My high school English teacher nicknamed me Sandbagger. He was not very happy that one of his best students refused to move into AP English. When I would complain about something (because I am a complainer), he would say, “If you don’t like it, move into the AP class, Sandbagger!” He couldn’t understand WHY I didn’t want to go into the more advanced class. I just rolled my teenager eyes at him and asked, “Uh, why would I want to do MORE work for the same education? What am I going to get out of it?” He may have said something about college, but I was never much interested in that. It probably didn’t help that I was dating a musician with dreams of becoming a rock star.
My sandbagging tendencies never got much better. What can I say – I love to excel at being mediocre. I would rather be busy working on a hundred things at once that I know I will get just right instead of doing just a couple things that will take forever and not turn out like I wanted. I figure it’s some sort of odd combination of laziness, perfectionism, and a need to check things off my list every day.
So I guess the current situation with Jack in school shouldn’t surprise me much…
When I picked him up from school today, Jack'[s teacher mentioned to me that he is having trouble using scissors. I told her maybe he is just getting used to using the “big kid” scissors at school – he’s been using the plastic scissors at daycare. But then she said that Jack was holding the scissors pointed down and cutting toward the floor. Uhhhhhh, what? He certainly knows better than that.
Also? He is writing his name starting with the k and working to the left. Every time. Oh, and when she asks him what a word says he just says he doesn’t know…
When I told her today that he can write many words just fine and READ, she was surprised. Jack is tricking her! For some reason he doesn’t want her to see that he knows these things already.
He is totally sandbagging.
I’m trying to re-examine my own drive for mediocrity in order to make some sense of what Jack is doing and try to encourage him to demonstrate his actual capabilities…yeah – no dice. If I had the answer, perhaps I’d be a college grad by now or maybe I’d be making the near-six figures others in my field are making.
Until I figure it all out, I will just have to cross my fingers and hope Jack gets over this or some brilliant person is able to convince him he should show off his skillz more.
Any fellow sandbaggers out there have ideas?