Dear Hermionics, wow!
nice to finally meet someone with truly high ambitions. And I especially appreciate your "perfectionist" tone
I, too, have perceived this wish throughout my life and the attitude other people often complain about as eccentrism or narcism is a feeling, an automatic feeling they get when hearing other speaking in such "perfectionist" tone. For me at least, when alone with myself, when studying, etc. that has remained the best solution. What others perceive as exaggerated or "boastful" may not be the true thing we feel.
I say this because ever since I learned all this stuff, PR, etc. I've also partially lost that feeling, which is another reason I prefer postponing the learning of it.
I also used to get A+ by doing more or less what you did and indeed, it is efficient, and maybe for us highschool students is more time-saving than doing/or learning PR.
I don't completely agree with you on the fact that it is "innate", since - at least my knowledge on neuroscientific level (not neurolinguistic) - tells me that there are indeed things that are set in your brain from the moment you are born, and the stronger they get, the better they express themselves as what is called personality or behaviour, habits, etc. The genetic information doesn't directly interfere much with personality as far as I learned. So maybe there's more research to do on this.
I think that we as "perfectionists" who had the opportunity of "setting good learning behaviours strongly" since our birth (speaking in NLP terminology) has supported our world view and our passions, our dreams, which probably - as Alex said - are already fixed and through certain methods can have different effects on us.
When I say "us" and "they" I may be misunderstood: it's often accepted that people are all the same on neurological level, but I this equality is only at birth.
Think simply of the system of prejudice-mindedness: what's the interaction between a person who has prejudice and a person who doesn't?
Does a person convinced of being a genius have more [material!] success than a person trying to imitate Jesus? Debateable, but think of concrete examples.
Ever saw or read Beautiful Mind, the biography of the John Nash Forbes?
He was eccentric, maybe even very eccentric, which made him maybe less popular, but a great mathematician.
Beyond note-taking, methods, techniques, etc. the best way to really get an A+ could be our own belief, which so often is called perfectionism. I call it heroism, passion, devotion and pure, natual confidence and hope.
For others it can be different, and this is caused by different world-views, different perception of "normality", etc.
For some, perfection is something that implies being better than everyone and everything existing in this world, for others, it's the constant growth, constant having opportunity (an average A+ gets you to Oxford with scholarship
For others, "perfection is something to be avoided". That much society has been brainwashed
regarding my reading much: I think I, too, had such an impression when I started learning a lot. Your argument is very good, so maybe I should start limiting myself again to the school material, although I do it with great remorse. Usually, a person who is able to manage all information well, understand everything read also beyond school - and not only in mathematics - should be able to get A+ et laude etc. but apparently... it's not that way.
A person who has a broader view on things, and "feels more successful" should be able to express this feeling also in grades. I quote from you (and I've actually heard it millions of times before, even from my own parents)
"True success is not measured in a grade. It's how you feel about yourself."
I'm able to FEEL however I want in any moment, but very often feelings don't correspond to a reality tending more towards objectivity. The latter can be done only with grades.
If a person is good and genial as Jesus, this automatically implies that he gets A+
Otherwise it's only an illusory feeling to satisfy oneself of something one can't get.
I can feel like God and have friends, a girlfriend, etc. but be poor in knowledge, with lots of Ds in my report. Grades say concrete things about a persons knowledge, not about a persons feelings.
And, maybe this is only for a restricted group of people, including myself, feeling like God without having anything concrete is comparable to the happiness achieved through drugs and nicotine.
I don't find any excuse to the fact that I've currently failed learning well PhotoReading, and inspite of my "diversity" from "normal" people, I repeat, I will start doing simple books, newspapers, etc. with PR during summer holidays
I will not start with self-improvement, inspirational books as they make me worse, but simple elementary books like learning a language, small hisory excerpts, martial arts manuals, etc.
Warmest regards and have a nice day