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Poll Results: Would life now be any better (or worse) if you'd gotten better (or worse) grades?

 
  • 39% (60)
    Yes, and I'm at least 30 YO.
  • 60% (92)
    No, and I'm at least 30 YO.
152 Total Votes  
post #61 of 79
I had mostly merit scholarships to college. So, without my grades, no college for me. I do wish I'd done a little better in college. I feel like I didn't excell or stand out to my professors and then I couldn't really use them as mentors or for letters of rec.
post #62 of 79
I don't know how to answer, but I had pretty good grades in HS, which paid for my undergrad degree. Then my grades in my B.S. program were good enough for a master's degree, and even after a 10 year layoff from school, to get into a good PhD program. Now I have a faculty position, which is what I've always wanted to do.
So, if my grades were worse, I wouldn't be in the good position I'm in now, however, since they were good, my work life is pretty good.
post #63 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by athansor View Post
I don't know how to answer, but I had pretty good grades in HS, which paid for my undergrad degree. Then my grades in my B.S. program were good enough for a master's degree, and even after a 10 year layoff from school, to get into a good PhD program. Now I have a faculty position, which is what I've always wanted to do.
So, if my grades were worse, I wouldn't be in the good position I'm in now, however, since they were good, my work life is pretty good.
This is pretty much what I tell my children. Essentially, I want them to keep as many options open as possible. It's always about options in our home and teaching.

If they do well in school and get good grades, more doors are open to them. They have the freedom to choose, as adults, whether or not college is the best path to take--but at least that option is available to them.

Similarly, if they don't do as well and their grades aren't very high, that doesn't mean that college is impossible, but it will take extra effort in other areas.
post #64 of 79
Well, I'm 25 so I didn't vote, but...

I was a gifted kid (har) until I hit high school. I was pushed so hard to do more and better that I burned out early. I was pushed so hard that I never had a chance to develop any social skills, and I was a socially awkward kid to begin with. Now I kind of wish I had just been a B student and never had the word "prodigy" thrown at me at such a young age, because I might have had a chance at being normal, able to make eye contact with people I've never met, and able to hold a conversation without the abject fear that people will think I'm stupid because I'm not an expert on every subject.

If I'd done worse (and I'm just saying average here, not D's and F's) in grade school/ junior high, I might have had a chance to finish high school. I never pursued college because I was told, constantly, that we were too poor for college, that I had to get scholarships, and therefore had to do more than the normal kids in order to get any kind of higher education. So I gave up on the idea all together.
post #65 of 79
I am 54 years old and I voted no. I got excellent grades in school, was an honor student. Chose to get married and be a stay at home wife and mom, instead of going to college. Fast forward to today and my husband is now disabled and not able to work, so it's on me. My good grades haven't helped at all, trying to make a career for myself at this age.
post #66 of 79
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by athansor View Post
I don't know how to answer, but I had pretty good grades in HS, which paid for my undergrad degree. Then my grades in my B.S. program were good enough for a master's degree, and even after a 10 year layoff from school, to get into a good PhD program. Now I have a faculty position, which is what I've always wanted to do.
My problem is that this "logical" track for me turns out to repel me, because I just can't get into grant writing. I've been teaching as an adjunct lately, and even that didn't quite pay the bills all the time, and because of turnover in the administration and my foot surgery this summer they lost track of me and I'm unemployed.

Robert
post #67 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
I teach college as an adjunct, and I tell my students college is a racket.
I find that very sad, especially but not only because I think that could be very undermining to someone who worked very hard to get to college and is enjoying their experience there.

If you think college is a racket, perhaps you shouldn't teach there.

I agree that, for some people, college isn't all it's cracked up to be. Some people are there for the wrong reasons. But for some people, college is a logical extension of their love of learning. For some people, it is their ticket to the career of their choice (for example, in my state, you can't practice social work without a license, and you have to have a degree in social work to get a license). How well someone does in college does matter to some employers. For some people, good grades reflect an ability to memorize and dump or perform well on tests, but for other people good grades reflect a commitment to a task and a thorough understanding of what is being studied. I think it's disrespectful of your students to stand in front of them and essentially tell them that their efforts and interests are for naught.

And I am one of the first to agree that college is not an automatic ticket to success.

dm
post #68 of 79
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
I think it's disrespectful of your students to stand in front of them and essentially tell them that their efforts and interests are for naught.
They're not for naught, they're to satisfy the racket. It's a disclaimer. Most of my students (who tend to be well above "college age") were there because someone told them they needed a degree for their job or their intended job. They'd been sent back to school as an adult. I just wanted them to know it was a kind of employment program for the likes of me.

And the racket within the racket is textbooks.

I'm going to an info session this week for New York City Teaching Fellows, because I'm considering applying for the fellowship. I'd seen them come thru where I was teaching, and it looks like steady employment, and now that I've been coaching kids & teens in football I see I can stand teaching groups of them. I'd be entering a 5 year masters program while teaching, and I'd be 54 YO by the time it started, and that's a racket for sure. So I'll see how it is on the other end of the racket, because I sure as hell don't need more schooling!

