Basking in your own brilliance

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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Do you sometimes read old school papers or whatever and get surprised at how brilliant you were, even back then?

yes (you all know you do)
59
53%
no (but some of you lie about it anyway)
23
21%
some kind of animal related somehow to water or something
30
27%
 
Total votes: 112

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gmalivuk
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Basking in your own brilliance

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:15 am UTC

I was thinking about this while replying to the paper titles thread in Science.

Do any of you read papers you wrote a few years ago and think something along the lines of, "wow, I was pretty damn smart to say that"?

I mean, sure, there's also a lot of crap. And much of what I wrote in notebooks when I was 16 and 17 is absolutely horrible. But I admit to sometimes going to my own website and reading some of what I wrote in Uni just because I still think it's quality stuff.
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Postby Castaway » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:23 am UTC

I rarely read my old work (I hardly even proofread my work) but when I do, I'm often surprised by the contentions that I make. Some of them are pretty out there, but were always well received. (I do very well academically).
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Postby SpitValve » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:55 am UTC

I went back and read my old bursary calculus exam. Funnily enough, I still make the same mistakes I did back then... I started at something for 10 minutes before I figured what I'd done wrong. (worked out du/dx instead of dx/du or something)

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Postby RealGrouchy » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:24 am UTC

I don't think I even read my papers back when I wrote the damn things. They were almost always written at the last minute, so I doubt any magical thoughts from them.

However, looking back at some of the stuff I've had published in newspapers, I often give my past self a virtual high-five. Like that time I took two people's arguments and responded to them in a way that made them look like one inconsistent and offensive argument. (Which would be a "yes" to your question).

But some of my early stuff I completely disagree with, because I was young and didn't know better at the time. (Which, I guess, would be a "no" to your question).

I remember this one story I wrote in grade 2, and I remember it in such vivid detail in my mind. A few years later, I saw the poster and story that I had made to accompany it, and found that the "story" was around three or four sentences. Without the detail, it made no sense whatsoever (though I remember the story). (a second "no")

Hell, sometimes when I'm really bored or when I want to look something up, I'll look at posts I made on the forums from months or over a year ago, and see things that I said that made me laugh a lot. (a second "yes").

So to answer your question, I guess I'm 50/50.

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Postby Gadren » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:43 am UTC

I can't stand to look at old work, and I tend to only glance at old papers then throw them away and try to blank my mind. Part of this might be because in recent years I've done what apparently few people do: make a complete 180 in my beliefs and thoughts. In a relatively short amount of time I changed from a hard-core conservative Mormon fundie who started cheering when Kerry's concession speech appeared on TV, to a very liberal atheist. At the end of my senior year in HS, we got back some time capsules we made in 8th grade. One of the assignments for the capsule back then was to write about what we thought the world would be like in 4 years. I remember being shocked and horrified when I read my predictions that Kerry would win and the Democrats would enact "horrible" gay marriage and abortion laws. Put simply, my past self frightens me, and I end up trying to put it out of my mind.

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Postby Insignificant Deifaction » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:36 am UTC

Ah, I know situations like that one.

It truly depresses me to see people so caught up in delusions. It is always a time to celebrate when they grab hold of reality.

I never see my old work in a good light. I always look back on something and criticize myself endlessly for what I see as stupid errors and faulty stances and things of that sort.
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Postby liza » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:03 am UTC

Once in a while, I have epiphanies or get in a 'groove'. Those impress me. An essay where everything just came together (and got xeroxed as example for the rest of the class!) or a Calc test where every formula and concept was executed and demonstrated beautifully (I still have my only 100% Calc test from May posted on my fridge!) are fun to see again.

Everything else is embarrassing crap. Truly makes me cringe to reread it. Really, same goes for posts here. Eloquent: fun to reread! Bitchy/Inarticulate/Rambling: not so much.

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Postby Castaway » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:27 am UTC

oh man, you just made me so sad that I don't have a metal fridge, and thus can't use magnates.
You've just lost twenty dollars and my self respect.



