TITLE: The Big Picture AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: May 13, 2015 12:12 PM DESC: ----- BODY: I just turned in my grades. For the most part, this is boring paperwork. Neither students nor faculty really like grades; they are something we all have to do as a part of the system. A lot of people would like to change the system and eliminate grades, but every alternative has its own weaknesses. So we all muddle along. But there is a bigger picture, one which Matt Reed expresses eloquently:
Tolstoy once claimed that there are really only two stories, and we keep telling each of them over and over again: a stranger comes to town, and a hero goes on a quest. In higher education, we live those two stories continuously. Every semester, a new crop of strangers come to town. And every semester, we set a new group of heroes off on their respective quests.
It's May, so we see a new group of young people set of on their own quests. In a few months, we will welcome a new group of strangers. In between are the students who are in the middle of their own "stranger comes to town" story, who will return to us in the fall a little different yet much the same. That's the big picture. -----