Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Prize giving and more results

Waif has been nominated by her teacher for the school drama prize - I had no idea she was good at drama.  Someone is nominated from each class so there is no guarantee she will get the prize, but she is chuffed anyway.

She has also come top of the year in art, with 100%.  I am not surprised - the theme was the human body in movement and her prep included pen and ink, pencil and mixed media studies of the anatomy of the human form (free hand skeleton, muscle groups, different dance poses), photoshopped pictures of Older Daughter performing a ballet leap with superimposed images at different stages and each with different coloured tinges, bright watercolour effects of sky and background and lino prints that she had made herself.   Half of me, okay 99% of me, is so very very proud yet a tiny nagging corner worries that Waif is relentlessly determined to do nothing less than perfectly.

They had an outside speaker in school yesterday doing "Who wants to be a mathionnaire?" which was like a maths quiz with electronic voting.

Waif was cross as she had come second.

"Who came first?"  I asked.  "The teacher" she said "and he cheated as he had heard the same questions the period earlier with another set."

Today at Waif's school is World Cup Football day with events centred around footie for the boys, whilst the girls have a lecture and workshop on "Friendship".  I hope it is instructive - friendship issues are so important for pubescent girls, and so life determining.

Term is winding to an end as tomorrow is Sports Day (Waif is hoping to win the 300m - I have told her she needs more muscle mass to win the 100m) and Friday is a day off in preparation for Founders' Day on Saturday - Waif is heading off to on the Friday to Thorpe Park with some new school friends.  She is anticipating free entry with her Blue Peter badge.  H and I are worried about her Blue Peter Badges - she has the full collection (completely self directed) except for the Gold.  The only way to get a Gold Badge is to save someone's life.   Hmmmmmm...,,,first she has to put it in danger!  We are watching out for steep drops and uninsulated electric cables.


  1. Whilst in certain respects, it's lovely Waif is experiencing such success, this really does raise grave concerns about the excessive perfectionism. I won't rehash the same criticism you've received in previous comments, but I would like to gently alert you to my experiences. At waif's age, I was very similar to her, maintaining a rigid perfectionistic control over many aspects of my life, particularly school work. During younger years of schooling, this is narrowly feasible, as the workload has not yet intensified. Nonetheless, during the final years of high school when workloads intensify, it is simply vital and inevitable to relinquish the perfectionism, regardless of whether one wants this. This is associated with time constraints, heightened pressures and the reality that studying at unearthly hours at a frantic rate becomes normalised and accepted to deal with an inflated workload; there is no time for exceptional perfectionism, and it is simply impossible to maintain that level of dedication to individual tasks, when the overall amount of tasks multiplies radically. It distressed me severely initially, but I am adapting. The sooner Waif anticipates this, the better, as she will inevitably be forced to relax personal standards eventually.

    As an aside, please don't feel overly distressed by any criticism, as you truly are doing a stellar job and I'm thrilled to see your obvious care for and dedication to Waif. Keep battling, and I sincerely hope anorexia will be beaten soon.

  2. I just wanted to echo the above really - my experience is similar - I am now studying for my degree and my obsessive perfectionism from school is still here - meaning I spend double the amount of hours on work - revision means being able to recite the books and any spare second of the day MUST be consumed productivly. I wish Waif could see how clearly loved she is by you all without these marks and achievments - but I know you already make this clear to her, it is anorexia that blinds us to it.
    I hope she enjoyed Thorpe Park and also managed Sports Day ok.