The Difference between My Grandfather, my Father and Me

Not many or even none of you know that my father is an extremely intelligent person. He was the top if his batch from the primary to secondary school. He got honors in every subject; there wasn’t an academic event that he didn’t win a position in. He was the valedictorian in his school, which also means he gave the graduation speech etc.

When he got into a university (the name of the university escapes me), he was at the top of all his classes. He paid his tuition by tutoring his fellow students. He then graduated as magna cum laude with a degree in mechanical engineering. Right after his graduation he was offered a job a company (which name I will not disclose). Years after, he would be the General Manager of a certain department of that multi-international company.

My father, however, is nothing compared to my grandfather, or so I’ve been told.

My grandfather died weeks before I was born. I was never able to meet him, and so my father tells me stories about how great he was. My grandfather basically had a similar path to my father’s, or should I say that my father had a similar path to my grandfather’s. The earliest difference between their achievements that I know of is that my grandfather graduated his university as summa cum laude. I don’t know his degree, but I can probably draw you a picture with his other two achievements that I know of (so far).

My grandfather built a computer all on his own; this was between 1960-70+ (I think). The time period isn’t what impresses me, it’s the fact that he built it from scratch in a region in the Philippines that didn’t have electricity in most of its parts. The second thing he built was a robotic arm, and this was from scratch as well. He sold the machine and its patent to a company for financial reasons. The last thing, not related to his degree but still great, was that he was invited to be a professor in Harvard University (or Princeton, my memory isn’t co-operating with me). But if I were to choose the greatest achievement my grandfather did, it would be that he raised a family of eight children and put all of them through tertiary schooling. An amazing feat for someone who’s financially troubled for most of the time.

Now me. How do I compare myself to these two overachieving bastards?

I was an average student in primary school. I never had a failing grade, but that I guess that doesn’t count. I’ve been on many school productions and competitions; I win some and I lose some. Again, doesn’t really count. Basically, I’ve never really accomplished anything as great as my father and grandfather. It got even worse when I got into secondary. Normally, we’d only take 4 years (we don’t follow K-12) but I took 6 years. I got held back twice, not because I was academically stupid but because I was just plain stupid. I wouldn’t study because it was uninteresting, I wouldn’t listen because it was boring, I’d pull off terrible pranks just to amuse myself etc.

I convinced myself that I didn’t need to graduate from secondary for most of the time. I eventually grew out of it and now I’m in tertiary.

I’ve been maintaining a GPA of 3.32++ and my friends say that I’m fucking smart, well most of them. I’ve got a friend who takes accounting, and he tells me that liberal art students have it so easy, that’s why we have high grades. I told him (if I remember correctly), complain all you want because that’s not gonna make me fail or get you higher grades, aha!

I’ve been a 1st honour DL once, then 2nd honour DL for the succeeding trimesters. I have no idea how to surpass my father or my grandfather, and I do want to surpass them. I want to be better than them in every aspect. I’m pretty sure I’ve past my father in terms of logic/philosophy/whateveryouwannacallit (proof: I told him I was atheist; he tells me to pray everyday because God would forgive me). But hey! you might say, you shouldn’t follow your father’s and grandfather’s shadow! You should create a path for yourself andotherlifecoachingthingsyouwannasaytome. Well you see, that is beside the point. I will beat them academically and I will not make them same mistakes as my father and grandfather did (ei. raising their kids the “right” way). If any of that made any sense.

The only possible reason I see as to why my father and my grandfather are overachieving bastards is because they had something to work for. They had a goal in life. As of now, I have nothing to work for but myself, and I know that my being isn’t a sufficient reason for me to push myself 150%. I used be like that, but after my relationship ended it just sort of…

I’ve always blamed myself for being academically inadequate and I find it extremely hard for myself to meet my standards (my friends know how high my standards are). Lowering my standards is unthinkable and being unable to meet it is intolerable. I will forever be in the sadomasochistic loop of frustration.

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10 thoughts on “The Difference between My Grandfather, my Father and Me

      • Ow. It has been a long time since I’ve read it. But the character popped out when I was reading your posts. Maybe because he also has a thing with his dad (sorry for the substitute word). There was a chapter there where the dad and Oliver are having a verbal spat. He calls his father ‘Sir’ (sarcastically). He is very smart, student in Harvard and also a sports person. He feels constantly observed by the people around him; especially since his dad is a big guy and his grandfather has a statue erected at Harvard’s yard. He thinks its the ugliest structure there; his gf thought it was the ‘token’ to assure his slot at Harvard. =)

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