Read This or Else


So I finished my last and only exam today.

The following occured to me: In grad school, it’s not really writing exams that matters, but the threat of writing exams.

See, marks don’t really matter. In a grad course, everyone is going to get a good mark no matter how well (or poorly) they do on an exam (unless something goes horribly wrong), and marks are barely important for any future endeavors * anyway. What matters is that the students have learned the material taught in the class.

To learn the material, any motivated student will learn all they can possibly learn in preparing for an exam. But see, it’s preparing that makes them learn, not writing. So if everyone thought they were going to write an exam and thus prepared their asses off, but then it got cancelled, they will have learned just as much as if they had actually written it. The threat of writing just needs to be there, and needs to be taken seriously.

It’s like how some beetles will mimic the colouring of bees and wasps, so that potential predators will think they’re all badass and stingy and leave them alone. Or how peacocks puff up their feathers to look gigantic and attract the ladies, even though under all that fluff they’re just a shitty little runt of a bird. They achieve their purpose by threatening to accomplish something that won’t actually happen. It’s exactly the same thing.

Wait, I forget what my point is. Oh…let’s just say…the moral of this post is… “faking your way through life is nature’s way.”

* CONGRATULATIONS! You have witnessed my first usage of the word “endeavor” evor!

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2 thoughts on “Read This or Else

  1. Given that this is completely true, why do people still insist on fighting a “low” (translate: B) grade? It’s kind of ridiculous.

  2. True. Although in practice, a B in grad school would usually indicate a problem…and may be seen as a problem on a transcript when applying for future schooling/jobbing. So there are certain practical drawbacks to a low mark.

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