Sunday, March 1, 2009

Grade-A Entitlement

One of the most disillusioning aspects of my AmeriCorps/City Year service is the entitled attitude of my students.  They expect to always have good grades, extra paper/pencils/chances, and candy even when they've done nothing to earn it.  The expression "I didn't do nothing" may be the most frequent outburst heard.  

 This article argues that an entitled attitude amongst college-age students is pervasive and increasingly drastic.  I know I've often wished that my hard work would earn an "A", but I would never argue that to a professor.  I know that sometimes I think my essays were way better at 3am than the professor reading it at a reasonable hour later.  I also know, however, that attending class is no substitute for hard work and extra studying.  In education, entitlement is disastrous because it distracts students from learning the actual material.  In life, it distracts individuals from actually maximizing productivity. 

At the base of our fight for liberty is changing the attitude of Americans to understand that we must fight for individual responsibility along with individual privileges, and people who just expect the establishment to give them what they want because they want it will also not understand why responsibility is a good thing - a necessary thing.

I hope the next time we plead for better marks we think about whether we've earned them...at least, I hope I do.

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