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Postby __Kit » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:29 am UTC

Only because I'm usually in a 'chilled' state of mind when I read them, and when I write them I am usually in hyper-vocabulary, intelligent smart mode. (ED) Also, a lot of things for Social Studies and English have been really cheesed up and made for the teacher to like, so I'm not really proud of those.
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Postby 22/7 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:18 am UTC

No. I'm just not that bright. And I'm not that good at hanging on to things, which makes it harder. I did recently clean out my room from back home though (high school) and found a vocabulary test from senior year English. Apparently we were supposed to spell the word, give part of speech and definition, then use it in a sentence. My sentences were mostly really good. Not because they were particularly well formed, but because they were pretty funny. And sometimes an entire test revolved around a single idea. So I guess that's a kind of. But I wouldn't say it was stuff that impressed me.

Anyway, otter... er... sea monster.

Oh, and Kit, I do that too when I'm writing (certainly not the rest of the time).
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Postby Shadow Tyrant » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:30 am UTC

I've never basked in my own brilliance. Seeing as I have a complete lack of brilliance with which to bask in.

And if that grammar is wrong it only furthers my point.

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Why yes, I am kidding you.
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Postby George Orr » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:32 am UTC

I reread the good stuff, and do my best to forget about the rest. I think it's definitely comforting to do so. I don't go over math stuff, though. Calc makes for dull leisure reading. I'd rather be solving the darn problems.
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Postby Torn Apart By Dingos » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:37 am UTC

On the contrary, I've discovered that I was pretty stupid when I was a kid. I tried to keep as much of my schoolwork as I could, thinking I'd like to have it when I was older, but I went through it once, and threw most of it away, because it was crap.

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Postby __Kit » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:50 am UTC

Torn Apart By Dingos wrote:On the contrary, I've discovered that I was pretty stupid when I was a kid. I tried to keep as much of my schoolwork as I could, thinking I'd like to have it when I was older, but I went through it once, and threw most of it away, because it was crap.


I lol'd, I too throw all my school stuff away, kinda annoying when I have to revise for end of year exams.
=]

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Postby Owijad » Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:19 am UTC

Shadow Tyrant wrote:I've never basked in my own brilliance. Seeing as I have a complete lack of brilliance with which to bask in.


Don't feel bad. You can bask in Vaniver's.


Anyways, it depends what sort of thing it is- Reading old school work, I just think "Yep, I definitely wrote that the night after it was due...". When I look at recreational stuff- recordings, videos, old comic strips, I'm amazed at how funny I was, and am sure everything I've written recently is terrible in comparison.
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Postby Unforgiven » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:02 am UTC

Whenever I read old stuff, I must consciously stop myself from making revisions. I'm a hopeless perfectionist, and I can't read anything I wrote without wanting to make changes.
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Postby umbrae » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:23 pm UTC

In the same vain (bwaha), do any of you ever read chat logs from > a year ago just to see what you were like back then?

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Postby MFHodge » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:48 pm UTC

I pretty much always love everything that I've written. I wrote really good titles for all my high school English papers. Always been proud of those.

Every once in a while, I will pull up a procedure at work and think. Wow, this one is written really well. Oh, yeah - I wrote this.

(Confession: I always have to check if it's "writen" or "written".)
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Postby German Sausage » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:01 pm UTC

yes, but its only with two pieces of work. A lit essay about heart of darkness from last year and a picture book i made in year 8 that was about paranoia. the teacher sent me to the school counselor for that one :roll:
sure, the character is worried about mind control rays. that doesn't mean I am!
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Postby Sprocket » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:02 pm UTC

Oh me yarm! I'm so annoyed because all of the computers I had in any schooling I've ever done have died, and the copies I have of old papers are all "the program that created this file is missing or damaged" It makes me SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ANGRY!

I had papers I used to read and they made me feel all smart and able and stuff, and now I have nothing! The 18 page and 22 page papers I wrote for my Victorian lit. class on poems, that I got A++'s on that were only supposed to be five pages are gone...GOOOOOOONNNNE!!!!!!

VTHodge wrote:(Confession: I always have to check if it's "writen" or "written".)

