I'm a big fan of the musical You're a Good Man Charlie Brown. I've written about the musical before on this blog.
Usually I just listen to the music--I haven't seen the musical itself in years. But today I went to a high school rendition of it (they did a great job, nicely done) and was struck by the truthfulness of Sally Brown's monologue. It captures the struggle I deal with when I'm grading my students. Sally can say it better than I can, so...take it away Sally.
"A 'C'? A 'C'? I got a 'C' on my coat hanger sculpture? How could anyone get a 'C' in coathanger sculpture? May I ask a question? Was I judged on the piece of sculpture itself? If so, is it not true that time alone can judge a work of art? Or was I judged on my talent? If so, is it fair that I be judged on a part of my life over which I have no control? If I was judged on my effort, then I was judged unfairly, for I tried as hard as I could! Was I judged on what I had learned about this project? If so, then were not you, my teacher, also being judged on your ability to transmit your knowledge to me? Are you willing to share my 'C'? Perhaps I was being judged on the quality of coat hanger itself out of which my creation was made...now is this not also unfair? Am I to be judged by the quality of coat hangers that are used by the dry-cleaning establishment that returns our garments? Is that not the responsibility of my parents? Should they not share my 'C'?"