Thursday, December 01, 2011

A Reflection on Portfolios

Back in the dark old days––which are separated from the dark new days by only a few years and a few thousand miles––I had to compile a lot of portfolios. In order to get a diploma, Pennsylvania requires homeschool students to turn in a portfolio at the end of every academic year showing evidence of all the courses they have taken, field trips they have gone on, books they have read and reports of general activities and such ilk. I was a homeschool student in PA. Thus, come April every year, there was this frenzied scramble to find, categorize, and assemble the massive amount material for the damned things so that they could be scrutinized by our evaluator, and then delivered to the office of the superintendent of the local high school. I suspect that this person––who generally hated us––never actually looked at them, but that's neither here nor there.

Entering college, one of the few things that I really enjoyed the first year was the fact that I did not have to turn in a portfolio. I got home every May to find my five younger siblings busily at work on theirs, while I myself had not even had to think the word portfolio except perhaps in some dark subconscious dream-state in which everything that bothered me as a young teenager still bothered me now––which it generally does, come to think of it, but back to the issue at hand.

So I felt almost something akin to nostalgia when I found out that one of my classes this semester would require the compilation of a portfolio. While I put off working on it till half way through the class, when I did, I conjured up all my years of portfolio experience and created a sleek, narcissistic monument to myself that bedazzled everyone who beheld it and was even deemed by the student worker girl who actually grades the things (when she isn't making snide remarks about my considering that I may be called a life of celibacy in the margins of my "Where do I want to be in five years" papers) to be the most "interesting one" out of the class of 20 or so.

That was due on Wednesday, and yesterday I found out that I will have to do another portfolio for the Long-Term Campaign (upper level comm class jargon for "group project from hell") in my persuasive comm class due on Monday. Then I remembered that I have another portfolio to compile for my internship over the summer, which is also due Monday. So by the end of the semester, which is mercifully close-at-hand, I will have assembled three portfolios. Basically one for every year that I didn't do one since I was no longer homeschooled. It's amazing how life comes around and bites you when you think you've escaped.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Excellent, Excellent! Glad all those years of academic scrapbooking are paying off for you now. I give you another A+ for the laugh :)