Thursday, December 11, 2008

What's in a Grade?

I recently applied for a job that required a copy of my college transcript. I was very interested to check it out and to go down memory lane. For the most part I was pretty satisfied except for my 4 dreaded C's. Let me just say that I am not a 'C' student, and to see those C's it still makes me cringe.

For were my grades for one quarter:

Intro to geography = C-
Global geography = C
3D Design = A-

What do we see here? Two C's in my general ed classes and an A- in my major class? Hmmmm. Those C grades are totally legit I'm afraid to say. In both of those classes my entire grade was based on 2-3 multiple choice tests. Ideal for my learning disability! Yeah right.

After barely passing the first exams I went in to talk to both of my teachers. The teacher to the intro class was an old guy and I think he thought I was feeding him a line about my disability. Even though I'd aced the map identification part of the exam he still didn't by it.

My other teacher was younger, and I got a bit more help and sympathy from him. He gave me a few tips of where he liked to get test questions from in the text. I have the feeling I should have had a C- in that class, but he knew I was putting forth the effort...unlike Mr. Crotchety.

Next onto my web design grade...a C+. Yes you read that right. How could I have gotten a C in a class that I loved and am good at? Simple...having an a-hole teacher that felt he needed to make sure he showed a wide range of grades to the dean. No joke! I never missed a class, competed all assignments on time, always took his criticisms and adjusted my work as necessary. Basically being the perfect student, and still I didn't get the grade I deserved.

I think the last project of the class he gave me a low grade, which caused me to get the C. What is worse is that his criteria of the grade he gave me was just based on opinion. He basically didn't like it. He didn't have a check list or anything concrete that he based the grade on. I still can't believe it. He was a bad teacher all around, but I had never really suffered the consequences of his badness until that class. Yes, it's you...Joe Coates. Where ever you are. I am still mad about the undeserving C+ you gave me.

Are you wondering how I knew he was giving out grades students didn't deserve? Well there was another student who was also from Humboldt and I later found out he gave her a C+ too! What is worse is that she was a straight A student! It was totally unheard of for her to get a C. Right then I knew that he was handing them out like they were no big deal.

The last C I had on my transcript was during my last quarter in school. I decided to take Color Photography for fun...which I did have, although my teacher obviously didn't agree that having fun = a good grade. I know can you believe it? What is wrong with shooting a stuffed Pikachu in different kitchen scenarios?

Note: I in no way wrote this entry to defend my grades to my parents, (since they forked over the cash for my education). Plus I'm sure they heard the same stories 6 years ago! I honestly am still ticked off to see that web design C on my transcript!


jay said...

If it makes you feel any better, somebody told me once that if you don't get a C or below in at least one design class (in which you put in solid effort), you're doing something wrong. In other words, good designers always rub somebody the wrong way.

Also, I got a "no-pass" in Intro to Theater (the super-easy pass/fail filler class I took with John along with Bowling 101). That was pretty embarrassing.

Big D said...

I worked very hard for my C's. Someone has to get them and I was the one. Your college career was a blur, albeit an expensive blur.

Daniel and Brianne said...

What the heck! I have a very similar problem with being unable to take mutiple choice tests and never did it occur to me that it could be a learning diability nor did anyone tell me it could be! Most of my teachers said that it must be test anxiety so I thought that must be it. I had some symapthetic teachers that would let me take essay tests or even verbal tests but most of the time I totally had to wing it. The only reason I did so well in my major was that Poli Sci is based almost completely on research and essay tests. Whenever I had to do a multiple choice I would suck it up! I want my money back dammit!

P.S. Sorry I could have totally made a blog entry out of my long comment. hehe.

Maggie said...

I didn't do well in Geography, either! I thought it would be an easy class, but it wasn't! I took it pass/fail instead of for a grade because I was afraid of a C!

Judy S said...

Hey. Let it go! What matters is that you are a
great designer, which shows multiple
choice tests don't prove anything.