From Overheard at Cambridge,
A said to B: For Asians, a B is like a F.
C responded: Are you talking about grades or bra size?
This post made me think for awhile. Speaking from a Singaporean perspective, I can say that that is somewhere true. Many people are here on a scholarship, and they need to get an A to remain here.
I heard that scholars under A*Star have to get a first class each year otherwise they’ll get a warning letter the first time, and get sent back the second time. For these people, getting a B is truly like getting an F.
Having gone through the Singapore education system, I have learnt that grades are the main metric used to judge one’s success.
Somewhat a personal point of view. Grades are like clutches. I often like to contemplate what it’s like if I suddenly didn’t get good grades. I feel like if I didn’t get good grades, I am nothing; good grades was all I have. If not for good grades, I am merely a nobody. [Reminds me of the song from the complain choir singapore: Cause if you’re not the best, then you’re just one of the rest] It’s not the thought of being a nobody that scares me, but the thought that the effort I put in, the sacrifices I made, the opportunity cost of striving for good grades are all wasted that frightens me. It’s the fear of putting in everything you’ve got and realizing that it’s not enough. All the ‘could have’s and ‘what if’s makes it scary. All the nights that you could have been partying and socializing, with the result of strengthening ties with people have been spent holed up studying.
Surely one can argue that it’s the journey and not the end. But like music, the process of noodling with instrument may be rewarding on its own but only through publicizing and releasing the work can an artist be validated.