Last term, I told Mr. T, “I’m really afraid I’m going to get Bs this semester.”
He said something like, “So?”
I inquired, “Will you still love me if I get Bs?”
He said [with eye-roll in his voice], “Of course…”
I asked, “Will you promise not to tell anyone??”
We laughed. But I still remember vividly the visceral relief when my report card said “4.0” at semester’s end. At this level of grad school, grades don’t “really” matter. There’s nowhere else to apply to, thank God. I doubt my next boss will ask about my GPA. There is the funding aspect to worry about, but hopefully (so I tell myself), the powers-that-be take a holistic approach. In short, it’s just my own expectations to measure up to.
And so I found myself both ecstatic and chagrined to receive my midterm grades yesterday. Last week I left for spring break DEJECTED. I choked on both my in-class stats midterm and my three-hour organizational behavior written exam. It felt AWFUL. I hated knowing that I messed up… that there was no one else to blame by myself. That I made stupid mistakes that were simply miscalculations, forgetfulness, lack of preparation… things I could have easily (well, that’s debatable some days) avoided. I left expecting Cs or worse. Imagine my surprise (and this is pure shock, not self-modesty) to see two Bs in my inbox. I’ve never been so happy to see non-As before!
While I realize that many people might read this and think “Gag me, overachiever!” I am happy to report I get the bigger picture. In the grand scheme of things, grades don’t matter, not even for me. The point is whether or not I actually learn something, right? And I did. While I am still fuzzy on regression equations, I know how to prepare better next time and how to approach written exams. I also know that Bs will not, in fact, kill me and that I’m probably the only one who actually cares what my report card says. (Woo!)
Photos by me… stupid stats practice equations and the monster stack of organizational behavior literature I was tested over. FUN huh??