Thursday, November 09, 2006

About getting the "A"

One of my life observations as of late is that of those who focus on "making the grade".

I returned to school this year after having spent a lot of my life believing that if you couldn't "make the grade" there was really no point in pursuing a higher education.

What bunk.

How do you GET the higher grade if you don't first GET the education?

Comments left at my last post seemed to, in general, prod me on the grade I received on my first University essay.

Who cares?

I have the opportunity for a re-write and will take it to learn how to write an "A" paper. I'm taking this course to learn - not to get a grade.

It blows my mind how many of the students in my class have been programmed through the system of things that "grades" are the ultimate objective.

I say again, what bunk.

To paraphrase my prof.:

"If I had my way, the grading system would not exist. At the end of my course you would receive 'fulfilled requirement' or 'did not fulfill requirement'. Grades are the best way to demotivate students - especially those in the beginning stages of higher learning."

She also said,

"You may have heard our school referred to as the 'U-of-C-plus-averages'. If it's within my power, I will NOT allow you good people to achieve a C+ degree! My standards are pretty high."

The grade I received on my paper is quite passable. I choose to upgrade it simply because I can. Regardless of this opportunity I still would have asked,

"What can I do to make this an 'A' paper?"

simply because I want to know the stuff, and demonstrate that I do.

Truth be known, what I'd like to learn most of all is how to read my prof.'s handwriting... then again, she is a Doctor!


POST SCRIPT - The grades ranged from A- to F and to that M. encouraged,

"Even to those who received an F grade, this does not mean you're stupid. From what I read, an F grade - in this case - simply meant you did not follow or understand the assignment."


Misty said...
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Anonymous said...

It sounds like you have a really great professor and you will receive a wealth of knowledge from her regardless of the grade.

smiley said...

Hmmm... I do agree about you about how the learning should be prioratized over the grade. I used to be hell bent on A's but now I'm learning that the education is more important. But Misty does have a point about some students needing to get high grades as part of the course. One of the reasons I wanted high grades for my BSc was cos it is difficult to get into a good uni for higher studies unless you've got good grades.

Sarah Elaine said...

You are approaching disclosure about your original grade the way I approach disclosure about my weight loss: I choose not to share specifics, because they're no body's business but mine.

That sounds harsh, and I don't mean for it to be. It's just that I'm not really interest in others' praise or judgement... one way or the other.

I applaud you for wanting to make your writing better. You're already learning one of the fundamental lessons of academia: The "process" of learning.

Well done.

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.