Your GPA Won't Be Affected, So Lighten Up!

By Dr. Robert Wallace

August 17, 2020 5 min read

DR. WALLACE: I'm pleased to tell you that I'm a proud straight-A student. Ever since I completed the seventh grade, I've never had a grade lower than an A. This summer, I decided to take a ceramics class online. I enjoyed the class, but I'm not happy with my grade. There is little doubt that I was the best student in the class. I did well on the tests and projects. I participated in online discussions, and I took the class very seriously.

But when I received my grade, all my report card said was that I had "passed" this course. I talked to the teacher, and she said that I was a very bright student and it was a pleasure to have me in her class, but she does not give letter grades in this particular class.

I don't think this is fair. I worked hard to be the very best student in the class, and what did it get me?

When school starts in the fall, I'm going to have my mother call the principal to see if an A can replace my "passed" grade. I think the pass/fail system should be outlawed, don't you? — Serious Student, via email

SERIOUS STUDENT: I suggest you lighten up! Yes, you are an excellent student, but you seem to be missing the most important point about education. A class is not a competitive event, like a heat in a track meet. It's about personal growth, development and the mastery of the subject matter.

The pass-fail system refocuses a class on learning for learning's sake. You did well in this class and enjoyed it. You also gained a skill that can bring you lifelong pleasure. That is your reward. Being "the best" in this particular class is immaterial. To be hung up on that is a sign of immaturity. It means you can't appreciate the work of others or learn from them. You're reduced your focus such that you apparently regard other talented students as threats to your superiority. With all that is going on in the world these days given COVID-19 and the fact that many classes have been canceled or conducted online, your focus and mindset need an overhaul.

Keep in mind that your grade of "passed" will not affect your grade-point average, and you are still on track to potentially become your class valedictorian. Don't waste your mother's time (or the principal's) trying to get a grade change to an A. It's not going to happen, and in my opinion, it would be in bad taste to make this type of request.

HE HID HIS SON FROM ME

DR. WALLACE: My boyfriend and I care for each other very much. We have been together for almost a year. We will both be going to college soon. I'm not sure if we'll get married or not, but it is a possibility.

About a month ago, I received a call from someone telling me that my boyfriend has a child with another girl! This person informed me that, after he graduates from college, the two of them are going to get married so that this child will have two parents in the family home.

I asked my boyfriend about this, and he admitted that he has a son and has been seeing her behind my back. But my boyfriend claims he isn't interested in marrying her and further explained that the only reason he sees her is to be with his son.

I'm really caught off guard with all of this. I can't seem to get out of my mind the fact that "my guy" is already a father. Obviously, I can't trust my boyfriend, who has a child with another girl, especially because he has been hiding this from me during the entirety of our relationship. Apparently, he is now going to be supporting the child financially for the rest of his life.

I guess what I'm asking is, should I still stay in contact with my boyfriend, or should we go our separate ways? — Thrown For A Loop, via email

THROWN FOR A LOOP: Your boyfriend has big issues in his life to deal with from now on. His prime responsibility for many years to come will be his son. This will take up most of his time and include big financial responsibilities.

Normally, this would not be a deal-breaker for most relationships, but the fact that he wasn't honest with you about his relationship should cause you to reevaluate all your plans for any possible future with him.

Only you know the answer to this question, so dig down deep and think about the answer to it carefully: Has the time now come for you to go your separate ways? If you value trust, honesty and teamwork within a relationship, perhaps your answer is yes.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: LubosHouska at Pixabay

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