Tuesday, September 04, 2007

the Patron Saint of my Grade Sheet

I am no champion of mediocrity. As a passionate fan of both the Faust mythos and the Kit Marlowe conspiracy theory, I think there's absolute value in the striving, the tireless windmill-tilting, the reach exceeding the grasp. I try, in as many little ways as possible, to make a habit of excellence.

And yet, if I take pride in anything as I go about this nutty adventure among the academic elite, it's this: That unlike some of my habitually-achieving peers, I have had experience falling short of the loftier kind of grade-related goals. If you have for some weird reason followed this story since I went out east and nervously took up the reins of a university education for the second time, you know I have followed Mark Twain's philosophy, and effectively separated my academic achievement from my learning. More than that, I've detached it from my self-esteem.

It turns out that's really helpful.

The program I'm in requires a minimum score. I need to hit this certain number for each class, in order to pass it. On a more micro level, each component test within each class also has to meet this threshold; getting a 96 on one thing doesn't make it okay to get a 64 on another one, for instance. And I've hit exactly that number twice now; once on the final grade for a course that's finished, and once on a test for a class I'm in now.

I am conflicted about this.

I'm not berating myself, and I refuse to. Shame is a particularly bad motivator for me. For the most part, I'm fine with what I've got here; it means I studied just the perfect amount. And since I dislike studying, that's good. But I really like understanding, is the thing.

And I know that if I really caught on to some of this stuff, I'd be able to show how well and how completely I get it. That's my problem; I take a while to taste every little nugget of info with my whole brain. The end result is good -- the stuff I know, I really know. But until then, this guy will have to be my spirit guide in the world of schoolwork:

And I'll just have to repeat the magic words: "...it's good enough for me."

1 comment:

Trash said...

Do you know how many employers have asked to see my actual graduate transcript BEFORE making me the offer? Exactly none. They have asked my overall gpa, and what classes I took, but they certainly didn't know about my exact grades. As thus, I would worry not.