Posts Tagged ‘A+’

The Good Enough

January 1, 2019


I got a message yesterday as I was winding up the laundry and gathering it from the dryer at the mat up the way on Balboa.

It was a message from one of my professors.

I have already begun reading for the next semester, three of my text books have landed in my mail box, and I wasn’t really thinking anything about the message other than maybe he’d gotten my grade in early.

That was not the message.


Fuck my life.

The message basically said it looks like the final paper you sent in was a draft and not the final copy and it is full of typos and ends abruptly and doesn’t answer the questions that I wanted answered and makes me wonder if you understood the scope of the material in the course.

Holy shit, what?!

I was flummoxed.

First, that I had sent in a draft?

I never do that.

I am scrupulous about doing a spell check and when he said “typos” I was really curious about what it could be.

I was also pressed for time as I was supposed to go meet up before doing the deal in the Castro and I had only so much time, not enough, surely to look up the paper and see what I had sent in and remedy it.

I scrambled my laundry home to my house, I had fifteen arguments in my head with my professor, I got upset with myself, I started thinking about the paper I had written and internally I knew, the prof was right on at least one point, I hadn’t really written a paper that was outlined in the directions.

I had deviated and written something that I wanted to.

My professor had also noted that though it was “fascinating” it didn’t address a lot of the topics that he wanted covered.

And that bit about me not understanding the scope of the material?

Well fuck off.

Did you not read all the freaking discussion posts I put up?

I mean.


I did substantial, 1,000 word plus discussion posts, on a weekly basis, two, three, four times a week.

I understood the scope of the fucking material.

I was mad.

I was also mad at myself.

How could I have sent in a draft?

What was I thinking?

I also had a vague recollection of actually being rather proud of the paper I had sent in, though no, it was not written in the way he wanted, it was well written and I felt that in my own way I had actually answered all the parameters of the paper.

I sent him a message and apologized for the paper, told him I had a standing appointment to meet up with my person and I had to do the deal after and then I’d get right home and get on figuring out what had happened.

I teared up a bit, I imagined I was going to have to do a load of work, my brain went right to the worst thing ever.

I was failing the class and what the fuck was I doing even bothering to try to get a PhD?

I was in over my head.

I was tired.

I didn’t want to re-write the paper, was I going to have to re-write it?

But I loved my paper, I really had liked it and I had spent more than one day on it.

Quite often I will write a paper in one shot and then edit it and send it out.

I did this one in two days, I felt like I should have been getting a pat on the back and a “how clever are you?” comment about my paper, not some insinuation that I didn’t understand the course work.

I was incensed and upset.

I cried big raccoon eyed tears when I made it to the Castro and basically wet down the table at Firewood Cafe with my weeping.

I couldn’t believe I had actually worn not just eyeliner, but also mascara and not the waterproof kind.

I looked a little beat up when I left.

I got down to it though with my person and came to the conclusion that.

1. The professor was right, I hadn’t written the paper the way he had assigned it.

2. I was being arrogant.

3. I didn’t have to get an “A” in the course.

4. All I had to do was pass the course.

5. I was fucking tired and overwhelmed and I didn’t have a whole lot in me.

So after a lot of getting humble and admitting that I may have turned in not the best paper I could, whilst also admitting that I was beating myself up a little too hard, I left the Castro, came home and looked up the paper.


It was like the draft of the draft.

It was awful.

I don’t have a clue how that got past me.

All I could think was that I had updated my computer at one point and maybe that was it.

But it was true, the version I had sent to my professor was a hot mess, typos, misspellings, the last page was missing, the paper ended in a super abrupt way and I had also pasted the directions in the paper so that I could refer to it when I wanted to.

But you don’t send that in to the professor!


I spent some time trying to find the final draft and there wasn’t one saved on my computer.


I made the decision to not re-write the whole thing, I still was holding onto the idea that I wasn’t that in the wrong with the content of the paper and he had said it was fascinating.

I cleaned it up, re-arranged a few pieces, wrote out the last page that had been missing and sent my professor an e-mail apologizing for the draft that had ended up in his e-mail.

I also defended what I wrote, but admitted that yes, he was right and I hadn’t done the paper by the guidelines he’d given.

I said if there was anything else I needed to do for the paper I would happily do it.

I sent it out and crashed out early, I was wiped out emotionally and mentally.

There was nothing in my e-mail when I woke up.

I spent much of the morning thinking that I might be spending my New Years Eve writing a ten page paper on a topic that I had basically shelved eleven days ago.



Sweet relief.

I got an e-mail this afternoon saying that he’d gotten the new copy, that he understood that it was a mistake getting the first one, that further, he understood why I had written the paper I had and that I didn’t have to do anything else, and happy new year.


Sweet Jesus.

What a freaking relief.

I don’t even care what the grade is that I get.

I am certain I will pass.

The paper was good enough.

And I can now say, with finality that this semester is over.

Which is good since I’m doing reading for the next one at this point.

Not tomorrow though.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I will treat it as such.

Grateful as all get out that I made it through this year.

It was one hell of a ride.


Oh, I Remember Your Paper

January 17, 2016


Thank god.

