Seamus has lost his filter


Since I have already gotten this rap of being slightly too honest and such, I am going to do something that I said I wasn’t going to…RANT!

I am at my wits end right now. I am just done at getting mediocre marks for putting in actual effort, showing up ON TIME to all the lectures and seminar and getting good comments in Tutorial. I hope i’m not the only one in this boat. 

I really want to full on ranting Seamus mode, but I won’t (please talk individually for that) but I am just like so over this whole pushing oneself. At the end of the day, all any of us REALLY care about is getting good grades and being successful, sorry to burst the bubbles of any of the UBC staff that think we care about expanding ourselves….

This is a rut rant. My feelings will change.

edited addition

after sitting on this for a day and re readign it, I noticed that I came off a bit…how to put it nicely…Awful. I Sound like a prima dona. stuck up, attention needing child (Veruca Salt)

I think I speak for many Arts One Students (and UBCers in general) when I say that I am use to being the top of my class (or in the top 5) and so to come to a place where all of these similar people are congested and to FEEL so insignificant is hard.I am missing the days of getting 120% for an essay.

I do think that Arts One was the best choice for me, cause not only have i met some awesome people, but there is the added bonus of getting all my requirements done. I guess for me, knowing that I desperately want to get into the BFA, it is hard to not focus on that.

Hopefully the next month and term will be better.





10 thoughts on “Seamus has lost his filter

  1. Oh, Seamus. You tell us, what grade do you think you *should* be getting for “putting in actual effort, showing up ON TIME to all the lectures and seminar and getting good comments in Tutorial”?

    • I am not sure if this is serious, but…

      Good student mark….90%
      Good person mark…..10% (not doing to well in that vein, am I)

      I hope you read my revision, cause like I said, I don’t want to seem like i am a divo. I also want to clarify that I do not ever think a prof is necessarily wrong in their marking. You guys are way more educated then me and have read hundreds (if not thousands) of first year papers, so evidently you guys are right. It is just frustrating the “jump” from where I was and where I am.

      If that makes sense

  2. Seamus, of course it’s serious. My point is that, if you value marks so highly (which is not necessarily a bad thing per se), you guys need to think seriously about what it takes to get high marks.

    I put it to you that ?putting in actual effort” (and I like the “actual” there) is more a minimum expectation than a maximum one. LIkewise “showing up on time” (sorry, “ON TIME”) to lectures and seminars. If you truly think you deserve high marks for doing the basics, then it’s time to recalibrate. “Getting good comments in Tutorial” is likewise a pretty low bar to set, albeit for slightly different reasons.

    Think to yourself: what kinds of work on your part do you think really should be rewarded with something other than mediocre grades? This Faculty of Arts rubric may help you:

    80% to 100% (A- to A+) Exceptional performance: strong evidence of original thinking; good organization; capacity to analyze and synthesize; superior grasp of subject matter with sound critical evaluations; evidence of extensive knowledge base.
    68% to 79% (B- to B+) Competent performance: evidence of grasp of subject matter; some evidence of critical capacity and analytic ability; reasonable understanding of relevant issues; evidence of familiarity with the literature.
    50% to 67% (D to C+) Adequate performance: understanding of the subject matter; ability to develop solutions to simple problems in the material; acceptable but uninspired work, not seriously faulty but lacking style and vigour.
    00% to 49% (F) Inadequate performance: little or no evidence of understanding of the subject matter; weakness in critical and analytic stills; limited or irrelevant use of the literature.

    You may note that there is no mention of “actual effort” or of turning up “ON TIME.”

    Now, I’m sure that you know this already, and I’m aware that you were having a bit of a rant. Which is fine. And you understand that grades are not fairy dust that we shower over people because we happen to like them or because they used to do well in High School. I can sympathize with a bit of frustration that things are not as they once were.

    But that’s why, if you seriously think that your essays meet the requirements set, and don’t understand the feedback you are receiving, the thing is to talk to your professor and ask her how you can do better.

