Students need to learn to cope with the big bad ‘B’

Bryn Gallagher

Zangle can be the bearer of great joy and of severe pain; perhaps the most severe cause of that pain is the sight of an 89.4 percent B. That B that is so close but will never be an A. You can beg, you can plead, you could even pull a rabbit out of your hat, but it is clear that that B will not get any higher and it is awful.

It hurts to see that almost A, that almost perfect grade; but don’t take your frustration about the grade out on your teachers. It is true they gave you the grade but they only did that because it is their job. To me it seems it would be more of a crime if they constantly bumped the grade because that is not how life works. The world won’t fix things for you if you don’t quite make it.

Mr. Kellogg was one of many teachers badgered by disgruntled students wanting that A.

“I have certain things in place for students to raise their grade so when they ask me to raise them at the end of the semester it is disrespectful to me.” He has a point; if there is a way to take initiative and raise your grade it is ridiculous to ask for the mercy of the teacher, seeing that there was already mercy.

I agree that it is one of the hardest things to see that A so close that you could taste it but is still just barely out of reach. It is really very cruel to taunt us in this way, dangling an A in front of our faces like a carrot in front of an obstinate donkey, but what can we do? There has to be a cutoff somewhere.

Could you imagine the havoc that would be wreaked upon this world if every almost A became an A? Then would come the close enough 85%, or even 83%. Then comes 70%, 65% and finally: should we have that F bumped up? What if this continued? Would you want to be represented by a lawyer who got a B+ in his classes, or have your brain worked on by a B+ surgeon?

If it didn’t carry into the real world, it seems like it would be nice to have no standards to work for.

But then what would we be prepared for? Certainly not college, the workforce, or even life, because life is hard. Maybe dealing with that not-quite-an A prepares us for dealing with the not-quite-into the right college letters or not-quite-hired notice.

I understand the fear, that one B lowers your GPA and then that edge to get into college is seemingly gone. Guess what? There are a lot of colleges out there and each one looks for a different person.

Likewise, there are other ways to build up that competitive edge; you could do community service, take part in extracurricular activities, or even take the time to write an amazing essay for your application.

Maybe you won’t get into Harvard with its 9% acceptance rate, but you could get into a state school or a private college with a higher acceptance rate. Here in California alone there are 85 colleges and there are 2,474 public and private universities in the United States.

That is a lot of space for a lot of college students.

When it comes down to it, not going to Harvard or Yale will not cause the end of your life. If going to college is important to you, you’ll have the potential to get a good education from almost any college out there. Not everyone has to go Ivy League in order to get a good college education.

It is good for us to learn to cope with disappointment and see that sometimes all of our hard work leaves us with a grade that’s not quite there, which is hard but is something we can’t change. Life is tough and school is preparing us for it. 

What do you think?