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I had a very frightening experience recently. I was up late, trying to finish an essay of 1,250 words, when I fell asleep. I slept through my alarm the next morning and work up 15 minutes before the class was to start.
Chugging 2 cups of instant coffee, I wrote the last 700 words of the essay in half an hour and sprinted the 2 blocks to the class. Slipping in, I sat in the back, knowing that that particular prof always collects papers at the end of class.
I knew I should have gotten a B-, more likely a C+ or even a C; it wasn't my best work, not even close. That was a week ago tomorrow.

The frightening experience was today. I got back the essay, looked at the first page (which I had done before falling asleep) and saw comments like excellent, great work and so forth. Bracing myself, I turned to the section I had rushed. Similiar comments were there too.

I turned to the back page. I got an A. What did that teach me? Nothing.
What did it tell me? That I was right in not wasting the effort to do my best.

Is it apparent why the education system is one of those things about our nation that scare the hell out of me?

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