On the first day of class my accounting professor handed out questionnaires to get an idea of what his students wanted to gain from the course. One of the questions was:
The grade I would like to make in this course is
- an A.
- at least a B.
- at least a C.
- I just want to get credit for the course.
I mentioned the questionnaire to my husband, expressing surprise that anyone would choose an answer other than “a”.
“That’s because you’re an over-achiever,” he replied.
“I am not!” I protested. “I just don’t see why you’d say you want a lower grade. It’s not like it’s more work to circle a different letter.”
“Yes, because your goal is the highest grade you can possibly get. However, others may have the goal of just passing the course or maintaining a C average with the least investment of time necessary. For those people an A would mean they had not achieved their goal, because clearly they had worked harder than needed on this particular course.”
I suspect he’s right, but it still baffles me.