Getting a B+

Two small, related experiences from this evening:

I was meeting with my bishop and to start off, he summarized my situation and the things that we talked about the last time we met. "...And instead of saying, 'Screw the Church!' and leaving, you've decided to stay because you have this testimony. And in the meantime, the best you can really hope for is a B+ kind of a situation." Well, I don't remember exactly how he said it but I thought he described my situation very well. The main point I want to make is his mention of this B+, something he brought up several times throughout the meeting.

I fully agreed that I am shooting for a B+. An A grade would mean getting married to someone I'm fully attracted to. My B+ would be either a mixed-orientation marriage that works or a worthy, single life in the Church (Note that these grades are self evaluations of happiness and success, not evaluations of worthiness from the Church). And as far as I'm concerned, any option outside the Church is a failing grade. I told the bishop that I'm okay with a B+ (Incidentally, that might end up being my average grade from this hellish semester).

So then, after getting home, I was watching a very good, three part recording on youtube of a recent meeting with Dr. Ted Lyon at BYU. I strongly recommend watching it-- at least the first segment and perhaps his final testimony in part three. Show me a humble man and I'll show you a man who has my complete respect.

In the first part, he says:
People ask me, "Have you seen a change in BYU students over the years?" One thing that I can say is that there is an incredible amount of gradism at BYU now that didn't used to exist. You don't know what gradism is, do you? Requiring high grades; you're smart and you have to have good grades. If I give an A- on a paper, a student is upset and wants to know why, and a B+ is a bad grade. It didn't used to be that way. I could give Cs and Bs without too much serious problem. That's been an amazing change that I've seen. People come with a very high expectation of getting very high grades. I hope you don't fit into that category. I hope you're learning for learning.

I didn't think anything of his words when I first heard them, but later I was in the kitchen, drinking Cherry Coke that belongs to my roommate who went home for Christmas today. And I remembered the last part, "I hope you're learning for learning."

I'd love an A+ life. Boy howdy I would. Instead of being so focused on the grade, though, I hope to get to the point where I'm more focused on what I'm learning. Life may never be ideal. I want to be okay with that.


drex said...

Haha you said boy howdy. =D

Y'know, I had kinda thought that a mixed-orientation marriage would be a B+ kinda life, but for now, at least, it feels like an A. Sure, I still comment to Salad about attractive guys and she tries to guess who I think is cute, and there's always some measure of longing associated with all of that, but I'm really honestly enjoying myself being with her. Maybe my B+ is being curved to an A.

Sean said...

You are living an A life right now! You are such a great person and such a great friend. I look up to you many ways. It doesn't matter that your life is a little different than most. You can still live it to its fullest and receive the A that you are looking for.

Drex sees his life as an A, while others might see it as a B+. It doesn't matter. It matters how you feel about your life and who you want to be.

Don't let anyone tell you that you are living a B+ life when you are really living an A!

draco said...

No one should be told that they are destined for no higher than a B+ at the beginning of the semester. Don't we all deserve at least a chance at an A?

Forester said...

I've always hated measurements, grades, reporting numbers on my mission, work appraisals, etc. They don't reflect what is really going on. They are a sad attempt at earthly judgment. Luckily, no matter what "grade" we get, the Savior makes up the rest. We need to learn to rely more on him to bring out the best in us.

One of So Many said...

In the end all that matters is you have the "Degree" no one asks me for my GPA. They just want to know what I did and what experience I have. In essence what did I learn?