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Alberto G.

The five stages of receiving your midterm grades

By Jill Girgulis, November 17 2015 —

There’s no putting it off. Pretty soon, the good people running D2L are going to come barging through your bedroom door if you don’t look at your midterm grades. You’ll need to swallow your pride and make the fateful “click” of that little red dot. There’s a set of steps we all go through when coming to terms with midterm marks, and while it’s a hard road, it will eventually lead to acceptance.

Denial: No way. That’s not your mark. There must have been a mistake. There’s absolutely no way the grade posted on D2L corresponds to the score you earned on that midterm. It’s just not possible. The computer must have screwed something up. Maybe they got your name wrong.

Anger: Who was in charge of choosing these questions? Did they just blindly pick from the test bank? And you definitely didn’t have enough time for the exam! What kind of sadistic professor makes a seven-part midterm and gives less than two hours to write it?

Bargaining: Are they sure Ottawa is the capital of Canada? You’re pretty positive it’s Toronto — no Americans have even heard of Ottawa, so you could argue that Toronto is the cultural capital of Canada. Also, this question used the word “affect” instead of “effect” and it totally threw off your answer. And this topic absolutely was not covered in lecture. You should definitely be getting some extra marks somewhere — are part marks still a thing in university?

Depression: That’s it. Your undergrad is over. It’s all over. From now on all your tests will be this horrifying and heart-wrenching. Your grade school teacher was right — you’ll never amount to anything. You decide to withdraw from organic chemistry. And analytical chemistry. And the winter semester. You should probably just drop out at this point.

Acceptance: “I’m fine guys, really. I’m fine,” you say, shedding a single tear. You’re not fine, but there will be other tests to fail. For now, you have to accept that there is literally nothing you can do — except pester the professor.

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