Editor, Daily Nexus,
In his recent column (“ÀQue Onda Guero?: UC Grading System Is Unfair and Confusing,” Daily Nexus, Jan. 22), Adam Wenger complained that the UC grading system is unfair and confusing. Unfortunately for us, Wenger’s vituperations were themselves confusing and incoherent. He starts his condemnations by observing that a C- really “takes a blow at your grade point average” because it appears as a 1.7. I thought the reason why a C- lowered your grade point average was because a C- is not a very good grade.
But Wenger is too cool to care about grades since, as he asserts, “It’s not like anyone takes their grades seriously anyway.” Yet, he seemed particularly annoyed at Beverley Marsh since she could offer no solution to his problem, noting, “She has no GPA to stress over.” This would imply that Wenger does have a GPA to stress over but wait, didn’t he just say that he doesn’t care?
This lack of sense even pervades Wenger’s examples. The class “Music Appreciation” (Music 15) is certainly not difficult, but let’s be fair here, it is not a joke. It is an introductory class that reduces all of Western art music down to an easy – and thus hopefully – accessible course. If Wenger is so intellectually masterful then why is he taking Music Appreciation in the first place? I think the real joke here is his sense of superiority after having taken such a class.
Allow me to wax categorical to all would-be Wengers: Stop redefining things to benefit yourself. Stop it! A 1400 is the new 1600 on the SAT. Mediocrity is the new success. What is this obsession with how things look rather than with how things are? Adjusting any scale to suit one’s own situation is a psychological analgesic that sidesteps a real problem. A bad grade doesn’t always indicate a bad grading system. It could just mean a poor student.