Saturday, April 18, 2015

What's in a Grade?

Why do grades matter so much to me?  I love learning and do not think about grading when I am doing 99% of my assignments, yet, I stalk the grade book for the grades to be posted!

I am taking two independent studies this session, working hard on finishing up some required classes I need.  They are the first independent studies I have taken and I had no idea what to expect.

I feel a little like Calvin does:

My two professors are about as different as night and day when it comes to assignments and grading; not that one is better or worse than the other, just different.  I am enjoying both classes and stress equally over grades in both classes.
Most of my professors have challenged me in amazing ways and I can say the same about the two I have now.  Challenging me to think deeper, write clearer, and express my thoughts better are common occurrences in my classes; and I love it! 
Many of my assignments do not have a right or wrong answer.  If I follow the instructions and do the work well, I get full credit (yes, a 100%).  I follow the instructions, check the requirements a couple of times and spend a good deal of time on the assignments (just ask my family). 
So, I have only had three classes where there were assignments with true "right" or "wrong" answers.  Through all of my classes, I have maintained a 4.0 since my time at Barclay began a year ago, 39 credits in three semesters.  So, when I read about Calvin and his 75% being a "C," I hear his argument, and like most arguments Calvin has, it is worth listening to:

 In fact, I wonder if any of my professors keep a bottle of Maalox or TUMS with them when they read my e-mail responses to their comments; especially when it has to do with my grades. 
I will admit to having one of my teachers double check a couple of grades and then I did my own calculating of the entire class and had the good sense to be embarrassed when I saw that I had a 98% and I was asking her to check a few other grades... she did and corrected an error (I corrected an assignment), graciously.  She did not tell me she rolled her eyes or sighed heavily but, again, I wonder if she upped her TUMS intake while I was her student.

So, when I got a 98% on a big project this week, my first response was to wonder what I did wrong.  God gave me the gift of perfecting things, but really, I need to breathe more.  I need to enjoy the whole process, not stress over an A grade, work hard, but enjoy the ride, too.
My identity is not my GPA.  It's not my credit score, my driving score, or my income.  Doing the best I can and remembering that I am a child of the King is what matters. 
One of my teachers told me, "It's okay to have high expectations of yourself.  Just don't let those expectations get in the way of learning."
I'll re-read this post as needed... Thank you very much.
#dontsweatthesmallstuff #itsallsmallstuff #perfecting #identityinChrist

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