Ha. I have SEVERE double consonant knowledge deficiency. I didn't know it until after I left college though because my arrogant boyfriend at the time was the only person who ever called me on it, so I really thought it was only a few things I did it on, but it's actually quite a lot. (yey! no mistakes here!) It's just a gap in my education, no one ever bothered to correct it. Probably because of spell checkers.
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Postby Mittins » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:26 pm UTC

I sometimes look at my old programs and think:

Damn I was clever. I don't even understand what I was doing here.
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Postby ZeroSum » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:58 pm UTC

Mittins wrote:I sometimes look at my old programs and think:

Damn I was clever. I don't even understand what I was doing here.
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Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:06 pm UTC

I have papers on gay marriage, South Park as insightful social commentary, and an inflammatory one in involving censorship.
I r proud.

All from the same class. I did so well that when the last few classes were to be used as sessions for storming up rewriting ideas, I went to the instructor and asked "Yeah, I got A's and don't really need to rewrite...should I still come?"
"Nah, don't bother. Good work."
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Postby Invisible Queen » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:21 pm UTC

Yeah, well, not papers exactly. Fiction is more my field. But I can read something I wrote a long time ago and not even go "damn I'm good" but just get immersed in the story. I'm one of my favorite authors I guess. How narcissistic is that?
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Postby Vaniver » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:21 pm UTC

Owijad wrote:You can bask in Vaniver's.
Get off my brilliance, you god damn kids!

[on topic]I don't do this all that frequently, because I haven't had any papers that I've written that I was done fine-tuning by the time I turned it in (hm, I should have rewritten that sentence) or that were particularly brilliant, especially since the majority of my writing has been for humanities classes. There's a few sentences that I've written that I think are beautiful, and a few points I've made that I've thought I made well, but no complete works that impress me.
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Postby LoonRadio » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:04 pm UTC

I think pretty much everything I write (or record) is crap. But other people seem to enjoy it.
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Postby Sprocket » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:12 pm UTC

CreemyNougat wrote:I have papers on gay marriage, South Park as insightful social commentary, and an inflammatory one in involving censorship.
I r proud.

All from the same class. I did so well that when the last few classes were to be used as sessions for storming up rewriting ideas, I went to the instructor and asked "Yeah, I got A's and don't really need to rewrite...should I still come?"
"Nah, don't bother. Good work."
I did this project about the TV rating system, Bubba was obsessively recording the Simpsons and South Park at the time. The Halloween epsiode of Simpson's that year started with this bit about the TV ratings system. I opened with showing that. Then I showed a few examples of rated tv shows and then closed with the scene in south park when the kids parents are off prostesting Terrence and Philip while the kids are being chased by death and Kyle and Stan give this speach about how if parents spent more time worrying about their kids lives and less about what was on tv, the world would be a better place as my finishing opinion.

That's when I knew I wanted to go into film.
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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:34 pm UTC

I found a buttload of my old assignments and report cards. The report cards were less than stellar (C's for grades and N's for effort), and the teacher comments were all the same.

"MJ is exceptionally bright, and shows great aptitude for math and language. He needs to pay attention and stop reading in class. Does not work well with others. Needs to stop doing his homework in class."

Then I go down the pile, and it's all the creative writing assignments I got A's on (and the ones that got published in the newspapers). Not enough to bring my grades up, though.

Good times :)

umbrae wrote:In the same vain (bwaha), do any of you ever read chat logs from > a year ago just to see what you were like back then?

Hee :) ask Khonsu or Aetre what I was like a year ago.
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Postby Pseudomammal » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:49 pm UTC

umbrae wrote:In the same vain (bwaha), do any of you ever read chat logs from > a year ago just to see what you were like back then?


Very yes. I've got IRC logs going back ten years, and all my good meatspace friends are also IRC friends. We use it for any conversations that need a record, settling arguments, marveling at how naive and clever we used to be, and a general collective memory. It's gotten bad enough that things like this happen:

Code: Select all

> grep -i "wheel.*phone" xchatlogs/*
22:18:38 Pseudomammal: Wheel's phone number is HAHA just kidding! Are you grepping for it right now, future me? Suck it!
Stop him! He's supposed to die!

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Postby scrt_rbt_agnt » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:50 pm UTC

i am still brilliant. also, even though i'm not in school anymore, i feel as though i am a better writer now than ever. this is possibly from trying to impress people with opinions that are well written although probably full of crap.
i am a poet and an artist

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:51 pm UTC

Where's this "very well written" you speak of?

