Thanks to Daily Post for the prompt for this morning of B+. I had no path for my words to take and then I saw this prompt from a few days ago.
When I was in university, my first year I ended up on academic probation. I failed two classes for not handing in the final projects. There is a whole story behind that but I’ll save it for another post. By the time I got to my 4th year, I had bounced back and was rocking one half (religion and culture) of my double major (poli sci, religion and culture), and becoming quite cocky about it if I do say so myself.
I signed up for this one course for winter term in my 4th year. It was a course all about Gandhi. Now I was a social activist at that point and pretty into world events. I had decided to specialize on international relations/global governance and Asian religions and cultures. Gandhi fit into that perfectly.
The professor for this class was retiring, and it was her last class ever! There was one girl who took that class just because it was this professor’s last class. She had already taken it before but decided “hey, I have $700 just laying around and nothing better to do with my time than retake a class I have already passed”. She sat in the front row and was sooooo annoying! And she is actually part of the reason the events unfolded like they did in my life.
Classes were boring as hell!!! And I really hated going. They started at 7:30 at night and were not worth the effort to stay awake. For the first assignment, we were to read Gandhi’s autobiography and write a paper on “Gandhi: The myth vs. the man”
For anyone who has read this book, it’s like 700 pages long!! Well I had a full course load and needed to get my poli sci GPA up a few extra points to be able to graduate with a double major. Since this class was a religion class, my GPA was already up to a 10 out of 12 (an A- overall) so I decided to put out a sub-par paper and focus on other projects. I read about the first 3 chapters, and decided “ain’t nobody got time for that” and literally read only the chapter headings for the rest of the book. From just the headings, I crafted up a paper on “the myth vs the man”, throwing in quotes I would find as I was writing.
The day to get our papers came back, I looked at my grade and my grade was on the high end of a B, not quite a B+. Pretty proud of myself, I patted my shoulder and accepted it.
Our final project for this class was a little unique. We had a 3 different options, our teacher knew that not everyone learned the same way and that not every would be great at writing a paper. I decided to pick her topic of “living like Gandhi for a week”. I had to set out certain guidelines that Gandhi would have followed, keep a journal, and then write a short paper detailing my experiences. At first I was all over this! I picked a few easy life style changes: no violence, no distractions (music etc), and eating only what could be found naturally around me.
This worked out well since in Canadian Environmental Politics class, my group had decided to investigate the corn industry and the horrors of corn on our lives and diets and everything about corn was evil (our professor was a little bit eccentric? but I had a mad crush on his hippy person!) I dedicated a full 24 hours to both projects and then was like “ain’t nobody got the time (or the effort) for that!” and gave up. Since I had a decent mark on my first faked paper, maybe I could swing the same on this one?
The day before the paper was due, I had no classes. I took my empty journal and started to fill it with diary entries. The no violence was hard because my brother was a jerk (he didn’t even live with us!) and he was testing my patience, it was hard to keep my thoughts and actions violence free. Being distraction free led me to appreciate life more, traveling to and from school on the bus allowed me to observe people more instead of shutting myself out. Eating wasn’t too hard, I ate only foods I could prepare myself (theoretically I could have made cheese and bread and killed a chicken and roasted it) which made a few things difficult and I was really craving coffee and chocolate by the end. LIES ALL LIES!! I didn’t do any of those things!
I wrote my paper, referencing only my journal which I had just made up earlier that day. The next day I handed in my journal and my paper and walked away hoping that I would get a passing grade. On the last class for the term, our projects were graded and given back. I anxiously waited for the professor to say my name incorrectly (she hadn’t taken the time all semester to learn it, but let’s be honest, I left her class every day at our break so I won’t hold that against her). I looked down at the grade: A solid B! I smiled to myself, and slowly packed up my bag waiting for her to dismiss us for our 15 minute break.
Final exam time! We can all assume that I didn’t do any readings all term. In preparation for the final exam, I read over all the slides the teacher had posted on our class website, and then watched the Gandhi movie – which I really enjoy and have seen many many times! Walking into the exam I was feeling a bit apprehensive. I knew in all my poli sci classes that if I didn’t CRAM I wouldn’t get the dates and names and everything right. It’s not how my brain operates and was why my GPA was lacking. I felt the same disappointment here. I sat down and started my exam and realized that it was honestly one of the easiest I had ever taken. I finished the exam quickly, and gave a pretty convincing essay answer for someone who hadn’t really cared for the last 12 weeks.
A few weeks later the final grades were posted – my final grade for the class: B+
Now I’m not sure if I’m just that good of a con-artist, or if my work was actually that good. Maybe it was the prof was just hanging in there for one last term and she had given up on the class just as much as I had? Her lectures were pretty much just a conversation about her research and previous travels to India with that one student I mentioned before so she wasn’t really teaching. But I got a decent grade and kept my GPA high enough to eventually graduate with my honors bachelor of arts.
I wonder what could have happened if I had actually tried?