Trapped and Measured

My eyelids are gradually drooping, slowly giving in to the tempting promise of sleep. It’s been like this ever since school started. Stress. Cramming. My throat being slowly strangled by the many requirements and obligations expected of me. Sigh. Sometimes I wonder why I put too much effort on something so… so useless.

Grades. Just six letters, but you cringe just as it is merely mentioned. It’s every student’s Apollyon. I know it’s mine. In reality, grades are just materialistic tests or measures of one’s abilities. You can’t say that it’s a test of intellect because there are so many who don’t receive awards, yet they have that natural, effortless brilliance. I just stand at awe of them, yet they don’t see it through my eyes. They see themselves as worthless beings who don’t seem to make the cut. On the contrary, everyone has that inner genius within them, but so many other layers and obstructions shield this from shining through.

In our PH 101 class, we had this reading by David Foster Wallace entitled, This is Water. The line from Wallace’s speech that struck me the most is “Probably the most dangerous thing about college education is that it enables my tendency to over-intellectualize stuff, to get lost in abstract arguments inside my head instead of simply paying attention to what’s going on right in front of me.” Admittedly, I do realize that I pay little attention to what’s actually going on in front of me. Teachers, as well as my parents, have been emphasizing the value of going to school. Yes, getting good grades can be very rewarding. Yes, getting good grades can bring you to a lot of places. But did I actually learn? Not just book-based learning, but about myself.

I feel like such a hypocrite for criticizing grades and it’s significance to our lives. Despite my hatred (fine, strong dislike) for grades, there’s this strong force pushing me towards aiming for high grades. Well, I don’t always achieve it but even if I try my best to be carefree about it, I just can’t. I’m just not that kind of person. Well, not just yet.

So basically I’ve been talking about grades and my feelings toward it. Yet I feel like I’ve been going around in circles. It’s as if I hate it so much that I’ve actually grown accustomed to caring about it too much. Gasp. Curiouser and curiouser. I hope this isn’t true, but if it was… what’s my chance against this strange attraction to this nonsensical six letter word? What am I but a trapped little girl in this cage that incessantly measures my “capabilities”?

Vashtie Uy, 154440

PH 101 JTA-A



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