On getting straight As

On getting straight As

It took me until my third degree to get straight As in any one semester or degree program.  Getting straight As has been my plight since I got straight Os in kindergarden.  The next closest I came was all As and B+ in 6th grade.  That damn B+ demotivated me until high school, when I tried again freshman year.  New school, new me.  New form of delusion.  I discovered a whole world of new books to read that were not listed on any syllabus whatsoever.  I learned a lot in high school, but probably only 30% of that knowledge was in the curriculum.  College was just a more adult repetition of high school.  Day dreams of being a revered honors student while I was drinking in my friend back yard the night before a final that I was sure I would ace.  3.02.  That was my undergrad GPA.  I flew outta there after 5 years vowing never to return to those dry business subjects.  My friend showed me the grad school business curriculum and I shrieked in horror at the sight of “economics 510” listed on the MBA required courses list.  It literally did sound like a hell until suddenly two years later I looked once more at the school website.  I was so exhausted by shit jobs that school once again sounded like an paradise.  School paradise is one where everyone sleeps when they are tired, except before midterms.  Work can be turned in incomplete and you are still allowed to continue attending the class.  You can even sleep in class and still be allowed to come back.  After working in an investment bank, that economics class suddenly sounded fascinating because I finally understood that language.  New degree, new me.  New level of understanding my limitations.  Turns out grad school is a lot of work crammed into a short span of time.  I graduated with a 3.35 and although I had gained a vast new view of the world, I still felt like an idiot because of all the information I encountered that I didn’t fully understand.  The next 5 years after grad school I spent in a constant state of epiphany.  I encountered more knowledge than I could remember, yet when I encountered forgotten concepts in the real world I knew what to do with it.  I just couldn’t remember it all back then during test time, but it was all in there somewhere, waiting to an anchor itself to a real world experience.

This after-learning bothered me.  If school should come in the beginning, then why do I learn so much more after all the testing is done?  My grades are in no way indicative of what I learned from getting a masters degree.  They only say how much I learned while in class.

Anyways.. I started dabbling in classes again once I plowed through all the non-fiction books for dummies at the library.  My grad school student loan made me stick to the inexpensive classes at the community college.  My attendance to on campus lectures induced anxiety which required that i stick to online only classes.  I figured out that as long as I turned in all the homework and follow assignment instructions, I got As.  The quality of the work was not being graded at this level (my art homework is evidence of this), just the fact that people made an effort to even do it got them an A.  Or perhaps, having already ascended through the graduated level, my work quality was already A level in community colleges.  AKA the bar is set low there.

How refreshing.  You mean I don’t have to care about oxford commas here?  Or group projects.  Or having to be somewhere on time awake and happy?  I can just learn what I learn without the stress of cramming in all the stuff I’m not so interested in but still get awesome grades?  How fun…

This carefree approach to picking interesting classes along with the higher salary from my graduate degree helped me to just enjoy the classes I took.  I was working full time so I started by taking once class a semester.  That was easy.  So then I took two.  Until I noticed I could squeeze in an eight week class because some 16 week classes really aren’t a lot of work every week.  Suddenly I was only four classes from an AA degree.  Because I already had a bachelor’s degree, I was just focusing on the specific subject I was interested in and wasn’t distracted by other subjects that, are interesting in themselves, but not what I was in the mood for soaking in.

So many things lead me to a situation where I finally got straight As.  So is my plight done? Mission accomplished?  Goal achieved?  no.  Getting straight As in online classes at the community college level after having already graduated at a master’s level is expected.  Is it an improvement and a positive sign that I am headed in the right direction? yes.

Figuring out what works for me has been huge in my understanding of what skills are important to work on, but it has also shown me what more I would need to do in future, more rigorous programs to keep my winning streak going.


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