Something we were told to think about was the difference in how we have an interest in grades and our work. I apologise in front if this sounds a bit like a rant, but what I speak is how I see things.
I think my main problem with grades fully came to mind when I was finishing my GCSE’s. There was a fixation to the point that everyone was striving to do their best, get the grade that they were truly capable of. And I was the same. Work hard and reap the awards.
But one of the reasons for this hard work ethic was that if you didn’t get the right grades, it would be rather problematic. Didn’t get the right grades? Sorry you can’t go to sixth form. And this was the first time I questioned grades, as it didn’t take into account the student’s ability, or the fact they could have have a bad day, or something may have happened.
So you move onto A levels, and again the main focus is the grades. Yes there is an element that you have to enjoy what you are doing, but there was always that nagging in the back of your head saying “you need to get this grade no matter what!” And this is where I draw my second problem with grading, where you may be brilliant, but if you don’t stick the criteria then you are ruined really.
And I know this from experience really. I would work hard in my photography classes, putting in the time and effort into my work, yet I wouldn’t reap the awards, as my work wasn’t really “right enough.” And it would annoy me when others, who wouldn’t work as hard (and on one instance I actually took pictures for someone as help for their project, who then used those pictures in one their final piece) and would get a better grade or similar.
It would be something like this that would make my blood boil slightly, but in the end there could be nothing that I could do.
However now that I am at University, yes there is an element of grades. But I am happier as there is more emphasis on my work. Yes there may be criteria that we have to fit into, but the real grades are something we don’t have to think about at all. For if we pay more attention to our work and give it all our passion and effort, then we should get the grades one deserves.
There is a quote that says “A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if everything were titular and ephemeral but he. I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and dead institutions.” And it is so true that we care more about these grades then the work we produce. You could create work that fits into the criteria perfectly, but did you really enjoy it that much?
For me, I would rather create work I am happy with and proud of, and get what I deserve from it. As in the real world, there isn’t really a criteria, so it’s better to focus on your own work now.
Christmas pics: (insert here)