My professor passed back essays yesterday. Like most students, I blew past the illegible comments and went straight to the grade. At the bottom of the page, in blood red ink, read “B+/A-.”
What the hell is that? Is it a B+ or an A-? A B+ says, “You clearly put in the effort, but its just not enough.” An A- screams, “Wahoo, this is basically an A! Good job bro!”
How could my T.A do this to me? His job is solely to grade, but it’s clear he can’t even do that. I could sympathize if my T.A suffers from some kind of multiple personality disorder, where one is a total hardass about grades and the other agrees this class is a joke. But if this two-face split doesn’t plague my T.A, then why can’t he pick a grade? I would have preferred that he just give me the B+ to save me from this double-graded plight. Doesn’t my T.A understand that all through life we are forced to make difficult decisions? And certainly there are more complicated matters than deciding the grade for an extraordinarily handsome undergrad?
So, in an effort to educate my T.A and others, I offer a brief history of hard decisions that America has had to make:
June 29, 2012: “Magic Mike” and “Ted” are released in theatres and America must decide which will reign supreme. A movie with little dialogue but a lot of hip gyrating or a cute, little teddy bear who smokes so much grass he puts Bob Marley to shame? Channing Tatum’s breakout role as a serious actor or essentially an extended episode of “Family Guy”?
Brad Pitt left girl-next-door Jennifer Aniston for sex symbol Angelina Jolie, sending American families into turmoil. Who would they side with, the sexy psycho man stealer or sweet, sweet Rachel from “Friends”? To this day, there are families that have yet to leave darkness for fear of making the wrong choice.
“Sophie’s Choice” or “Mamma Mia”? Two Meryl Streep blockbusters. Which is your favorite? Ah, who am I kidding, you can never go wrong with a Streep film.
Danforth or Douglass? While this decision only applies to UR students, it is one that affects us all deeply. The lines are shorter in Douglass, but the food is better in Danforth. You can take the tunnels to Douglass, but Danforth is already in Sue B. I won’t even try to throw The Pit into the mix.
With all due respect T.A, can’t you see that hard decisions have kept Americans up at night for decades? Yet we are not just Americans — we are Rochesterians! We power through tough times and bitch-slap these hard decisions across the face. If you can’t even make these simple decisions, what qualifies you to even T.A.? It’s obviously not your intellect because you failed to choose a grade, and it certainly can’t be your looks because as everyone in class knows, that giant mole on your nose is distracting to say the least.
I beg of you, put me out of my misery. I’m just a star horse with a broken leg. I’ll never race again — you know it and I know it. So pick up the shotgun, uncap your red Bic, and finish me. Give me a C for all I care. I just can’t bear the pain any longer. Am I an overexcited, hardworking “A” student, or am I the “B” I do as much work as I need to in order to pass? A moment ago I made a reference to a racehorse. Am I a horse now as well? You see what you’ve done to me?! This identity crisis is too much for me to handle, T.A. I have other classes, other co-curriculars activities that I need to focus on But now I must spend my time figuring out a decision that was yours to begin with?
Nah. Screw it. I’m dropping the class.
Weinberg is a member of the class of 2015.

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