Do Grades Matter?
posted April 27, 2013 12:44 PM by Maggie Davidov
As I check Moodle like a fanatic, waiting for the final verdict on my grades for this semester, I am reminded of a talk my professor had with my class a month or two ago when all of my classmates and I thought we were going to fail. We had all just received sub-standard grades for literature reviews. For most of us, this had been the first time we had written a literature review and its vastness was terrifying. Our professor described our journey to this paper's end product like a walk in an unfamiliar wood: every time we turn the corner we should expect to find more woods, an ever deepening void of nothingness. As I said: TERRIFYING!
My professor, who shall remain nameless, indicated that it didn't matter what grades we got. At that point there was a collective sharp intake of breath. Grades don't matter?! What! Of course grades matter. This is what I assume was the general mutterings or internal protestations of the group. Grades matter because we all want to be considered for scholarships, fellowships and yes, perhaps future employers may consider GPA. Sometimes all it takes is something that sets you apart, that makes you different to get you that job that so many other MLS grads are vying for.
Of course now that classes are finished and my final paper in the aforementioned class turned out rather well, I wonder if grades do matter. In the end, after hitting the ceiling over a bad grade half way through the semester, I summoned courage and redoubled my efforts to master the skill set by my professor. I did an excellent job and learned many lovely library things. However, now that I am facing an "A-" instead my regular "A" am I really upset with the outcome? With an "A" I would never have had a heart attack and refocused with the strength of a thousand suns. Though it grieves me to say it, I suppose my professor was right: grades don't matter. The real goal is to learn, to push yourself, to be smarter than you were in the beginning of the class. GOALS! DREAMS! OK, perhaps I am light as a feather now that this semester is over and I have a lovely summer to look forward to. But I still think, no matter how many time I grumbled or cursed, that my professor was right.
Don't shoot for an "A", shoot for new skills and learning. Go forth and be fabulous!
Professor, if you're reading this, you know who you are.