Sunday, June 25, 2006

But I really wanted an A.

So what do you call it when you're upset that you only got a B on a test as opposed to an A?




Or all of the above?


  1. Hey kiddo,

    You call it trying and that's what matters.

    A is for anals as you put it, but B is for those who hand in there and keep trying.

    Don't give up because B follows A very closely and it's only a matter of time before you pass them by.

  2. That should have read 'hang' not hand.

  3. See, jbwritergirl, my problem is that - and I've already tried five times to explain this in a way that doesn't sound arrogant or conceited and it's not working, so I'm just going to say it - I'm used to getting a certain grade, if you know what I'm sayin'. And it's important to me to get a certain grade, so I get really mad at myself when I do not get said certain grade. And I should be happy with a B, right? I should be cool with it, and just be all "Whatever, B's are totally rad." But I'm not. I'm pissed, and I've already had a slight panic attack, thinking about how I have to make up those extra points in other stuff, and what if I get B's on that other stuff, TOO, and THEN what am I gonna DO?!


  4. Well, you could suggest "extra credit" to your professor. But that sounds more than a little cliche and Penthouse Forum-ish, so I'd advise against that route. As someone who fell into that same boat back in school, and again in the infrequent grad classes I take, I feel your pain though.

    Sadly, there's no good advice for this sort of overachieving pathos.

  5. Obviously you didn't work hard enough to get that A woman. It's easy to become complacent and think that all grades will be good because we're used to putting in a small to medium effort to get that A. I know what you're saying because I have the same problem. 99% of the time, we're so much smarter than most of the people in a class that we appear blindingly intelligent to the professors. And that's how we get graded.

    The other 1% of the time, that doesn't work. When people boggle at how smart I am (and I'm not being arrogant, it happens), I just say, it's not that I'm so very smart, it's just that there are so very many stupid people in the world.

    I've had to learn to accept the occasional B because sometimes classes have an attendance component and if I feel a class is wasting my time, I'll take that B rather than waste more of it!

  6. Life is pain, Higness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.

    -Westley, The Princess Bride.

    So, you wanna be a princess, or what? You gonna obsess about this? When there is so much actual shit in the world, you're obsessing about a B? Please. Where are your priorities, young lady?

    (There, did that help?)

  7. This is really interesting for me, because I think sascha has it exactly right: there are some students who put in moderate effort, yet also tend to get the A. Oh, they earn it, they do; these folks have legitimate skills. But there are just as many people like me, who look at years' worth of transcripts, and see a different pattern. I can sweat a little for a B, or sweat a lot, and get... a B.

    A's are rare for me, and I don't think the problem is a lack of mental horsepower, or a deficient will to work. I think some people just get A's because they get pegged as A students. Kind of like some people are famous just for being famous. So one question to you might be (assuming you accept my premise), is it such a bad thing if perhaps you're losing that a little? If you're giving up being an academic Nicole Ritchie?

    Look, I really like your writing, and as an online persona you seem very cool. This is the first thing I've read that makes you seem like anything other than someone I'd enjoy hanging out with. Maybe that's because of my 3.02 undergrad GPA, and the fact that my only 4.0 semester ever was last fall, in my post-bac year. The idea that there are people out there who would be mortified to have my record is, well, it's kinda depressing.

    I don't mean to mock your pain (to continue the Princess Bride thing). It's just that people sometimes boggle at how smart I am too, but not when it comes to academics. And I'm okay with that.

    So maybe it'll help if you stop thinking of a B as an insult, as a "not-A," and stop thinking of an A as "Amber's very own usual and appropriate grade." Think of the B as nothing more or less than what it is: an indication that you did good work, but others in the class did better.

    You're human. If you're "used to" getting a certain grade, cool. You're absolutely right to be proud of that. But life is partly about getting past what we're used to, so I'm sure in some way this big scarlet B thing will be good for you. You mentioning a panic attack over this is enough proof for me that you need to experience it now, before you feel that your future is on the line and you go totally apeshit.

    Just my two cents, but smarts and GPA are two completely different animals. Please don't fall prey to the trap of becoming one of those over-achieving wankers with no perspective. Those kids suck.

  8. B's are for losers. That's what I'd say.

    Of course, I'd be wrong. But being sarcastic, I'd just say it.

    I missed out on a lot of A's because of real life. Chalk it up to real life. Realize that a ton of people end up with Cs and Ds, and resolve to get more As in future.

    This one's stuck on your permanent record. :P

  9. All of you guys are right. I have become complacent, to the point where I don't even study for a test anymore. Maybe if I would have put some effort into it, then that A would have been mine. But I didn't, and whining about getting a B makes me sound like an asshole, esp when Febrifuge and Cybele are right in reminding me that there are other things that I could spend my time worrying about.

    And's not that I would be mortified to have your record. I waited six years to go back to school, and I told myself when I went back that there was no longer any excuse for me not to get a 4.0 - I knew what I wanted to do now, I was committed, and I knew what kind of effort and dedication I had to put forth to make it through school. When it comes to things like this - school, work, etc - I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself. Not because of conceit, but because I don't want to waste my opportunities. I don't want to look back and think "You know, if I would have studied a bit more and watched less VH1 "The Best Week Ever", I could have gotten an A in that class."

    And if I ever start to lack perspective, this has shown me that you guys will kick my ass back on the right path.

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  11. And FWIW Amber and Febrifuge, I didn't mean to imply that people who get A's are smart and people who get B's are dumb. I meant to imply that just because we get above average grades does not necessarily make us, the A and B recipients of the world, that much above "average." It just means that when you average us all in with the myriad people out there who wouldn't/couldn't get even a C in school or LIFE, we come out looking extra pretty. But it's my thought that we're pretty damn average.


Hopefully it will work out in your favor.


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