Sticker shock

Today I’d like to share an anecdote about grading (US) / marking (Canada). Apparently this is a hot enough item to warrant its own, fairly lengthy, wikipedia post.

Once upon a time, in my first year of university (freshman year of college) at Herstmonceux Castle, I had to take a philosophy quiz. One of the questions really had me stumped. It was something about “Leafs.” I was confused because, first of all, I didn’t know why it wasn’t spelled “l-e-a-v-e-s” and, secondly, because I straight up did not know if the answer was “straw man argument” or what.

Sad to say, I got three of the ten questions wrong, which landed me with a 70%.

Now, in America-land, that’s what we call a C-, or possibly a D depending on which high school you went to. See the following convenient chart:

A 90%–100%
B 80%–89%
C 70%–79%
D 60%–69%
F 59% and below

I was, understandably for a keener (overachiever) like me (I am pursing graduate studies, so school is apparently My Thing), a wee bit upset by this until one of my Shiny New Canadian Friends pointed out that Canada-land uses a different grading scale:

A+ 90–100
A 85–89
A− 80–84
B+ 76–79
B 73–75
B− 70–72
C+ 67–69
C 63–66
C− 60–62
D+ 57–59
D 53–56
D− 50–52
LOL WUT 0–49

(PS This varies by province!)

From then on, it was smooth sailing. Like my mom always says, “Cs get degrees!”

When I became a teacher in the US, I had to code-switch back over to the base ten scale (maybe we should adopt the metric system, since we’re already primed for it by grammar school grades [marks]), and use $1 bills when making change at the jobs I took to support my teaching habit (rather than the familiar loonies and toonies from my Tim Hortons days).

Luckily, I’ve become adept at Acting Right in whichever country I find myself. At least, for the most part…

Leafs, by the way, as my maple-leaf-tattooed friend informed me, are a hockey team. I’m not bitter. Not at all.

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One Response to Sticker shock

  1. Pingback: Swipes File #22: Leafs?! | This dissertation is going to be fun, like dessert

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