As it wasn’t in the heap of papers on her desk.

Nor, from what I can tell, any where co-mingled with my fellow cohorts or classmates.

I didn’t mind to tell you the truth.

I was just relieved to hear that my professor remembered my paper.

I had an abject moment of horror thinking that perhaps all that work I did right up before leaving for Paris was at a loss, that she never got the paper, that I would, in effect, have to do it again.

Which was just pure silliness.

If she hadn’t have gotten the paper I would have just pulled up the e-mail on my phone and sent it to her right in front of her.


She did get the paper.



She really liked it.

“Oh, I remember that paper, I gave it a strong A, if not an A+”

Damn Gina.


That was just such awesome news to hear and really nice too, considering that I got an A-on my first paper.

An A- and a strong A, if not an A+ in addition to the amount of interaction I have with the professor feels like an A for the course.

Of course.

I still need to make it through Psychodynamics II.

But it feels like a really positive way to start the semester and the class.

I felt really engaged with material today.

In fact.

I felt really good in all my classes today, I felt like I showed up, I was of service, to my class, to the discussion, to myself.

I had fantastic self-care, homemade food, lots of tea, quiet time, a moment to make a quick phone call and check back with a lady bug I just started working with, and adequate sleep.

Not the best sleep.

Not the most sleep in the world, but good enough sleep.

Just like the idea, the theory of the good enough mother, wherein I got what I needed to do basic survival.

I don’t think I want to subsist on “good enough” sleep, but it will do for now and I’m getting through the weekend.

And in such a lovely manner, I am more at home, more comfortable, more able to be present.

I am prepared.

I am grateful to be a good student.

I am also grateful for good professors and material that makes me think on my feet, that engages my mind, that I see myself making intuitive leaps and jumps, making connections between subjects, finding gold in the dross.

I am using my brain and motherfucker.

It’s sexy.

I felt really alive today.

The anxiety about what I am doing and why I am doing it has faded.

I’m doing this because I am a natural at it, I can be of great service doing psycho-therapy, or at least I believe so, I am doing this because I’m supposed to.

When things feel like this, when the poetry and the dream come together and there is a moment of recognition, a moment of realizing the integration of literature, my lush love and verdant yearnings for the poetic can be intermeshed with the helping arts, because this is what I am, then I am acknowledging at my basic most base level of being.

I am an artist.

And this is my art.

The art of empathetic listening.

The art of being there with the person.

The art and nuances of love of creating a holding space for that love, the letting go of my misconceptions about the value of my experiences and what it means to be a poet or a writer or an artist.

The co-mingling of dreams and words and love.


I get to do this?

I get to navigate this ocean of emotion and feeling and sail the high seas of dream work and intersectionality and explore the liminal space between.

The space where there is God.

I get to do this?

Rock the fuck on.


I acknowledge.

I am good at it.

I am going to get really good at it.

Most important, though, is not the ego massage, but the message, the medium, that is what I am, I am just a medium for the light and the love, a mirror reflecting back to you the love of God.


I doubt.

Very, very, very much.

That I will begin my modality dancing around in my office high on some sort of love light and E.T. phone home mentality about universal love and Godliness.

That’s just not my schtick.


I am sensitive and I am insightful and I have developed a strong intuition that I am relying on more and more.

In my life, in my studies, in my person.

That open connection to my God, to my higher power, of my (mis)understanding.

Do not ask me to explicate what it is I believe, suffice to say it is a holding space that I can rest in, a place of being carried, a warm place, soft, held, loved, lit, a glowing internal compass of love.

I cannot do it justice and my capacity for words and language will never touch that inexplicable “lightness of being,” only that there is a deep knowing, a charge, a reflection in the mirror of my soul that I cannot see, but I can navigate towards, always, my face towards the bright light of that sun.

I am a honing device.

A machination for love.

I am the vessel.

I am full of (shit) love.

But you know.

I have to have some balance here, some recognition of the hard work that it has taken to get here and also some fun, some acknowledgement, some small sign that I am on the right track, doing the right thing, being as helpful as I can be.

I guess an A+ on a paper is a good indicator!

“My only concern is,” my professor said, looking at me with bright eyes that lanced out beyond the smudgy murky fingerprints smeared over the lenses of her glasses, “is the application of this in a clinical manner, that you don’t forget these things.”

And she listed them off, the things to be aware of, the pitfalls of applying the theory, what had to be looked for to be of service to the client.

It was not my paper she was concerned with, I got an A+ on that, it was for my further work, for what she aptly identified for me without meaning to, my clinical work.

She wanted to warn me about proper use of the theory in clinical work, for what she assumed I will be pursuing.

That felt like high flattery.

My professor sees something, she mirrored me, and I saw myself there, despite those dirty spectacles, bright and shining, a beacon of art and learning.

This is what graduate school should feel like.

Of course I’m just high on the interaction.

It’s good to be validated, to be seen.


I’m not going to down play it too much.

Because it feels really god damn good.

I just got my second A+ of my graduate school career.

And I’m still in my first year!

Thank you very much.


PS. One of my fellow students found my paper in with hers.  The A+ has been confirmed and is now leaving the building.


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