A, B, C, C, C, D, A… This is the arbitrary pattern for the last answers of an exam I’ve just finish. Keep in mind this is an exam I’ve not even spent 10 minutes studying for, hell this is a class I’ve never even paid attention in, let alone open the book; god forbid I every open the book.
I hand the test in without the slightest gauge of how well I did, the only thing I know for certain is my exam grade lies between the 40% and 85% percentile — that’s. comforting.
The professor receives my white paper offer of ambiguous circling. Without skipping a beat his eyes go to my name at the top of the exam, and his hands reach for the grade book. After scrolling through a long list of names he stops at “Jacob Grant,” looks up and says with dreary eyes “well the highest you can hope for is a B,” and returns his gaze to the Albuquerque Journal. I leave, but feel slightly bothered, and I have no idea why.
The most I can hope for is a ‘B’?
A fucking B..?
After some internal contemplation I realize the reason I’m bothered is rather ironic. I would deserve lower than an F in this class if we were graded on knowledge retained. Because I haven’t learned jack shit, the paucity of what I’ve learned is 100% my fault, and lies on my shoulders. What bothers me is the lack of effort needed to earn a this type or recognition. In fact, most of the classes I’m taking this year I’ve put minimal effort into, and will be receiving at least a B or above.
I’ve half assed everything this semester —
I’ve only put in the minimal effort needed, and that really isn’t saying much. Sadly, overall there is a pretty fair distribution of half ass-ing in each fragment of my life, academic, professional, and personal. Despite the fact this half ass-ing is only noticeable to few people externally (mainly my wife), it bothers me internally. It burdens me knowing I can skim through life only doing what I know to be my marginal best in a large variety of different things, verses doing my absolute best in just a select few things. In the same hand it’s difficult to focus on the few, when our fast paced world provides us the ability to actively pursue everything, and anything our hearts desire.
In a world where optionality is a commodity, finding focus is at the highest demand. I can do a million things at once, but a million things can’t define me. In some ways the more I do, the less I am. The classes I’ve taken this semester have added less to my intellectual growth, then any previous semesters. I’ll pass the class, get the grade, but very little will be added to my as a person. During every class period this semester my mind has been elsewhere, and working on something unrelated to the class I’m presently attending. This bothers me, and my prayer for the coming months is to remain focused in the present, with hope of adding value to my life in the future.
In order to keep this short and sweet, I’ll summarize my point. Half ass-ing doesn’t add value, and wastes time. I’d encourage anyone reading this to focus on what you find most important, and whole heartedly pursue it. And if you’re in a place like me where you have to focus on school, work, and family make an effort to be present in each moment, not trying to spend time with family and send emails at the same time.
Give each moment, and task 100% of your effort.