I was reading a story on the Washington Post about a girl graduating high school with 13 years of perfect attendance. She has not missed one day of school in 13 years.
It's easy enough to say that this is a great accomplishment, one to be proud of, but I'd actually say it's a little bit scary that such a young person feels so driven that they did not stay home once since the age of 5. *cough cough* Sound a little familiar to some of you?
I think it's really admirable to have perfect attendance, but not at the expense of being human. This student was mourning the fact that she couldn't go visit colleges because she was unable to miss a day of class. Although I snickered a little bit at these warped priorities, I have to say that I've been guilty of the same line of thinking myself. I recall last year that I dragged myself to work with a really bad stomach bug when any normal person would have stayed home. Instead, I went to the bathroom to vomit between patients. (Yes, I had mints.)
On another occasion, I went to clinic when I had severe laryngitis. I could barely speak a word. I don't know how I thought I was going to interview patients... sign language? As soon as I opened my mouth, my attending said to me, "OH MY GOD, GO HOME." I would have tried to argue with her but I couldn't talk.
Come to think of it, I was kind of the same way in high school.
The end of the article states that this girl is going to be pre-med in college. What a shock, right? She'll fit right in.
Of course, I want my daughter to have a good work ethic, but I don't want her to feel like she's not allowed to be sick, the way I do. A mother always wants her child to inherit her good traits, not her bad traits... I'm not sure where this sense extreme responsibility fits in there.