Observations About Life: I went back to seminary later in life. I was in my forties and retaining information for tests was tedious and at times impossible. It seemed the harder I worked for a class, the worse grade I received. In desperation I talked with my mentor. He said something at the time I considered reactionary, but comforting. He said “when you get out to your church, the grades you received here are not going to be relevant.”
I had always believed, because it was what I had been told, that getting good grades in school was THE most important component. If I didn’t have good grades, I would not do well in life. Grades were a kind of god dispensing honor and wealth on everyone who worshiped them.
I, of course, found what the professor said was true. My grades were never discussed in my presence when I applied for different positions. The interviews were an opportunity to see what my convictions were and what sort of goals and ideas I had for ministry. The job application process never brought out my grades for consideration.
During the intervening years I have come to see parts of my education as inadequate. For example I was never exposed to Shakespeare or the history of other countries like China. I have come to see school curricula as the values of a certain committee doing the best it can to provide each student with the basic tools he or she needs to become a productive part of society. What students need or wish to learn beyond that is really up to them to obtain. And for me some of my best learning has occurred outside of school without any pressure to regurgitate information so as to receive a good grade.