A student just turned in his paper with the wrong sized spacing. He apologized for this, but I know he already cut his paper from 12 to 6 pages to conform to the limits of the assignment.
I looked at him and found myself. This student has been one of the most conscientious, thoughtful, and intelligent students I've had all semester. It made me cringe to hear him apologize several times.
And I do it to. My fiancee and I went away for the weekend, and I kept apologizing for the lack of "perfection." "I'm sorry that the bed and breakfast isn't better," "I'm sorry that we didn't go on this hike, but the other one," "I'm sorry for being sorry."
It's insanity. Slowly going insane on imagined guilt that shouldn't be. It's an unfortunate reality that I'm much more forgiving with others than myself. There was a part of me that wanted to give my student a hug (the maternal part), but I rarely want to give myself a hug in a similar situation.
Ah - reflections are sometimes so reflective!