A For Effort

Dear Mr. Tom Torlakson, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction,

At first I wasn’t going to put a name to this message, and I don’t even know if you’re the right person to address this letter to, but I figured this makes it look official so why the hell not. So, get this. I’m a student at one of the hundreds of universities here in sunny side California, known for its orgasmic avocados and swaying palm trees. Hell, California’s ego is so big that it’s trying to detach itself from the United States via earthquakes to make itself its own island. HOW RUDE. Anyway, I’m not writing to talk about California’s mannerisms. I’m writing to present an idea. Let’s abolish the grading system.

This thought came to my mind as I sat down with a pen and paper ready to write an essay for Ethics. Why am I being graded for this? Isn’t my view of ethical reasoning different than that of my classmates’? How can I be graded on my opinion, my first amendment, what I live by? It’s not like the kid next to me who likes to talk to himself and picks his nose when he thinks no one is looking has the same moral codes as I do. Maybe he is just a better writer than I am. I don’t want to be graded and I sure as hell don’t want to be compared to my classmates.

ABOLISH THE GRADING SYSTEM. It instils fear in the average student and belittles learning. Students no longer thoroughly do the reading because we want to or because we are sincerely interested in the topic, but we read because WE HAVE TO. We write papers because WE HAVE TO. It’s boring. I don’t like doing things because I have to do them. I want to do things because I am motivated by my curiosity of the topic. I want to be self-motivated while doing my research, not threatened by with the fact I will get an F and fail college.

A lot of students who are doing poorly in their classes aren’t doing poorly because they are stupid. They are doing poorly because they aren’t doing anything. In fact, many college students are increasingly becoming street smart over book smart. They concentrate more on their hobbies and passions than they do their classes. Can you blame them if they are slapped in the face with a C every time they receive a pop quiz or paper? No more grades means happier students and happier students means we don’t die of stress at an early age. I’d like to live for a bit longer, ya know?

Listen, I’m not saying you’re doing a bad job. I barely know you. I’m just a girl who has an idea. We should meet for coffee.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe.

.. You don’t want to know me.

Music Choice: “Mushaboom” by Feist. Sounds like mushroom. I like shrooms.

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