Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Tue 5/24/2005 3:59 AM
Random Thought: Grades, Success, and Katie

I'm still thinking about the tone of accomplishment, self-satisfaction, and peace of mind in Katie's voice. I can still see her gleaming eyes and beaming smile as she spoke to me on the telephone. She deserves it. I want you all to know that she is a winner. . True, she only had a "C" GPA. Nevertheless, knowing what I know, had I been at graduation, I would have stood up, applauded her, and loudly yelled a "go Katie" as she crossed the stage. Though she didn't amass awards and recognitions, though she didn't have what too many might call an impressive GPA, though she was "merely" what others would have dismissed as "average," what she did is rewarding and impressive, far above average, and ought to be recognized. Her achievement isn't in amassing academic glory and riches. Her achievement is more outstanding than any academic honor can bestow. She graduated as an honorable person. Her achievement is giving it all she had, not trying to be better than others, just struggling to better herself, and leaving it all on the field in the process. Her achievement is in her transformation. She may not have gotten the grade, but she sure did get heart. That's success in my book! She can stand tall and I will stand proudly, though humbly, next to her. She's my Suma Cum Laude!

Take heed about judging a person by his or her transcript. Referring to the Bard, the grade doth not make the person. The honors and recognitions say a lot about what other people think you've done; it doesn't say a thing about who you are. A lot of kids like Katie have to really struggle to get somewhere and sadly a lot of kids don't or won't. The former overcome a lot of obstacles, rise to a lot of challenges, take a lot of risks, fall a lot, get up a lot, learn a lot, come to have a lot of faith, get a lot of confidence, grow a lot, improve a lot, and transform a lot. The latter don't. The former strive to become what they are capable of becoming. The latter don't.

You can get a "good grade" with second rate effort or no effort at all, and you can get an "average grade" with first rate effort. The better grade doesn't necessarily mean you learned more and the lesser grade doesn't necessarily mean you learned less. The better grade doesn't make you better if you do less than you have to give; the lesser grade doesn't make you less if you do more and give it all you have.

Katie is my Rudy: "Go Katie! You're the woman!"

         Make it a good day.


         Louis Schmier      
         Department of History
         Valdosta State University
         Valdosta, GA  31698                 /~\        /\ /\
         912-333-5947              /^\      /     \    /  /~\  \   /~\__/\
                                 /     \__/         \/  /  /\ /~\/         \
                          /\/\-/ /^\_____\____________/__/_______/^\
                        -_~    /  "If you want to climb mountains,   \ /^\
                         _ _ /      don't practice on mole hills" -    \____

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