This past semester was relatively more difficult for me. I decided to get all of my humanities requirements done in a single semester. I cleverly picked courses such that they each satisified at least one requirement. It was difficult, considering I had a relatively late enrollment time, but I managed to work it out.
I’m not much of a humanities guy. I have to work harder, and it’s a bit more stressful. I dislike writing essays, and to make things even more difficult I had to write essays on German Jewish literature. Stuff like Response to Anti-Semitism in Professor Bernhardi and “A Solution of the Jewish Question”. I think it took me a solid week to get that done. Some people can write essays in one sitting. I can’t.
I got a really good grade on that paper, but I didn’t give it my full effort. I didn’t BS it, though. I thought it was a solid B paper. That’s what I expected. That’s not what I got. What’s up with that?
For my statistics class last semester, we had two mid-terms and a final. The former were each worth 20% of my grade and the latter was worth 50% (!). For the mid-terms, the class average was in the 70s, and that’s around what my grade was. My grade for the final exam was in the 80s, but my overall grade was really good. That surprised me.
I try to do well, but I don’t really care about grades. I don’t even try harder than I should. I try to get the most out of the least amount of effort. It’s worked well for me so far. Something I don’t understand is why one has to submit a transcript for a job application. I’ve never had to do it, and I never will. It’s not that my grades are bad, but rather that my grades and the classes I took have nothing to do with my career. So in the end, who cares the most about my grades? Since I’m the only one who will see them, I guess it’s me!
So why care about grades? Well, I think I try to do well for personal reasons. It’s different when you want to do well because you want to do well and not because you don’t want a potential employer rejecting you. If I do poorly (hypothetically, of course :-P), I don’t say, “Oh no, I’m never going to get a job!” I just would have failed myself. Which is worse, and which provides better motivation?