Making the Grade

Posted March 2, 2010 by jimhigley

This is a message for my kids.

Hello? Have you been listening to me all these years?

I’m talking about grades. Not your specific grades, per se, but what I’ve always told you about learning, your efforts and working hard.

Haven’t I consistently told you it’s far more important to me that you do your best? Haven’t I always asked you how you feel about your achievements? Those weren’t just words, folks. I meant them.

That’s why it really gets under my skin when you say something like “I only need a 36% on the final to maintain my ‘A’ in blah-blah-blah, so I’m not going to study.” Worse than that, when you tell me that there’s no way you can raise your ‘B’ to and ‘A’ in such-and-such a class, even if you got a 100% on the final, so you’re not going to kill yourself preparing for it.

Are you kidding?

Those kind of comments knock the parental wind out of my gut. What am I supposed to say when I hear you say stuff like that? I try to tell myself that maybe this is just a function of the world you are growing up in. Information is at your fingertips. You can jump on the computer and find out exactly what’s going on with your progress in all of your classes. Let’s face it, you know way more than I ever did. But the ignorance I had wasn’t all that bad. It made me work hard. Being in the dark had some advantages. Hey, it was kind of fun to be a little surprised every once in a while when I opened my report card.

So I’ve made my peace with this. I’m done talking. But I have to tell you, you’ve got me thinking about giving 100% all the time. So don’t be surprised when tonight’s dinner–which was going to be delicious homemade chicken noodle soup–arrives in the form of raw carrots and cold chicken broth.

Bon appetit.