Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day

The dead soldier's silence sings our national anthem. 
-Rev. Aaron Kilbourn

Monday, May 7, 2012


"But I really want an 'A.' "

So we go over the printed-out numbers again. Spotty attendance, lack of participation, late papers, missed assignments; no grades above  "C."

Mathematically speaking, she earned a "D."  No amount of extra credit, no last-minute work or grace can turn this sow's ear into a silk purse. In fact, it's only grace that has garnered the "D" that currently befuddles her.

"I feel like I tried really, really hard, and I really think that ought to count towards an 'A.' "

No.  Just....no. Accept the grade that you earned and stop embarrassing yourself (and me). You will have to take it again next semester; perhaps a bit more effort on your part will pay off. Maybe this has been a learning experience: better time management, more research, extra effort...

"But I've never gotten a grade this bad before. Ever! I tried so hard! Can't you just give me an 'A?' I really, really want one!" (Note: I've seen your college transcripts. This is a lie.Your performance is on par with last semester: abysmal.)

Across the hall, Dr. Flannel utters a Wookiee-like growl of utter aggravation and frustration, as I -- for the third time -- go over the math.

It adds up the same. "D." People in Hell want icewater; students want easy/unearned "A's." It's axiomatic.

She leaves, weeping and railing at my cruelty, my unfairness, the shame of it. Dr. Flannel gives me a sympathetic shrug as I watch her go. He asks her major, and snorts when I say "Counseling Ed."

God fucking damn the people who fill these kids' heads with unrealistic expectations. The ones who socially promote them, who tell them that everyone deserves a trophy, everyone's a winner...the ones who prop them up, and fudge their numbers in order to pad them from ever experiencing failure on any level whatsoever....and then turn them loose with no coping mechanisms to use when they do fail. They fall farther and harder when they've been cossetted and shielded for all their lives.

Some people just aren't meant for college. It's not fair to build their dreams, sell them a white elephant, and collect interest on their failure.