I’m so tired. Work has just been crazy. Aren’t things suppose to die down during the holidays? Not so in my case. Deadlines are coming up and there’s still a lot left to do. I feel like I did in college before a big CS project was due. Only now, there are no A’s, B’s, or C’s. There’s only success and failure.
This leads me to some of my grips with the current education system in America. Why are there so many grading systems? And when did it become OK to be mediocre? Students are taught and trained to be evaluated on this teacher-biased scale of letters that mean different things in different places. An ‘A’ in an inner city school is probably not the equivalent as an ‘A’ from say, a Fairfax County school. In addition, there’s this ridiculous notion of people going to college with 4.0+ GPAs because they took AP, Honors, or GT (Gifted/Talented?) courses in high school. These grading policies are different all across the country. The standardized tests like the SATs try to solve this problem, but these tests do not evaluate the knowledge or comprehensive abilities of a student. It simply tests how good you can take the SATs.
As a by-product of this problem and on a more individual level, a student develops, what I believe is, a false impression of what level of aptitude is acceptable in society. I cringe every time I hear some kid say ‘I got a C on my math test!’, like they’re proud of it. Sure, maybe it’s a big improvement from the F they got last week but to initially set the standard this low advocates mediocrity and even worse, sets yourself up for failure.
I don’t think anyone should be aiming to be average or content with just ‘getting by’. Personally, I am continuing trying to better myself in all the ways I know how. This is predicated on the active realization that in order to better myself, I can’t be content with being only adequate. I want to surpass expectations, mine most importantly.