Tired of failing

May 20, 2008 § 3 Comments

Our school motto is preparing “young women to make a difference”. But when I think about it does growing grey hairs, becoming sleep deprived, and stressing obsessively over marks make us better people, let alone prepare us to make a difference in the world? Yeah it prepares us for when we fail, but what about success?

In sport teams, or sports in general, being constantly last in a race, losing constantly in a game, getting yourself owned, makes you realize that you aren’t good, that your best effort isn’t good enough and that you have to get better in order to win. Over time, and with practice, the sweet taste of victory will eventually come, but to never experience a win, what would victory feel like? A sense of accomplishment and happiness probably. But whether you win or lose is a black and white subject for sports.

In real life, success comes in many different forms, shapes, and sizes. Success means something different for everyone. Usually the higher the standards are for success the greater the fall. For example, a typical Asian parent ask for one thing of their child, get 90% in everything. If said child does not reach the 90% minimum, the parents will then enforce strict rules involving your social life. Seeing as a 90 in everything is hard to get, and time consuming, your once incredibly limited free time becomes nothing when you get an 80 on a test, assignment, or on your report card. But even when the child gets a 90, is the child successful? If a slacker gets a 70 in everything, are they deemed as unsuccessful? If success was all about numbers, then the world is a failure because more than half of the world’s population doesn’t even have safe drinking water, let alone be able to read and write.

Yet, the world revolves around numbers anyway. To get into an Ivy league university, you need to score very high on your SAT, be the top of the school academically, and just overall outstanding in sports, music, arts, and other extracurricular. In translation, you need to get 90s in everything, and play an instrument, or play a sport outside of school. If the number was to describe how well we the student learned the content, then it is basically placing a number on our capability to think. If school was to expand our ability to process thoughts and look more profoundly at the bigger picture, then basically getting a 70 simply labels you as someone not smart. So now even just learning something new everyday isn’t even considered successful, but more trivial. But like all labels, this label is given to you based on someone’s opinion, that someone being your teacher. Everyone is different, thus, when a teacher gives you a 70, another teacher could have given you an 80 or a 90. Though teachers may think they are unbiased, they naturally would formulate an opinion of your essay, test, or assignment and thus affect whether or not you get a 70 or a 90. That means by basing success on numbers you allow someone else to dictate whether or not you are successful or not.

To me, that sounds kind of hacked, but it is also how capitalism works. MOVE TO CHINA!

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