Anything I Can Do For A Better Grade?


It is that time of the year when the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the semester is ending, and the students are asking, “I know I missed a lot of classes and didn’t complete some of my assignments but I was wondering if there is, you know, anything I can do now to get a better grade.” It is tempting to recommend “invent and use time machine.” But perhaps these words from George M. Felis (UNC Wilmington) are more edifying:

Maybe I shouldn’t admit this as a professor, but a significant part of what you demonstrate by earning a college degree has nothing to do with what you actually learn in college: completing college is partly about showing that you have the discipline to show up and do the work—whether you want to or not, whether you’re interested in it or not, and regardless of the distractions life presents—because whatever career you pursue, the first and most valuable qualification you can have is the discipline to show up and do the work, no matter what. That’s why many employers preferentially hire people with college degrees even when the work doesn’t require a degree — and that’s why I would be acting unethically if I let you pass this class even though you didn’t show up and do the amount and quality of work required to pass it. Finally, although I doubt you will appreciate this perspective now, I also honestly believe I would be doing you a disservice if I helped you avoid the negative consequences of your own choices and actions — because in the long run, no one can.

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