students due to cognitive issues. I pretty much agonize over assignments.

Due to brain damage from neuroborreliosis or neurologically-involved Lyme disease, I have short-term memory problems and cognitive difficulties (along with chronic fatigue, chronic pain, and sleep issues). I wrote a post on my other blog about how my visual memory has somehow been removed or disconnected from my cognitive functioning leaving me with a blank, grey screen that previously held visual memories of whatever I was reading, learning, or memorizing (as in maps, directions, graphics, textbook pages, words, etc.). I cannot summon a visual memory any longer, so I am handicapped.

This week I worked very hard on a response paper for an English class I am taking (one of two — I love English!). I spent hours yesterday rewriting, clarifying, rewriting, editing, and so on. I agonized over the grammatical structure of my thesis statement; I even emailed my professor and asked for her input. I let the paper rest overnight and spent five hours this morning rewriting, editing, clarifying and agonizing over sentence structure (I have a couple of bad writing habits).

englishpaperI ran out of black ink in my printer cartridge, so I am doing the paper entirely on the computer (actually, three computers — long story). Typically, I print out my final iteration before submitting it online to check for errors that are difficult to see on a computer screen. I couldn’t do that this time. I ran through a final reading on the laptop, reading aloud which helps me tremendously, and saved it as a PDF file. I then uploaded the file to my college’s online interface and clicked OK. To my horror, there in the first paragraph, was an “s” in a word where it had not been minutes before. I was dumbfounded. Then I remembered that I had used the typical keystroke CTRL-s to save the latest changes before once again saving it as a PDF. I must have missed the CTRL key.

For me, there is never any need to deliberately place an error in any of my work. I do that just fine naturally.

I emailed my professor within a minute of uploading the file hoping that she will allow me to re-upload the paper. I have done what I can do and have a pile of other homework to do, two final research papers to write, and I need to taxi my youngest son to a friend’s house.

Perfection eludes me naturally. I am only human, you know (and a very damaged, flawed one at that).

P.S. As difficult as my studies are, I absolutely love every assignment. I feel privileged to be able to attend college, thanks to financial aid. It has been a dream of mine since I was 15 years old to go to college. I am living a dream in spite of my challenges. I am blessed.

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