by Emily Dimytosh, PLA Team Leader
When I went home over the break, I got to drive. No more trudging through unplowed Kingston sidewalks or waiting for non-existent busses. Just me and my climate-change inducing ride.
When I climbed into my trusty rust-bucket, I became puzzled by the instrumentation. In particular I began to wonder, why do we have a rear-view mirror?
I mean, I look in it occasionally just to make sure the drivers behind me aren’t too lost in my dust trail (rather, aren’t too annoyed that I’m the only one on the road following the speed limit….) but if I tried to drive forward with it, I’d be in trouble. In fact, the only time I use it to actually guide my driving is if I am literally driving backwards.
Now maybe it was because I just got my accounting mark, or maybe it was sure genius, but it suddenly hit me: grades are a lot like a rear-view mirror.
Grades only tell me where I’ve been. In terms of driving forward into a new semester, they are completely useless, unless, of course, I want to go backwards.
I mean, just because I got a low grade in one course does not mean I am going to do poorly on the next one. Similarly, just because I knocked a course off the bell curve does not mean the next one is going to be a home run.
Yes, if I tend to do poorly in an entire subject area it may be a fairly good indicator to pull over and take a look under the hood, and if I tend to do well I may be able to lay off the late nights and caffeine, but no guarantees.
So as grades continue to come in, or continue to pester you as you get underway with your new semester, just remember – They are YOUR rear-view mirror: useful for driving backwards, but extremely limiting when you are trying to move on.