Bad Grade? No Big Deal

I've mentioned once or twice that advising and personal connections with professors was severely lacking from my undergraduate experience.  Now in my third semester at GSLIS I'm still amazed by the dedication professors exhibit to each student. My professors not only want me to succeed at GSLIS, they are truly invested in making sure I come out of my time at Simmons with skills to thrive professionally.

A couple weeks ago I wrote a literature review as part of a large assignment for my evaluation class.  After we turned in our assignments, my professor, Mary Wilkins Jordan, explained to the class that things had not gone well and most of us would need to revise or entirely rewrite. She kindly told the class not to stress about grades, the goal is to learn how to write literature reviews and she offered to help us create literature reviews worth reading. 

With that heads up, I was not at all surprised to see that my literature review came back with a horrendous grade and I knew I needed to rewrite. I met with Mary this past week and was surprised to realize we had met for nearly forty-five minutes! No professor has ever devoted that kind of time to helping me before. During our conversation, we realized that part of my issue was that I had not defined my topic well and I needed to refocus. I basically realized that I needed to start my project from scratch in order for the assignment to be meaningful. At no point during our discussion did we talk about the grade I had received; we agreed I would start from scratch and then moved forward with brainstorming.

Why am I telling you about a truly terrible grade? Because it doesn't matter! My ultimate goal for the project I am working on is to create an evaluation that I can actually implement in my library. For this reason, the grade is meaningless because the project will not be done until it is revised and polished. In fact, I am grateful for the grade because it gave me the opportunity to pause and refocus through a great conversation with my professor. All that said, I will still be happy when I've resubmitted the assignment and my grade has (hopefully!) improved.

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