The Horror…The Horror…Of the End of the Quarter

The last week of the quarter is always nuts. Students are complaining that the one B they have had since the first week of the quarter is now an 89.3 percent – just 0.2 percent away from an A.


They reload Edline over and over again to see if that one teacher finally put in that one grade that was supposed to go in three weeks ago. But it’s not there. Students plead and beg and offer to clean their teachers’ cars and do the dry cleaning just to have their grades raised by two-tenths of a percent.

This begging and pleading speaks poorly of both how kids view school and the way the system is organized. Kids care way more about the points and percents aspect of their education than actually learning anything. The attitude is that at the end of the day, what only matters is what’s on the report card. And they have a point.

I may be writing like I’m high and mighty and above all the common grade beggars, but I’m not. I have shamelessly come in at lunch, tail between my legs, asking innocently about how many more grades are coming in or if there is anything I can do. I resent myself for it, because this whole point-begging system is not the way grades should be earned. The fact that I can calculate what minimum grade I can get on the test just to get a borderline, 89.6% A shows there’s a flaw in the system. This whole process, the process of getting into a good college, getting the best grades possible, is turning me into the very student I never wanted to be.

This past week, the last week of the quarter, a teacher in one of my AP classes was handing out papers or doing something in which we were allowed to talk. The one topic that everyone was screaming and yelling about with the quarter coming to a close? Their grades. It was obnoxious, annoying and irritating. Students were simultaneously boasting and moaning about their good grades and their borderline grades. It made me sick.

I never really resented my classmates as much as I did then. But now I get it. Barely missing a grade really sucks; getting a B that easily could have been an A is a dagger. Having the A then bombing the last test to get a B is a life-altering event that tragically can cause one to babble incoherently while consuming copious amounts of Tapioca pudding for the rest of their pathetic lives. It shouldn’t be this way. School should be about learning and not about getting the necessary points for a certain grade. But there is no other proper way of evaluating one’s success. In the end, all the borderline 89.3s easily could have been 90.4s with a little more work. Either way, I’m still going to Harvard.

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