The Need to Quantify


I think grades are hilarious. Every time I receive a quiz, test, or paper back my heart rate goes up just a little and I get some chills. Not because I like grades (or definitely not because I make straight a’s – haven’t since 4th grade), it is because my life, efforts, and thoughts have become quantifiable in a precise manner (relative to the professor).

I know a lot of people are sort of addicted to school and learning, and I know a lot of people associate school with Hell. I think one of the reasons is that we do work (which is not, in and of itself, unique) and then someone grades it.

At work we are (hopefully!) reviewed. We may be reprimanded, given a pat on the back, given a raise, given a demotion, given some kind of ultimatum, etc. Generally though ,it is somewhat abstract and we can come up with reasons (we do this in school too) why things worked out the way they did.

One of the things that separates school is the forgettableness of it. My COmputer is currently telling me that that is not a word… FYI. We get our grade, it makes us happier, sadder, more frustrated, and then we move on (unless we have to take the class again). I just think it is interesting.

I recently turned 30 and am in school again for the first time since December of 2000 (when I graduated from college). It is harder and easier, I’m better and worse at it, I care less and more (all of these comparisons could be explored in a different – less abstract blog), and it seems funny to me how I react to a quiz when I get it back.

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