Robert
post #69 of 79
I got HORRIBLE grades in high school (mostly D's and D-'s, a decent number of F's, a small scattering of C's, only 2 B's -- in "cake" classes-- and NO A's AT ALL!!). I ended up 441 out of 465 in my graduating class. I was also the "bad girl" who got in trouble alot and had "loose morals" and alot of sex from 9th grade on. Yet I made it into a state college, did pretty well, and when I graduated I ended up with a very good job and good income. So, no, my lousy grades and wildness had absolutely no influence on my future life. It just grates on my nerves when I hear public school officials tell teens that if they don't get awesome grades and be model school citizens, they will never succeed in life. It simply isn't always the case.
post #70 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by malibusunny View Post
and you can add me to the list of people that feels that grades are secondary to actually learning-- in so much as grades are a reflection of learning, they are important, but otherwise they are just part of the doors to opportunities.
Well put.
post #71 of 79
I didn't read all the replies, but I'm 33 and I wish that I had gotten better grades in school.

IMO, it's what the grades represent, really. It's about putting forth your best effort to succeed at a task that you really might not be all that interested in.

I was always an intelligent kid but school bored me. My parents never made too big a deal about grades, so I did just enough to barely pass every year. I never really tried because I just didn't care. And I think I still have a lot of problems making myself try at something that I don't really care about- ie, I think I take good care of my children because I CARE about them, but I have trouble with housework because although I want a clean house, the task of cleaning just does not interest me. I am a SAHM now, but I have had problems with jobs in the past because if I am not interested in a task I have a hard time making myself do it well.

Hopefully this makes sense, it's early
post #72 of 79
For me I think having really good grades made a big difference. If I had not gotten good grades, I would have had lower self esteem, would not have gotten the scholarships I had, possibly not met my husband (we were in diff. eq. and engineering seminar together in college), and would not have graduated from college debt free. I am 34.
post #73 of 79
I got just passing grades in Junior High and High School. I got my associates degree and did pretty well still had some struggles but had a 3.5 or higher each quarter. Then I got my BA and really struggled in Russian and that is when a counselor who became my mentor recognized right off the bat that I had a learning disability. So I went and got tested. The dr. that tested me said it should have been picked up when I was in Kindergarten. Ha it took me flunking Russian to get the help I needed. Anyway, my low grades in Jr. High and High School did not effect me at all. I have 3 BA's now and will be finishing up graduate school before my daughter goes to kindergarten.
post #74 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
So I'll see how it is on the other end of the racket, because I sure as hell don't need more schooling!

Robert
Can you clarify please. Are you saying you do not need to learn any more that you have learned all that needs to be learned its just a ploy to get more money out of you?
post #75 of 79
I got great grades and I dropped out of college 1/2 way through at the age of 20.

My answer is the same now as it was when I was 20, grades had no positive effect on my life. In fact, maybe if I had lower grades I would not have got the full scholorship to college and maybe I would not have wasted as much time as I did there. I have a high paying job, and am doing much better financially than everyone I know that finished college. Historically school just got in the way of me persuing my software development ambitions, now that it is out of the way I can make my fortune there.

School has nothing to do with learning.
Grades have nothing to do with the success of learning.

Here is my experience in the executive/corporate world:
Nobody cares what you did in school. School represents 1 thing to a prospective employer: You know how to stick with one thing for 4 years. Guess what... the days of a 30 year career in the mail room and a pension with a gold watch are OVER. Companies are not loyal to people or longevity anymore, and conversly people should not have the same kind of loyalty to companies anymore either. In the fast moving business world, sticking with something for 4 years regardless of how bad it sucks, sinks ships. Obviously you don't want to turn over your staff every year, that isn't what I am saying, bit what I am saying is the ability to sit still is no longer treasured like it once was.
post #76 of 79
It really is all about making money isn't it.

A nation of worker bees.
post #77 of 79
the more money I make the less hours I work, the more time I spend with my family.
the more money I make the less likely it is that my wife will have to stop being a sahm.
the more money I make the more good I can do in the world.
I can buy more healthy foods from more socially responsible stores/farmer's markets - the more money I make the healthier my family can live.
we can afford a cleaner car.
we can afford to live where I work so my commute is less impactful to the earth and my life.
we can afford to stop the debt spiral
we can afford to go to the dentist

So yes, it is about more money, but just because some people who chase money are bad, doesn't mean chasing money is bad.

Time is expensive, and the more time I can buy, the more I can learn, grow, live, and love.

I am not suggesting you can buy happiness, but having "enough" has let us persue the things in life that make us happy.
post #78 of 79
If only the majority of Americans felt the same way about making money, then maybe we wouldn't have the problems we have now.

As a recent trip to a "3rd world country" reflects, money is not the answer to happiness. In our country, it just brings competitiveness, apathy and greed.
post #79 of 79
I'm 39 and didn't do GREAT in school, some A's, but mostly B's and C's. I have an amazing life, though, and none of it is really related to how well I did or did not do in school. I wish I had done better. I had a very low self-esteem b/c I wasn't smart enough. I still worry about that a bit, actually.

Now for my kids, they better do better than I did! : Ds1 is all A's and takes all the honors courses that are available, ds2, seems more like me. Ds3 does pretty good, of course he's just in 1st grade.
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