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Postby scrt_rbt_agnt » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:53 pm UTC

blogs of course. also, deviantart forums which i have since stopped visiting. perhaps i will debate in a thread on this forum in order to gain back my awesome skills of nonsense debauchery.


edit: second post in a row starting the second sentence with "also"!
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Postby Phi » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:10 pm UTC

Somnia wrote:Once in a while, I have epiphanies or get in a 'groove'. Those impress me. An essay where everything just came together (and got xeroxed as example for the rest of the class!) or a Calc test where every formula and concept was executed and demonstrated beautifully (I still have my only 100% Calc test from May posted on my fridge!) are fun to see again.

Seeing this post made me want to take out an old Physics test of mine that looks so beautiful. I still remember everything about taking the test and the day preceding the test. The best part of the test was not being able to figure out this one problem (We had to find the gravity of a planet given a spring and a mass or some crap like that [It was a pendulum and spring chapter]) and I couldn't figure it out at all. We were supposed to use a lot of forces and whatnot but I didn't think of that. Instead, I opted to play FallDown on my calculator for 20 minutes. With 5 minutes left of the class, I figured, "Hey, why not set Omega equal to Omega?" My friends still hate me for getting that one right.

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Postby Bakemaster » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:31 pm UTC

I often reflect on my Junior year of high school, wherein I had to write a report on the three books we were to read over the summer, in the form of a play including three characters, one from each book. I read the first chapter of Cold Mountain, none of Ethan Frome, and all of Catcher in the Rye. I pulled off an A- by positing that since the blind man selling peanuts and newspapers outside the hospital (in the first chapter of Cold Mountain wasn't expressly stated to not be Ray Charles, then he must have been Ray Charles, and so I put Ray Charles in my play. Didn't read the rest of the book and I took a kind of twisted pride in never using cliff's notes or a friend's outline; somehow in my high school head it was more honorable not to do the work at all.

Actually that's less impressive than my final essay for senior year AP English which I got a solid A on despite only having read a third of The Picture of Dorian Gray and damn near 0 pages of War and Peace. It was compare and contrast so I was able to bullshit right through without mentioning too many specifics for 8 or 10 pages.

Amazing achievements in slacking off aside, I do look back at my random inanity from high school English and wonder when I stopped being so funny on paper.
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Postby PandaFluff » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:36 pm UTC

I wrote a short story once in high school that went over really well with my literature club, so I decided to hunt it down and re-read it. As it turns out, it was pretty well written and definitely a captivating story.
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Postby Sandry » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:39 pm UTC

I don't honestly look back at my academic work all too much... for one thing, I had a different computer in high school which I don't think we bothered saving much from, and then another different one for all of uni, which I probably do have all the files from *somewhere,* but not in any orderly fashion.

Most of my old compositions I find at least slightly horrifying, for some reason or other, and I find it very embarrassing to listen to any recordings of my voice pre-2002 or so.

What I do end up looking back on is saved conversations from IRC or messageboards that friends have kept or linked to. And all I can say? It's too goddamned bad few enough other people have my sense of humour, because after three years I look back at a joke I made, and goddamn, it's still really funny.

I will admit, however, I laugh at the drop of a hat.
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Postby bbctol » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:49 pm UTC

Too young to have old school papers. I do, however, bask in my own brilliance all the time.

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Postby Oort » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:52 pm UTC

I don't do this. Not enough high-quality writing I guess. I saved old artwork though, such as all of the work from my architecture class. It let me see a lot of progress.

I also once got an A++++ on a writing assignment. Not for English though. Gym teachers aren't as hard to impress.

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:07 pm UTC

Most of my writing assignments after Grade Four all came back with the same criticism:

"Too long."

I had one FAILED because he asked for 2,000 words, and I submitted 28,000 words.

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Postby aisling » Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:15 pm UTC

Mine don't really ASTOUND me, like, sure, I got A's, but I do that nowadays anyways. It's not a big deal.

I impressed myself on my recent report card, though. My history teacher said that I did very well on my culminating task. I had to write an essay in 75 minutes about how Canada treated immigrants and foreigners in the different periods we covered: The beginning of the century (20th), WW1 (or PGM), the 20's and 30's, WW2 (DGM), and finally the Cold War.

It was also in French.

My teacher is also an incredibly hard marker.

I don't know how I did it.


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