“F” for Effort


One of the things that today’s youth likes to collectively admonish is the education system. Kids complain about having too much homework or to many projects, that their teachers don’t teach or that the material is never going to be relevant to their real live careers. As a student myself, I can sympathize with the need to complain occasionally, but recently I have begun to realize that all of that complaining may not be too far from the truth.

The most frustrating things in college is failing an exam or assignment you felt good about just because of the subjectivity of the grading process. I respect the right of a teacher to grade for the quality of the work, but it seems that they occasionally take this concept too far, grading for imperfection rather than comprehension. This may seem trivial, but it is certainly not if the main portion of your grade is derived from the scores of those exams and assignments. The fact of the matter is that it’s extremely disheartening to fail; especially when it seems out of your own control to succeed.

Some students are simply lazy. They expect the world to be handed to them on a silver platter, and refuse to contribute to their own education. In such cases, there is little that can be done to rectify an injured GPA – and it’s not the teacher’s responsibility to pass them just because they think they should be allowed to pass. However the system is flawed, because of the structure of most university level classes. The weight put on huge exams does not account for the biological or environmental elements of college that are out of a students’ control. Illnesses that are not severe can still hinder the performance of a student; a loud roommate can eliminate all the preparation that went into an exam if the student can’t sleep to be rested enough to recall the information. Many teachers see excuses where student are experiencing the everyday symptoms of existing.

I cannot see the system being fixed any time soon, though, for two reasons. One: the teachers who choose to look past the consequences of being a person and expect students to overcome things they cannot control are too set in their ways, and their worldview does not allow for a change to be made. Two: there is no obvious solution. And thus the infinite frustration that is relevant only in the realm of human beings and the system they created that fails to account for their own weaknesses continues.

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