I made it through 4 out of my 5 tests (the last is Friday) and ... well, I was there and took all the tests. I'm hoping for a C at best with one of 'em, an A on one, and B's on the two Japanese... but only time and graders will tell me on that one.
And yes, I'm now grade obsessed. Not only because I'm at a university that grades now, but because (and I keep meaning to mention this) I was awarded magna cum laude for my last semester! Now I really don't want to do badly. I don't know if I can lose it if I don't keep my future grades up. That's what I assume happens.
It's frustrating, these pesky grades. Santa Cruz was the best undergraduate experience in the world for me, because there I was more concerned with learning concepts and applying them than I was with point totals. They gave evaluations, instead of grades. Usually about a paragraph, although sometimes with the dedicated professors you got an entire page, single space, typed, that talked about your performance, your understanding of the material, your contribution to the classes. Every single one of my literature evaluations is like a mini-reccommendation. Yes, I have reread them to stoke my ego on occasion. But they also truly let me know HOW I was doing in the course, with the material, in a way that a letter grade just doesn't. If my critical skills were fine, but I didn't prove my points often... if my theories were interesting but I forgot the minutae (which is what I generally do), they actually said that.
And yeah, sure, I did a literature degree, so that kind of thing goes hand in hand, because we didn't take tests, we wrote papers. But I did take tests too, for some classes, and still depended on that judgement that told me more about what kind of a student I was than some single letter that shifts with each class. Some reductionary number that's basically made up of arbitrary percentages, multiple choice questions, and professorial standards (because, you see, at UT they can't give out too many As or they get reviewed). It's absurd. It makes me feel like I'm in a mill, getting my name and number tattooed on my permanent record, so that others may quickly and quantitatively asses me.
But, I ask you, what about the *qualitative* assesement? Have I mentioned I hate grades?
*returns to my flash card system, so I can answer Friday's multiple choice questions with some accuracy, and get another stupid grade*