"know your enemy"

tonight, i was helping a friend to study for biology.
now, mind you, i haven't taken biology since ninth grade.. and never seriously. but, i was world ahead of her with the concepts behind the work. and i wonder what it is that makes me able to understand.
last year, i helped people with math. i'm an english major for goodness sake... i need two classes of math for the rest of my life.. and i'm helping business and science majors with math and science!
it seems so strange that i can be so.. renaissance about it all. sure, i'm intimidated by math and science courses, but not because i won't understand them -- i'm just worried about actually having to work on them. even in high school, when i put forth almost no effort to science, i still got a's and b's in science and math courses - what gives?

while i find english to be the easiest subject for me (i.e. the one into which i can put the least work while still extracting awesome results), i can still excel in other fields. criminology, for instance: i have gone to about half the classes, read about a third of the assignments and turned in everything at the last minute. i get b's on her tests and have an a in the class. on the final, i'll probably get an a or a b. criminology is completely uninteresting to me, but it just makes sense. i don't understand how my classmates are failing while working hard at it. there has never been anything (except maybe art) that i have not been good at if i've really tried. when i even half-heartedly try to understand things that seem completely boggling -- i get it. why?

not that i'm complaining about my abilities.. i'm more worried about everyone else's lack. why does spelling come so easily? how can i read a book faster and with more understanding than my peers? why am i able to do a job that i loathe quickly and efficiently while my longer-employed coworkers struggle inexpertly with simple tasks?
i don't think i'm that bright.. so why does pretty much everyone else seem so dull?

i feel so egotistical, megalomaniacal, even while writing this, but it's something i've been meaning to address for a long time.
why am i towering above my compatriots? how can i put in almost no effort and push out work that far exceeds the hardest work of those i have to compete with? why is my last-minute paper nominated for an award!? (i finished the book for my ethan frome paper just moments before starting to write the paper.. the night before it was due).

it's troubling.. this success. and i wonder when i'll stop succeeding.


Anonymous said...

Don't be ashamed of what you have, love. If you got it, flaunt it. ;-) // Matt

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna say that part of it is that you actually enjoy thinking. That an idea that challenges you and engages your mind makes you happy - rather than scares you. English major myself and yet I've helped people with math and science and understood more than they did.

We like to think, we search out people who make us think. In part, I believe we have trouble turning our brains off and so, we just .. get stuff. Think about it - why do we love evenings at Croul's so much? Books and ideas are talked about more than gossip and that's saying something.

And the question of when will we stop succeding? That question scares me cause then we'll have to actually work.