The End of the Grading Period

IMG_2514Is synonymous with “spiritual death”.  With a thousand deadlines, missed work to make up and new grades coming in, it’s no surprise that the end of the grading period can give everyone senioritis (junioritis?) . We are a little more than 9 weeks away from the blessed holy bliss of summer, but until then are forced to compensate for aggressive procrastination.  The not-always-perfect grades I will be bringing home don’t cause me emotional turmoil though, other than a lot of stress, but rather cause me to question why I feel smart until letters are placed on the amount of my intelligence.

My problem with the school system is that they want to make intellectuals out of children, but are simultaneously implying that it is not the information that is important, but rather your ability to regurgitate it.  Out with standardized tests! Out with the age old  grading scale!  If knowledge is the goal, individuals who aim to achieve it will succeed.  If competing with other schools is the goal, then we aren’t doing too hot anyway, so why throw on unnecessary pressure on students by determining value through letters that come bimonthly.

Challenging courses are healthy and interesting, but receiving failing grades in classes that have no merit in future plans or careers is not helpful or encouraging, it implies rather, that your success is based on your ability to sacrifice your mental health for a better GPA.

For others, maybe this approach is worth it, but for me, a dreamer who is fascinated by intellectuals and bored by grading scales and obsessive competition, this is nothing other than an obstacle to constantly have to apologize for: “I’m sorry i didn’t get straight A’s”, “I’m sorry that I didn’t digest and regurgitate information about math i will never use.”

On behalf of my “performance” in school, i’m doing fine, and no, I’m not sorry.   I do not want to go to Harvard, I do not think prestigious schools and straight A’s in high school makes you a better, more interesting or even smarter of a person and i do not value my GPA as a measure of my value as a person.

Should you find me starving on the streets somewhere down the road, feel free to patronize me about coming late to science or not doing my homework that one night when I needed sleep; until then, allow me to live a peaceful life of applying my knowledge in ways that bring me joy and provide job opportunities, not knowledge that allows me bragging rights and the respect of people who see numbers and letters as the most important factor of your existence.

Abby Smallwood – News Editor


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