Tag Archives: education

Grades vs. Learning… and Lots of Self-Inflicted Insults

A few hours ago, I opened my email and immediately wanted to cry.

I love to learn. I know, I’m a nerd, but I do. The power to attain knowledge and the ability to use it are privileges I am eternally grateful for. So why, then, did I feel this pain upon seeing a B+ as my Physics grade? Why do I care about something as insignificant as a letter grade, something that is not even indicative of what I’ve actually learned in class?

I never was very good at art.

To put it simply, it’s because I want to get into a good college. Just like a plethora of my sleep-deprived, academically-obsessed friends, I want an A. Sure, I’ve been raised by my family to strive for great grades, yet there’s also an intrinsic motivation inside of me that makes me obsessed with earning the highest mark. It’s like getting a job – for some, the salary is all that matters. Yet now I’m beginning to realize that that’s not all there is to it.

So many of my peers are smart and intelligent. I know some of the brightest people – not because they’re going to go to Ivy League colleges, but because I can tell that they truly think about things. These people may not necessarily be those on the straight-A honor roll (though there are plenty that are), yet they are individuals I enjoy spending time with regardless.

There are others, though, that do get straight-A’s – and may or may not be intelligent. I know people who have cheated just to get that A, who have plagiarized or committed some other violation of the honor code that would cause their teachers to shake their heads in shame.

What I’m getting at is this: grades are grades. Just like how gays are gays. That’s all there is to it. I can complain, whine, moan and fail to take advantage of all the resources I have around me, or I can keep my head high and do my best to learn.

Of course I’m not going to start skipping school to or doing anything crazy, because in a way, grades do matter. The current education system is shaped in a way that getting good grades is essential to getting into a good college, and getting into a good college is necessary (for most of the time) for those who want to really learn and achieve success. I know that my goals in life require a college degree. But grades are, well, grades, and not the only factor in an college application or in life.

I know, what a wonderful way to start the weekend – ranting on the internet. If only I had friends. But hey, at least I’ve learned (ha, get it? the post is about learning? I wish I was funny…) something through this. In fact, my English teacher told us that some people write to learn. Maybe one of those people is me. But then again, that would imply that I’m special… which I’m not.

I think I'll use Paint images more often from now on. Hm.

All jokes aside, what do you guys think of grades vs. learning? I know there are some of you out there who are GPA obsessed-freaks worrywarts like me. Now that I think about it, grades can help motivate students to learn, though that’s not always the case. Opinions please!

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Filed under Personal, Society

Grammar Nazis

Don’t you just hate those people who hound you for using improper grammar at the most ridiculous times? Why does it matter if you write “go get you’re calorie-laden ice cream” or “Thomass posts are so lame”? I’m confident that you’ll get your message across, even if you do misuse your participles and gerunds. It’s no surprise that Grammar Nazis are viewed as pretentious and unhelpful human beings.

The title isn't italicized! It's in quotation marks! It burns!

Well, I’m one of them.

I don’t claim to be an especially knowledgeable person when it comes to the English language, and yet, I can’t help myself from correcting errors I see. Everywhere. Whether it be my nine-year-old cousin stating that she’s “good” instead of “well”, or when my friend texts me saying “you “dont” have any real friends” as opposed to “you “don’t” have any real friends”, I feel this urge to fix their grammatical mistakes.

I haven’t always been like this. Several years ago, when I first joined Goodreads, my reviews was horrible. I literally cringe whenever I read my earlier reviews, solely because my grammar was so bad. Now I am careful to utilize the correct “your, you’re”, or “they’re, their, there”. I still make the occasional mistake, but their they’re happening less frequently now.

There are a few reasons that I transformed into a Grammar Nazi. One reason is that I’ve been learning more about writing and how to write well by attending school and taking Honors and AP English courses. Another reason is that I love to read and write. I entrench myself in amazing books, so I hope my own writing should improve as a result. Although there was that one incident…

I walk into my Latin class, expecting another fun-filled lesson about subjunctives and indirect statements.

“How are you doing, Thomas?” my Latin teacher asks.

“I’m good, thanks, how are you?” I say.

“You’re not good,” my Latin teacher replies.

Oh, snap, I think to myself, what have I done? Did I fail that test last class? I’ve done all of my homework this entire year! Could he be referring to that time when I was three-years-old and wrote on the walls with marker? Calm down, deep breaths, deep breaths

I stare at him.

“You’re well,” he says,” remember what we learned about adjectives and adverbs? You cannot be good, you can be well.”

“Oh, yeah, I’m well, thank you for correcting me,” I say. He doesn’t know about the marker, whew…

After having my Latin teacher correct me numerous times, I now always say that I am “well”. I suppose classical conditioning in a sense can support your use of proper grammar – if you’re always around people who use it, or if you’re constantly corrected by Grammar Nazis like me, then your own grammar will improve. It’s a win-win situation.

What do you think of Grammar Nazis? Do you dislike them, or are you one of them? I left a grammar mistake in this post on purpose, see if you can find it! Now I’m slightly afraid people will point out things that I thought were correct…

I really need to catch up on my reading, so, see you guys next post!

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Filed under Personal, Words