by Zarelle Villanzana | December 8, 2021
Card Day. Some consider it as the students’ fruits of their sleepless nights and often unpredictable tantrums. But many may see it as a heart-pounding moment.
Three months have passed since the first day of school, and now it is time for the release of grades. Students portray a wide variety of emotions as they wait for a significant email notification. Their uneasy faces indicated their anxiety, trying to work their way through the distress. But quite a few of these students are yet to experience what they would call the “day of retribution”.
The emails are sent. A notification pops up. Here are some of the students’ familiar reactions.
Cursors glide their way through the screen, hovering and clicking them as far as these cursors can go. A small peep at the lined-up numbers, and finally, going in, the students brace themselves. A 100 mark is first seen while hovering the cursor over a particular subject, but it looked less fulfilling despite their perfectionist ideals. Some subjects have marks with those aligned 9’s. But a defect has been spotted as they look at a particular grade: 97. Ohmyyyy what happened to my grades? Why must it be that low? Beating themselves up at this low number others are already pleased to have, they decide to work harder on the next quarter. As they reveal their grades to their parents, they are told the typical run of mandatory congratulations. Deep inside, the perfectionists know they ought to do better.
The hard workers
Much like the perfectionists, hard workers do not pounce directly at the grading sheet. They know they have done enough to get desired marks but anxieties still send their heart throbbing and their minds clouded. It is always better to be prepared. One thing that sets hard-workers apart from the perfectionists is that they expect their grades to be low despite their efforts. But surely, their hard work must have paid off. Some will dread the terrifying subject, Mathematics. But as these busy bees take a glance at their grades, the numbers turn out better than they expected. With great joy, they rush to their parents and proclaim the product of their sleepless nights.
Grades are a reflection of one’s work ethic. Teachers often share to the students their system of inputting scores and how they compute them to get the mark students see in their grading sheets. But if a certain grade is found to be questionable, that is when the interrogators come into the picture. Excuse me Ma’am/Sir, I have a concern. A simple inquiry on the given number would then result in an interrogation, where the teachers are put in the hot seat. These students could be the counterpart to the perfectionists and the hard-workers. But interrogators are entirely a different breed, perhaps because of external pressures. Surely, there must be an explanation for why their grades are too low. After being satisfied with the answers to the teachers who would give in, these interrogators will then proceed to plant a grudge on the teachers whose minds cannot be changed (most times, it is with the minor subjects), but also strive to do their utmost best as they are still students.
With a whopping grade of 75 upwards, these students are hanging by and grateful enough to stay until the next semestral eviction day. Hoping they could do better the next time, they continue sharing lucky memes and put “passing grades next sem cutie” as a FaceBook status. They could be sleeping through classes or sharing meme posts during lectures, and they would most likely be the ghosts lurking around in group activities. Perhaps to them, by definition, effort could be equated to how well they have crammed a task, and how fast it was finished. Defending their performance, they believe school isn’t the most important thing in life.
The motivational speaker
Numbers are just numbers, they do not define your intelligence. These students turn into motivational speakers overnight as the looks of their grades don’t seem to be that honorable. Going hand in hand with the “kumakapit” batch, they lift each other up in order for them to show gratitude that the teacher even had the mercy to grant them a passing grade. Although, for the unlucky few, it is what they preach that they hold true to their heart, “Grades don’t define you”.
The social media influencer
Right after worrying about their grades, these students are now off to flex their report cards on social media, perhaps for the ninongs and ninangs to see. Various captions are evident on several posts. Some genuinely announce their gratitude to God, some tag their relatives to refresh the idea of the prize money, and others simply post with emojis, most commonly a heart emoji, the crying emoji, or the praying emoji. These students are patting themselves on the back by being proud of the numbers they were given, knowing they did well.
Students may take a different role in the subsequent quarters, but these types of students will never disappear. There may be a variation in standards that students place on themselves, which means not everyone is like the perfectionist with a clear goal of having the highest of grades. Knowing this, comparison among each other would not be necessary, since the goals of each student are as diverse as the students themselves.