Monday, November 7, 2011

The Grade Factor: the figures that DO matter

Ever since I caught-up call this semester and started to realise that grades are not the meaningless digits I used to think they were, I have taken a different perspective toward my academic life. Earlier on in my life, these figures were as important as the food I ate and would work in all my power to obtain the straight A's I wanted to achieve.

This year, I took a rebellious approach and decided to experiment with the idea of not thinking too highly of grades. Of course, the direct result was somewhat of a slack-off which led to undesirable test grades and a whole lot of terrible other things that had to do with the...grades and started to notice that although one should not stress themselves out too far, it is essential to take some care when it comes to school work. Neither extreme is good for a person's health but a middle ground, where one is able to have the discipline needed to complete all tasks as well as they possibly can while still taking the time out to relax and have time for enjoyable activities.

Denzel Washington has a word of advice that he gave to his children and that is "Do the things you have to do so that you can do the things you want to do." It's all about sacrificing what is enjoyable to you for the time being so that you can get the essentials done because it's obvious that pleasurable activities keep you occupied for hours on end leaving no time left over for what really needs to be done and that is the work that more often than not has a deadline of some sort.

Mr Washington kind of reminds me of my parents, mother especially who instilled a great deal of discipline and a great work ethic. By forcing us to keep the kitchen and our rooms and bathrooms spotless and neat, she was conditioning us into having a sense of responsibility for the state of our surroundings i.e. what goes on in our lives. That what we get out of life is a direct result of the work that we put into it and that we are victims to nothing but carve out our own existences based on the choices that we make. A "You made your bed, now lay in it" approach to the repercussions of things.

"Consequence is no co-incidence," one of my favourite quotes from Lauryn Hill.

Wisdom begins when you understand that you are a factor, a fundamental one to the events of your life. For a while, I may have forgotten this when I was slacking off and blaming fatigue. Hell, coffee was made for a reason right and there is no better motivation than imagining the good results of your perseverance tomorrow today.

As a true scientist, I ran an experiment, testing a hypothesis and the result was quite close to what I expected. A lax attitude yields mediocrity. It is only a winning, focused and serious attitude that yields excellence. If you're reading this, at whatever level you are in your academic life, know that although grades are not a reflection of your intelligence what they do display is commitment, loyalty, hard-work and determination. And these are all attributes that will make you a pleasure to work with.

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