Thursday, September 27, 2012

No Grades

As many of you know, I am back in school working on my master's.  It's been an interesting transition from undergrad coursework to professional to professional taking graduate level coursework.  There was also the adjustment of getting used to having "class discussions" online.  But the thing that has been the greatest challenge for me is the lack of graded feedback.

Every week, I submit my assignments and voila!  .....nothing..... I started my sememster the last week of August (two classes!) and still no grades.  I want to be an A student (really, I want to be an A+ student but they don't give that grade out now :(   -- It is very difficult to know whether I am succeeding if I don't get any feedback!  And yet, I'm in graduate school, not grade school.  At some point, I should be able to understand I need to assess my work, do my best, submit my projects and (most importantly) learn everything I am able to learn so I can be a more effective professional (which is the point of going back to school, right??) and that should be enough.

But how can I adjust my writing style to what the instructor wants?  How do I know if I am citing enough sources?  How can I improve???  How will I know what to do???

Life offers a lot of opportunities for feedback.  Our bosses, mothers, spouses, kids, coworkers, friends and perfect strangers are all, often times willing and able to offer their feedback on how we are doing -- especially with something as visible as weight.  On the other hand, your pants will tell you all you really need to know about the state of your weight -- so you really don't need (or possibly appreciate) the feedback you get from the peanut gallery??

You're eating habits, on the other hand, are more like my homework assignments.  You complete your mindfulness "assignments" day after day but you don't get a lot of feedback.  You don't get people marveling over the 100 pounds you lost in 3 weeks (because it's impossible), the amount of restraint you have because you haven't eaten sugar in this decade (because mindfulness is not about cutting out whole food catagories), or the fact that you're pushing away from your plate those critical 4 or 5 bites sooner than you have in the past.  Unrewarding, right?

But, much like me being in graduate level classes with graduate level handholding (i.e. not much!), you are an adult.  If you're serious about eating mindfully and cutting the calories that don't matter to you, this is going to be a pretty internal journey.  You're going to have to do the best work you are capable of each day -- turn it in and start again the next day. 

Grades (the evaluation by others of your best work) don't matter.  Learn everything you are able to learn so you can be a more effective human being (and that's the whole point, right? to learn the skills that enable you to live a healthier, happier, more enjoyable life doing the things you love??!! )

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