    • I obviously agree completely with what you’re saying (i.e the edit i did) and I want to make sure that it is clear that i’m not saying ” I deserve an A since I am doing the basics” I just find it a challenge (and I have since elementary school) when some people don’t do the basics and still exceed because they are just more gifted in a certain area of study. And i know that sounds super hippie dippy loony but I guess I have been working furiously on theatre, which is very much about working hard, being prompt etc. (there is a great saying- talent will get your foot in the door, but your work effort will get you hired) and I guess that is what I am getting at. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but there you go.

      And I guess i don’t want it to seem that I am to the bare minimum, cause I am not. Besides all that stuff I do work very hard and try to dig my way through these difficult texts to have unique and thought provoking claims and essays. I am far from saying that I am mr. perfect and should be given a PhD right now, but what I have always found challenging is process over product. What does the product actually say about the work put in? For instance, I may be challenged by writing a text about Hobbes and spend X amount of hours researching, reading, writing…the whole shebang and get mark Y. Then the next week we’re doing let’s say, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, which I am so familiar with and knock off an essay in two hours and not revisit it till sunday night and get Y mark again. I am curious to know if that is necessarily right. Not saying that the profs should police us and make us submit our process as the week progresses, but do you see what I mean?

      Hold up. Grades aren’t fairy dust? We don’t go to Neverland at the end of this year? Oh shucks!

      • OK, my final thoughts for the time being…

        1) I’m personally much more sympathetic to the lament that you “do work very hard and try to dig my way through these difficult texts to have unique and thought provoking claims and essays,” and yet still feel dissatisfied with your marks. Again, however, if that’s the case then you should go talk to Christina to have concrete feedback and advice about how you can improve.

        2) I don’t know if you’ve looked at the text that comes “highly recommended” for this class: Wayne C Booth’s The Craft of Research. If not, I think you should buy and read it. It’s a quite excellent guide to writing essays for Arts courses.

        3) And if there are times when you knock off an essay in a couple of hours and yet still get mark Y, if I were you I wouldn’t complain… Take the smooth with the rough! 🙂

        Anyhow, good luck and all the best. It was fun taking seminar with you guys this week.

  3. Thanks for you input.

    I am defs going to talk to Christina.
    I had that book for a bit and looked through it.
    I always take time on my essay.


  4. Okay, late to the game here, but wanted to say that Seamus and I have been talking over email, so we’re definitely in touch! And I do understand, Seamus, your points about being frustrated about:

    (1) Getting certain marks in high school and then getting much lower ones at UBC–as noted via email, this is (unfortunately?) a very common experience for Arts One students. Not all have it, but I do hear this concern quite a bit.

    (2) Nevertheless needing to get high marks to get into the program one wants–I get that, completely. And it’s a stress-inducer for sure. But of course, those mark minimums are there for a reason, which is to try to make sure that those who get into the programs are actually capable of doing the work. Of course, things don’t really work like that because marks don’t always mean one is capable of doing the work, but it is at least one indication. So it’s not a matter of just getting the marks, but being able to actually do what the marks reflect! But I know you know this.

    (3) Feeling upset that effort doesn’t really matter as much as product. This is a tough one, but whenever people bring this up I try to point out that the finished product is all we really can evaluate with any sense of fairness. I can’t, of course, know for sure how much effort people put in unless I’m in their head (even a count of a number of hours won’t do it, because some people will be thinking much harder during that time than others). For better or worse, that’s really what marks are about: saying whether a student can produce a certain level of finished product. That some people can do this more quickly than others just means that they already have the necessary skills, and probably don’t even need to take the course in some cases. Usually if others are finding things easy in some course, you mind find things easy in another course that they do not. But I see your point that what is useful in life is not just whether one can create a product, but whether one has a certain work ethic, diligence, etc. Those things are at least taken into account in many classes, though perhaps one might consider taking them into account more. Still, in the end, all we can really “mark” is a finished product, whether you show up on time (which doesn’t really, in the end, require that much effort except on rare occasions where it’s difficult!) and how much you say in class. The rest is pretty darn difficult (or impossible) to measure!

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