I’ll admit it, I have a perfectionist streak. When it’s something that’s especially important to me or I’m really interested in, I will have little control on how much effort I put into a project or presentation. I pour every bit of my heart and soul into the task at hand. I stay up to ungodly hours to tweak every last part of it, making sure the font is absolutely beautiful or the sizes are uniform or the pictures complement each other well.
For instance, this semester two of my close friends and I had to do a presentation on admissions for one of our classes. We covered the history of admissions, the role of a modern day admissions counselor, the professional context through associations and conferences – basically everything you would want to know about collegiate admissions. I put forth the idea that we all dress like admissions counselors from our undergrad schools, which were conveniently a highly selective, small, liberal arts, public school; a highly selective, small, research, private university; and a large, research, flagship public university. I personally made the slide show, after my teammates submitted the information broken into slides, and I created the multi-media literature on each of our undergraduate schools. Then I wrote the case study, asked for feedback from six different schools, and researched tuition and citizenship state law in Virginia (the state our case study took place in). Naturally, we dominated the other groups and got a perfect A+ on our presentation. To be sure, I also put in upwards of forty or fifty hours of research and work into it, so I would have flipped my shit if I hadn’t received high marks.
During the same class, another group gave a presentation on Greek Life….and it was fucking horrible. I mean, this thing was just a straight up third grade, piss poor, god awful, shiteous waste of time. The content was almost nonexistent, the power point had been made in like 10 minutes, and the speeches had the eloquence of John McCain after a stroke. At one point, the most mentally challenged of the three decided she wanted to discuss the percentages of Greek membership. This is the actual conversation that followed:
Retarded girl: “What do you guys think about blacks in fraternities? Like, how many are in fraternities? Not that much, right?
Professor: “What are you talking about?”
Retarded girl: “What about how many of them went to private schools? Most of them, right? Yeah, I think that, too.”
Professor: “Did you even find any research on that?
Retarded girl: “No, I just wanted to see what everyone thought. I couldn’t find any numbers on this.”
As a result, I got pissed. Knowing that I had a presentation on Greek Life in a different class that had several overlaps in enrolled students, I knew the bar had been raised. This presentation was so unbearably appalling that I had to overcompensate by having a presentation that was flawless in research, demeanor, aesthetics, everything. Not only was I passionate about the subject and an overachiever in general, but I had to upstage this pathetic excuse of a graduate student. So I threw myself into my presentation. I logged easily eighty hours of work on a half hour presentation, and practically moved into the law library over Thanksgiving break to compile all of the right studies, anecdotes, statistics, and research to show a much broader spectrum of Greek life. I amassed around forty six sources, and had props, bribes of candy, and a generally sunny demeanor. As I walked them through the negative effects of Greek Life, such as hazing, binge drinking, and gender roles, my professor stopped on almost every slide to ask questions. I finally got to the positive impact of fraternities and sororities – improvements in leadership skills, cognitive development, persistence, and retention – and he told me I was taking too long. As I finally neared achieving my upstaging of Retarded Girl, my professor told me to wrap things up, and made me summarize all of the positive effects into a few sentences.
Needless to say, I was pissed. I had spent so much time perfecting my presentation and my ass hat of a professor impeded my awesomeness. However, I have, on several occasions, called out Retarded Girl in class and subsequently humiliated her. This, in turn, obviously brought me immense happiness.